Plantation Quilts & Gifts TM


Dr. Howard L. Wilson
(Retired Lt. Col.) & 
Mrs. Serena M. Strother Wilson


I will nominate Dr. Howard & Serena M. Wilson for the 

City of Columbus, Ohio Hall of Fame Spring 2015.

I am asking friends, co-works & family to write me a note with a something you learned from either of them, funny story, a fond memory or what ever you want to say.
I am putting the notes in two books

For my father:

"Son of a Coal Miner & West Virginia Pioneers"

For my Mother:

"Serena Wilson's Golden Legacy"



BORN: April 12, 1933 - DEATH: June 1, 2013

"Together Again Celebration of Life"
was June 15, 2013 10:00 am at 
Bethel Temple Ministries Pastor Dane Clark, 
2840 Lockbourne Rd Columbus OH 43207 

Dr. Howard Lee Wilson (Ret. Lt. Col,

Retired Army Lt. Col., Husband, Father, Entrepreneur, Mentor

Born April 12, 1933 to Louise & Thomas J. Wilson in Bramwell, 
West Virginia. In high school, he excelled in sports 
He played 13 different instruments and was the concert and 
marching band director. He played both football and directed 
the marching band during the football game’s half-times.  

Howard Lee was one of four teenagers selected to play for the 
WV/VA Baseball League and was awarded the Babe Ruth Foundation 
Award for excelling  in 3 different major sports.
He was salutatorian of Bluestone HS Class of 1951.

Howard pledged Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. at 
Tau Chapter of WVSC. 

He participated in ROTC and graduated from WVSC with a 
BA in Music and was lead in the ROTC Choir under the 
direction Prince Amhed Williams. 

He married Serena M. Strother after a 3 year courtship.

The bride was given away by the president of WVSC, 
Dr. Wallace & Serena’s older half-brother * Fred Strother, 
witnessed by the Wilson family and all their collegiate friends.

* (In 2010 confirmed by U.S. Census Fred was her nephew) 

He received his Masters Degree when he was stationed 
in KY and his honorary Doctorate of Law Degree from 
West Virginia State University after he assisted in changing 
the WVS College to a WCS University. 

He was the 1st National President of WVSU Alumni Association.

Howard Wilson former WVSU Alumni Association President with wife Serena at his side.  

He and his wife Serena (Strother) Wilson were happily 
married May 28th, 1955
at the  

Christ the King Catholic Church in Dunbar, WV. 

Their children are daughters Maria Denese Wilson-Tate, 

Howard Wilson with daughter, Dense Wilson Tate & Serena Wilson at WVSU
Teresa & husband Calvin G. Kemp, Jr., 

Jasmine adopted daughter (great granddaughter) 
and their late son Howard Anthony Wilson. 
The grandchildren are the late Angel Coleman, Stephen 
& wife La Toya Wilson, Tanisha Thomas, Calvin H. Kemp, 
Kir Kemp Whatley, Amber Wilson, Natasha Wilson Sullivan. 
Howard & Serena’s great grand children are Jamel Thomas 
Joyce, Odell, Anthony, Keante, Stephen Howard Wilson Jr., 
Trey Yates, Daniel Tyler Wilson, Brandon Black, James Antley.

Ret. US Army Lt. Col., he served in Korea, Germany, Vietnam & USA.
His decorations include Meritorious Service, Bronze Star, 
Air Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters &
Gallantry Cross Medal with Palms to name a few.

After serving 20 years, he retired, moved to Columbus, OH 
& worked 20 years for the Department of Public Safety as 
Deputy Safety Director where he supervised the Administration 
Operations of the Divisions of Police and Fire Departments 
City of Columbus, OH. 

Howard, Serena & Teresa Kemp (their daughter), were 
co-owners of Plantation Quilts & Gifts. Together they 
did exhibitions, historic presentations, and preservation 
work of the families European, African, Gullah-Geechee 
& Appalachian nationwide cultural contributions. 
Teresa continues exhibiting the family legacy.


