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Wade was born on Feb. 1, 1959 in Greenville, Texas to Glenna and Charles Wilson. He began his life in Wolfe City, Texas, attended elementary school in Quitman, Texas and grew up in Commerce, Texas where he graduated from Commerce High School and attended East Texas State University (Texas A&M University-Commerce).
Wade's favorite Bible verse was James 4:10: "Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up." It was by this scripture, Wade lived his life. He was humble, thoughtful, sensitive, and kind. He was a private man.
Wade was an athlete and loved all sports, but his love for football was apparent at an early age. There are those who believe Wade was born with a football in his hand. Wade excelled at punt, pass, and kick competitions for youth, and advanced to the state competition in Texas Stadium at Irving. He was an All-District quarterback for the Commerce Tigers and an outstanding quarterback for ETSU, where he was named NAIA All-American.
In 1981, Wade was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings where he played quarterback for 10 years. He also played for the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys, and ended his professional playing career with the Oakland Raiders in 1999. He was the NFC's leading passer in 1988, with a 91.5 passer rating that earned him Pro Bowl honors. He served as Troy Aikman's backup quarterback when the Dallas Cowboy's won Super Bowl XXX. In 2000, Wade began his NFL coaching career when he became the quarterback coach for Troy Aikman and the Dallas Cowboys. He served as the quarterback coach for the Chicago Bears, where he coached in Super Bowl XLI, and the Dallas Cowboys and had the opportunity to coach many fine quarterbacks, including Tony Romo and Dak Prescott. He was released from the Cowboys in 2018. In 1985, Wade was diagnosed with diabetes. He was a courageous competitor who overcame the disease to become an NFL starter at a time when it was widely believed that an insulin-dependent diabetic could not possibly quarterback an NFL team. Through diligence and education, Wade learned to manage his disease and enjoyed a 36-year career in the NFL, both as quarterback and coach. Wade worked tirelessly to promote diabetes education and research and has continually raised money for the American Diabetes Association.
Wade was devoted to his children who will cherish the memories of the backyard barbeques, playing catch in the driveway, and "piling up" on the coach for family nights at home. Wade balanced a demanding career to ensure his children felt the love he carried for them in his heart, always. A friend, a mentor, a leader, an inspiration, Wade's unexpected death has saddened many who loved him.
Wade is survived by Sherry Gehrking, his partner of 20 years; his four children, Travis and his fiancé Kathleen, Hayden, Sophie and Cole; and their mother Kathryn Troutt and her mother Greta; his father William Charles Wilson and wife Sharon; his sister Charlotte Wilson Sheets and husband Joe; and his brother David Wilson and wife Karen.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Glenna.
He will be missed by cousins, nieces, nephew, friends, and former colleagues and teammates.
In lieu of flowers, the family of Wade Wilson has asked that memorial contributions be sent to the American Diabetes Association to honor his legacy at https://tinyurl.com/Wadeada.
Services: Visitation will be held 4-5:30 p.m. at Park Cities Baptist Church, 3933 Northwest Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75225.(recommended parking is in the parking garage located on the east side of the campus). Funeral Services will follow at 6 p.m. Wade will be laid to rest Sunday at a private graveside service at his family's cemetery.
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