Francis Howard Wilson III, the only child of Mary Etta Henderson and Francis Howard Wilson Jr., was born February 12, 1946, in San Antonio, Texas. He was called “Howie” as a young person and later was called “Frank.” He was married on February 18, 1970, in El Paso, Texas, to Rita Rebecca Martinez (born October 18, 1946, in Albuquerque, New Mexico). They were divorced March 8, 1982, in Albuquerque.
He and Rita had twin sons: Matthew Martinez Wilson and Michael Martinez Wilson, born October 15, 1973, in San Antonio.
Frank married Elleta Laverne Moore Howell August 25, 1993, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Elleta was born February 11, 1943, in El Paso, Texas.
Note: Story from 1996 Arthur Jones Family Scrapbook.
Frank was born February 12, 1946, in San Antonio, Texas—the only child of Francis Howard Wilson, Jr. and Mary Etta Henderson. Shortly after he was born, the family moved to Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, for a year. (There’s a photograph of Frank in a stroller in three feet of snow.) They then moved to Fort Benning, Georgia, (1947-50) where during a visit by Uncle Bobby Henderson, he remembers being locked in an outside storage closet by cousins Mary Ann and Robin.
Frank’s next home was a fourplex at Fort MacPherson in Atlanta, Georgia, from about 1950-53. There he remembers saying a very racist thing to a maid who became rightfully indignant.
Around June 1953, the family moved to Austin, Texas, and lived 18 months there while Howard served in Korea and Japan. Mary taught Frank how to throw a baseball. Mary and Frank joined Howard in Tokyo, Japan. There a wonderful, dear soul, a maid, Takaka Makamura loved and took care of Frank as if he were her own son. “God bless her,” Frank said.
When Frank was in the fourth grade, the family lived in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and Frank remembers his dad struggling with the rigors of being a student of the command and general staff college. He also remembers going on several occasions to the basement because of tornado warnings.
He attended Lee Bevins Elementary School in the 5th grade, and was confirmed at age 10— “over my own kicking and screaming,” he says—in the Episcopal Church of St. Andrews in Amarillo, Texas.
For three years from 1957-60, Howard was stationed at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Mrs. Hoover was Frank’s “wonderful” 5th grade teacher, although Frank confesses his behavior was awful. Because of that unruly behavior and poor academics, he was sent to San Antonio Military Academy in Texas, where he came under the wing of another very important person in his life, William T. Bondurant, Jr. “He believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself,” Frank says. While there, Frank began learning to play the trumpet.
From 1960-63, the family lived in Heidelberg, Germany. There, Frank met Scott Norwood (someone he admired and respected) and Jody Jenkins. Frank says he was blessed in being able to see places such as London, Barcelona, The Matterhorn, and the beautiful Loire Valley in France. When they lived in Munich, Germany, Frank experienced his one-and-only downhill ski run at Garmisch, Germany.
Finally, from 1963-65, Frank attended and graduated from Butler High School in Huntsville, Alabama. There he ran track (800 m, 4x400m) and fished from a boat in the huge Tennessee River near Decatur, Alabama. He attended the University of New Mexico 1965-69 and graduated with a B.A. in English. He had a knee operation in August of 1969 and recovered (for far too long) at home in Huntsville. He eventually returned to Las Cruces, New Mexico, as a teacher corps intern. “I flunked out,” he says.
Frank married Rita Rebecca Martinez from Albuquerque in 1970, and they moved to San Antonio where Frank earned an M.A. in communication disorders in 1973. He remembers a brilliant professor, Margret Krammer, who was a master teacher of the socialization process and cognitive development of people. The twins, Matthew and Michael, were born in October 1973, and for the next three years, Frank taught in various schools in Texas. Rita earned her masters in education at the University of Texas in Austin.
In 1975, the family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Frank taught K-12 in the public schools from Indian reservations to urban schools until March 1996. During this time, he tried stand-up comedy. “Some in the audience laughed,” he said. He also worked at route sales, iron work, and carpentry.
Frank and Rita were divorced in March 1982. Rita took back her maiden name and still lives in Albuquerque.
After Frank was divorced from Rita, he began training in Yamate Ryu Aikijutsu, a Japanese martial art. Eventually he was promoted to second degree black belt.
He continued to teach from 1982 through March 1996. During this time, he met, fell in love with, and married Elleta Laverne Moore Howell. In 1996, Elleta and Frank decided to resign from teaching and go into a home business. They moved to the Northwest to be near Elleta’s daughter, Jennifer Howell Ingalls, and family, who live in Everett, Washington. Frank has been blessed, he says, by stepdaughter Jennifer, her husband Scott, and three grandchildren: Betsy, age 2; Jake, age 6; and Jonathan, age 10.
Frank and Elleta live only 45 minutes away from Everett, Washington, on Whidby Island in the San Juan de Fuca Sound. They are now struggling Herbalife distributors, working from their home in Oak Harbor, Washington. “With God’s blessing, we will succeed,” Frank says.