Archived Story

Remembering Angel Wilson

Published 11:17am Thursday, July 26, 2012

Family, friends celebrate life of teen who was always willing to share a smile

Though she lived only 17 years, Angel Neonesty Wilson’s life was “a gift from God,” according to her mother, Lori Wilson.

Angel, a rising senior at Dadeville High School, was killed in a single-vehicle accident at 1:15 a.m. Sunday on Ala. Hwy. 50, nine miles west of Lafayette.

“She was going around a curve, and she missed the curve and lost control of the car,” Lori said.

Lori said Angel was on her way home that night, trying to meet curfew.

“She was being obedient and trying to do the right thing and obey her mama,” Lori said. “She was being the good girl that she is, but God had other plans for Angel. Her work down here was done. She’d made her rounds, and God wanted her.”

Lori described Angel’s entire life as a miracle.

“I know she was a gift from God because the doctors told me I wouldn’t be able to have a baby,” Lori said. “I was sick the whole nine months up until Angel’s birth. When Angel got here, she got sick and we almost lost Angel then, but the Lord allowed Angel to come back to me.”

Lori said Angel was an inspiration to those around her, never afraid to speak her mind and tell people right from wrong.

“I can’t tell you all of what I have learned over the years from my baby,” Lori said. “She always tried to do the right thing. She’d even discipline me as if she was the parent and I was the child. I had to let her know sometimes that she was telling me right – when I knew I was wrong, she would always correct me.

“She was my angel, and she was very honest,” Lori said, laughing. “If you liked it or you didn’t, it didn’t matter. She wasn’t a pretender. She said you can fool man but you can’t fool God, so you might as well tell the truth.”

Lori said Angel shared the same caring, guiding nature with her family and friends.

“She would give people guidance and tell them the right thing, no matter what they wanted to do,” Lori said. “She’d tell them to be happy, and that even if things are worrying you, you don’t allow that thing to defeat you.”

Lori said when a friend of Angel’s visited their home to pay their condolences, she was overcome with emotion, but the friend reminded her that Angel would have rather seen her laughing than crying at such a time.

“I shed some tears, and she said, ‘Miss Lori, you dry your eyes. You know if Angel was here seeing you cry, she’d have a fit because she wouldn’t want to see you crying,’” Lori said.

Lori said one thing all of Angel’s friends and family recalled about Angel was her smile.

“Everybody has said the same thing, that Angel’s smile itself would brighten their day, even people in their 70s, 80s or 90s,” Lori said. “It makes me feel good that my baby’s life was not in vain. She lived her life to inspire the whole world. Angel has touched lives of so many with just a smile, with that love. When you have the gift of love, that’s the greatest gift you can have.”

“She was an inspiration and so genuine,” godmother Amanda Harkins said. “You could feel it through the warmth of her smile.”

Lori said Angel was an FCCLA member and was an active member of Sardis Baptist Church in Dadeville, participating as a lead singer in the youth and young adult choirs, a member of the praise dance team, a counselor for youth and in the church’s Red Circle.

Angel loved to play softball and played until the end of her sophomore year. She also served as a manager of the volleyball and track teams.

Angel planned to attend Jacksonville State University and pursue a degree in criminal justice, Lori said.

“Angel was an extremely positive person to be around – for students, teachers, faculty, administrators and the entire student body,” said DHS Principal Chris Hand. “She always had a smile on her face and was always in a good mood. She was a pleasure to be around, and she will be sorely missed. I know the volleyball team has taken this very hard – they’re having practice this week, and she would have been there.”

Hand said the senior class was already working to do a memorial bench dedicated to Angel.

“I think it’s important to remember to celebrate her life,” Hand said. “I think she would want us to support each other and really try to lift and comfort one another during this time, adults and students alike.”

Harkins said the family is also considering honoring Angel’s life further.

“We already have people talking about setting up a scholarship,” Harkins said.

Hand said counseling services will be available at DHS and that he plans to set up a counseling session with the upcoming seniors.

Harkins said she loved Angel since the day she was born.

“To know Angel is to love Angel. She understood the true meaning of ‘love is what love does.’ If I’ve ever been touched by an angel, it was my Angel,” Harkins said.

Grandmother Sarah Wilson said she and the family wished to thank the community, church family, friends, Armour’s Memorial Funeral Home, the Jim Black family, state troopers, Dadeville Police Department and dispatcher Jerreka Boyd.

Lori said she was relying on her faith during this trying time.

“I cry out, but I cry because I’m going to miss that love,” Lori said. “That’s hard for me, but I know God has my baby. Now my Angel really is watching over me. I don’t have to worry about her because she’s going to protect me forever – as long as I’m living, she and the good Lord are going to be my protectors. She’s my halo in the sky.”

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