 Member of the Path Ministry, Silver Honoree Club WVSU,
inducted in the WVSC ROTC Hall of Fame in 1984, 
Life member Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., 
Kappa Alpha Psi Columbus Alumni Chapter, 
WVSU Tau Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, 
Airport Golf Course Rainmaker Golf Club, 
NAACP, Liberty High School Alumni Assoc., 
Inducted in WV Black High School Hall of Fame,

WVSU State University Foundation Board 
Honorary Director (Retired), 
2005 WVSU Alumnus of the Year

 In Lieu of Flowers

Send donations to Wilson Jefferson Scholarship Fund 
WVSU Foundation Inc. 
200 Erickson Alumni Center 
P.O. Box 1000 Institute, WV 25112


Kappa Alpha Psi 
Kenneth Howard Endowed Scholarship Fund 
P.O. Box 151232  Columbus, Ohio 43215

Link for more information:

Memorial Photos on Face Book
UGRR Secret Quilt Museum

Art History Maker

Selected as an Art History Maker there are five hours of Video recordings done by Serena Wilson you can access on-line.








March 18, 1934 - Feburary 9, 2012

Wife, Mother, Quilter, Historian, Researcher

It was prior to him being commissioned as a new 

Lieutinant in the US Army and going to 
Baumholder, West Germany as his first assignment.

Lt. Howard L. Wilson US Army was inducted into the WVSU ROTC Hall of Fame

She later graduated from Bluefield State College 
in Bluefield, WV in June of 1968 with a B.S 
degree in Elementary Education. 

Sarah Green Quattlebaum Serena's sister raised her in Philly, PA. She visited us in Germany to be sure we knew our culture.

After retiring from the Columbus Board of Education in 2000, 

she continued being a faithful member of many organizations 
and her passion for history research and quilting.

Serena was co-owner and CEO of the Plantation Quilts & Gifts. 

As a family, they have conducted programs and workshops 
telling how the Farrow-McDaniel Quilt Code, handed down 
through her family, helped enslaved 
people escape from Southern plantations.

Serena & Howard Wilson of Columbus, Ohio

Since starting the lectures in 1970's, they have conducted over 
4,000 programs in colleges, universities, libraries, historical societies,
quilting groups, NPS sites and private and governmental 
organizations throughout the United States.

Serena's paternal grandfather David Richardson Strother's 
had Rockhill Plantation, one of the highest grossing in SC 1850-1960.

David Richardson Strother b. 1814 - d. 1870

When the Strother family had a reunion in Edgefield, SC the

Serena heard stories about David and his  granddaughter 
Sallie Strother (DAR Historian) married a Hollingsworth.

Every Saturday Milton, Serena's dad, took Sallie ice cream

he would purchase (from the White only store).

My mother said the store owner would say

"Mr. Strother you know you can't bring those little 
colored chillin in here! He would say,

"Hush now and get thier ice cream" And he did.  

Sallies granddaughter, Lynn Booram (Edgefield Historian)
did a great presentation at the Family Reunion in Edgefield, SC and when asked how she knew so much about our family... 
She replied "I'm your cousin Lynn!" 

Everyone laughed and and my mother ran to give her a hug.

Cousin Lynn Strother Booram & Serena Strother Wilson in the Family home in Edgefield, SC

In 2005, she opened the UGRR Secret Quilt Code Museum 

Exhibit in Atlanta, GA with Howard and her daughter, 
Teresa Kemp who continues doing the UGRR Secret 
Quilt Code Museum Traveling Exhibits.


Serena wrote several articles that were 
published about her ancesters in 
America, as Glynn County, GA slaves, 
Peter and Eliza Farrow, formerly Igbo 
and Eliza from Dahomey, were called 
the Gullah-Geechee people. 

The Secret Quilt Code, articles written by Serena Strother Wilson.

They purchased their freedom following 
the death of their second owner and worked 
as abolitionist via the Underground Railroad.

Serena Strother Wilson in front of quilt she made to teach the UGRR Secret Quilt Code, her families legacy. She was the 4th generation quilter of the Farrow McDaniel's family.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Golden Soror, 
National Museum of African American History and Culture, 
Bluefield State College, Columbus Kappa Alpha Psi Silhouettes‏, Drayton Hall Historic Society, 
Friends of Freedom, Edgefield Historic Society, 
Liberty High School, OSU Alumni Association, Martin Luther King Center, Morgan State University,

National UGRR Freedom Center 
Life Member, National NAACP, Quilter’s for Christ, 
Perish House Quilters, OSU Penn Women, 
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 
Wayne State University Alumni Association, 
WVSU Alumni Association, 
WVSU Alumni Asosciation Columbus, OH Chapter
Inductee West Virginia High School Hall of Fame.


Dr. & Mrs Howard and Serena Wilson

Howard & Family in Columbus at Serena's bedside.


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