Cover photo for Kenneth Wilson's Obituary
Kenneth Wilson Profile Photo

Kenneth Wilson

November 18, 1939 — August 26, 2023


Kenneth Wilson


Kenneth Wilson, 83, slipped into a peaceful eternity on Saturday, August 26, 2023 in the company of his wife Debbie and his daughter Sandra at his residence.  Due to diligent help from caregivers, family, and friends Ken was able to stay in the familiar comfort of his home.  All those close to him share a deep sadness with his passing and will find various ways to honor his legacy.


Ken is survived by his wife, of 38 years, Debbie Wilson; two daughters, Sandra Wilson Smith and Sharon Setzer (Jeff) of Troy, SC; sister, Diane Murphy (Jerry); brother, Glenn (Phyllis) Wilson along with extended family members. He is preceded in death by his parents, Lester and Wilma Fender Wilson, and two sisters, Louise Randolph and Rita McCurry.


Ken was an admired and respected leader in the Western North Carolina business community and was the dealer principal of Ken Wilson Ford, Inc.  Previously Ken entered the car business in 1973 at Matthews Motors in Asheville and later moved to Garrett Ford in Hendersonville where he developed managerial skills.  By 1978 he and Charlie Wilde operated an independent used car lot in Hendersonville and had the opportunity to buy the Ford store in Canton in 1980.   After buying out his partner and building a new location near I-40, he was able to expose a large inventory attracting customers from a wide area.  He won numerous awards for sales and customer satisfaction, but his greatest satisfaction was going to work each day.


Ken’s energy and enthusiasm was motivational to employees and family.  He truly was interested in providing good opportunities for those in his employment.  Ken always loved a project and built the original Comfort Inn in Canton, Sandy’s Auto and Truck Plaza, and the Urgent Care facility.


His love of cattle ranching in the West began in Montana in 1992.  One of his favorite activities has been feeding the herd and watching baby calves develop during their early days.  In the last decade he has ranched in South Dakota and Nebraska.  Animals and land had a great impact on his soul.


A funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, September 1, 2023, at Waynesville Chapel of Wells Funeral Home with Ryan Jacobson officiating.  Reception will follow at the Wells Events & Reception Center.


In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your favorite charity, STAR Ranch 970 Rabbit Skin Road, Waynesville, NC  28785, or Haywood Christian Ministry 150 Branner Avenue, Waynesville, NC  28786.


The care of Mr. Wilson has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville and an online memorial register is available at "Obituaries" at



To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kenneth Wilson, please visit our flower store.


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