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‘The sweetest person in the world’: Ed Wilson, turning 105


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    CHICAGO (WBBM) — TGIF. We made it another week, and so did the impressive man you’re about to meet.

The Morning Insiders tagged along to a birthday party that’ll really give you that Friday Feeling. CBS 2’s Lauren Victory introduces us to one of the oldest people in Illinois.

One by one, Ed Wilson’s loved ones logged on. To them, he has special nickname.

“I think the story goes that I was the one who named Papoo, Papoo; and maybe it was because I didn’t know how to say anything else,” said Brian Wilson, his grandson.

“Papoo” stuck for nine grandchildren, 13 great grandkids, and four great great grandchildren.

Generations earlier, “Papoo” attended Tilden High School here in Chicago.

“He is also an Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. member since 1941,” said Patricia Hutson, a family friend.

In 1943, he married his loving wife Odessa and graduated Western Virginia State University.

The young Wilson worked for the Army Corps and eventually built biomedical parts for space exploration, which brings us to daughter Paula Bulliner’s favorite story.

She said police pulled him over once asking him, “Where are you going so fast?”

“And he says, ‘Well, I have to go over to NASA, because I have this component that the astronauts need in order to take off.’ And from then on, they gave him a police escort,” Bulliner said.

“Papoo is the sweetest person in the world,” said Catherine McAbee, a family friend.

“I love you and my fondest memory is of the two of us trying to jumpstart your car in the driveway,” said fellow family friend Brian Robinson.

All the reminiscing was because the manufacturing expert is about to crank out another milestone: his 105th birthday on Saturday.

Papoo is being honored with a Country Clubs Hills proclamation, plus the title of oldest living Alpha.

“The secret to making it to 105 years old is to have a loving family,” he said.

His family plans to put a sign in the front yard on Saturday, and plant him in the front window for anyone who wants to drive by with a honk or a wave.

If you’d like to take part, come to the 4800 block of Summerhill Drive in Country Club Hills between 3 and 4 p.m. Saturday, and look for that yard sign.

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