Wilson Edwin Southern, 84, of Cuero passed away Sunday, March 10, 2019. He was born Sept. 30, 1934 in San Patricio County to the late Woodrow Wilson Southern and Gladys McKinney Leck. Ed retired as a Naval Commander after 22 years of active duty service in the United States Navy. He was a graduate of Cuero High School, University of Texas, Austin - Chemistry, and US Naval postgraduate school - Mechanical Engineering. He married the love of his life, Billie Koenig on Dec. 29, 1957 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Cuero.
He served as an Engineering Specialist (EDO) on the USS Carpenter, USS Columbus, and USS Galveston and as Supervisor of Shipbuilding and Head of CINCLANFLT Ship Maintenance while active duty. Upon retirement from the Navy, Ed served as Project Manager for Shipbuilding and managed research for ship improvement programs for Todd Shipyard in Long Beach, California.
After returning to Cuero, he remained active in numerous endeavors including Gulf Coast Products, surveying, and substitute teaching. He served as Financial Secretary and Grand Knight for The Knights of Columbus, and was a member of Cuero Lions Club, the Green DeWitt Community, and various farm and ranch organizations.
He enjoyed spending time at the ranch, tending his cattle, sheep, and goats, fishing with his grandchildren, and enjoying life in the country. He was a founding member of Cuero Habitat for Humanity, supervising the construction of seven new homes in Cuero. He taught RCIA classes, served as Eucharistic Minister, and was Mr. Fix-It for St. Michael’s Catholic Church.
Ed is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Billie Southern; daughters, Catherine Southern, Susan Cauley, Patricia Vierra, and Theresa Southern-Prause; sons, Edward, Thomas, Joseph, and Timothy Southern; sister, JoNell Smiley; brother, Lesley Southern; and 20 grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his sons, William and David Southern.
Visitation will be Tuesday, March 12, at Freund Funeral Home from 5 to 7 p.m. with a rosary recited at 6:30 p.m. Funeral mass will be Wednesday, March 13, 10 a.m., at St. Michael’s Catholic Church with Father Jasper Liggio and Father Jacob Mendoza officiating. Interment will follow at Memory Gardens Cemetery in Cuero.
Pallbearers include Edward Southern, Thomas Southern, Joseph Southern, Timothy Southern, Johnny Goebel, and Steven Koenig.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Michael’s Catholic Church.
You may sign the guest book or send condolences at www.freundfuneralhome.com.
Freund Funeral Home, 361-275-2343.