Oxley-Heard Funeral Home has been serving the community since 1931.
Wilson Rose Tennille, Sr.

Wilson Rose Tennille, Sr.

December 21, 1942 - March 14, 2020     Age: 77

Mr. Wilson R. Tennille, Sr., 77 of Fernandina Beach passed away Saturday, Marc 14, 2020 at his home.

Mr. Tennille was born in Winston-Salem, NC and was son of the late Norton F. and Margaret Rose Tennille

He was raised in Winston-Salem and after graduation from Richard J. Reynolds High School he attended University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In his role as a sales representative for the Dempster Company, Wilson came to Amelia Island in the early ‘70’s and helped impellent and design a sanitation system and service for a new development, Amelia Island Plantation.

His vision for the future of Amelia Island allowed him to start Nassau Sanitation. He later created Plantation Services, a landscape and design company that serviced Amelia Island Plantation.

Among his many accomplishments, Wilson’s development of Palmetto Walk Shopping village was special to him. A collection of unique restaurants and shops set among beautiful historic oak trees is an example of his long term vision for Amelia Island. Wilson was a true “Southern Gentleman”, impeccably dressed regardless of what he was doing, he served as a mentor to many through his life.

Wilson thoroughly enjoyed being able to fish, whether it was fishing in the Abacos or fishing off his dock, it was his favorite past time. The only thing he loved more than fishing were his many dogs he had over the years. He loved all animals, but his dogs held a special place in his heart.

Wilson had a great sense of humor and was an amazing story teller. He was also the originator of what became known by his friends and family as “Wilsonisms”, such sayings as “he who shoots at nothing is sure to hit it” were representative of the advice he had to offer though “Wilsonisms”.

He leaves behind his wife of 26 years, Terri Gray Tennille; his son, Wilson R. Tennille, Jr and his wife Lynn, daughter, Cassandra B. Tennille and her husband Michael Welling, daughter, Avalee J. DeLay and her husband Scott; grandchildren, Ellington Rose Tennille, Margaret Rose Margeson, Louis Minahan Margeson and Elizabeth Gray DeLay; brothers, Ben Tennille and his wife Marty and Norton Tennille and his wife Jane.

A service and celebration of his life will be scheduled sometime in May and will be announced when finalized.

His family requests that if so desired, donations may be made in Wilson’s name to Nassau Humane Society, 639 Airport Road, Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034 or Community Hospice of N.E. Florida, 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32257.

29 Condolences

  • Chris Bryan Posted March 16, 2020 4:14 pm

    I am so sorry about the loss of Wilson. Prayers for his family.

  • Mary Alice Southwick Posted March 16, 2020 9:03 pm

    A fine man and a good neighbor

  • Tammy Stewart Posted March 17, 2020 4:04 am

    My condolences to the Tennille family. Mr. Wilson was a great man. My family worked for him for many years. May God bless you all

  • Scott Griffith Posted March 17, 2020 4:13 am

    Deep sympathy for Norton and Ben. A brother is a brother.

  • Josie Deal Posted March 17, 2020 5:24 pm

    A true Southern Gentleman and was blessed to have TERRI as his wife. She makes life better for many. Wilson will be missed. He did so much for our community..

  • Rachel Blain Posted March 17, 2020 5:36 pm

    Love to all in Wilson’s family. May your love for him and one another sustain you in this difficult time.

  • Betsy and Jake Michaelis Posted March 17, 2020 5:39 pm

    Sending all of our thoughts and prayers to your family! Wilson was loved by so many in our community.

  • Chris nuttall and anna edels Posted March 17, 2020 5:52 pm

    All our best to Terri and the whole family. We will miss Wilson a great deal on Lubbers

  • John and Michele Holbrook Posted March 17, 2020 6:05 pm

    Terri please know you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers!

  • Vicky McLaughlin Posted March 17, 2020 6:08 pm

    My deepest condolences to Wilson’s family! May you Rest In Peace.

  • Brad Goble Posted March 17, 2020 7:44 pm

    I met Wilson shortly after I moved here in 2001. Wilson was a straight shooter but didn’t seem to take anything too seriously, except enjoying life. He made me laugh.

  • Craig Rodgers Posted March 17, 2020 7:53 pm

    So sorry to hear this. He was most kind to me. His family will be in my prayers.

  • Cynthia Robertson Posted March 17, 2020 8:33 pm

    Terri I am so very sorry for your loss. Sending prayers and love to you and the entire family🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  • Loretta Pinder Posted March 17, 2020 9:18 pm

    So sorry to hear of Mr. Tennille passing, My condolence to his family,

  • Kim Carter Posted March 18, 2020 12:52 am

    I am grateful to have known this man and had the pleasure of caring for his dogs. He truly was one-of-a-kind. I hope he’s slaying them in Heaven….

  • Margo Story Posted March 18, 2020 1:18 am

    My sincere condolences to the family……..may the perpetual light shine upon Wilson.

  • Rick and Lisa Spencer Posted March 18, 2020 8:50 am

    Thinking of you all at this time. We know he will be missed by many! Sending love and prayers…

  • Crystal Craig Posted March 18, 2020 9:07 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. A good man. I loved taking care of your precious dogs all those years ago 💔🙏

  • Walt, Susan and Allison Gossett Posted March 18, 2020 10:27 am

    Such a wonderful friend, a great neighbor, a fun-loving vacation buddy, an exceptional businessman (and boss), and a true Southern Gentleman. Wilson will be missed beyond what words can express. Our love, prayers and unconditional support to Terri, Wilson Jr., Avalee, Cassandra, Ben and their families. We will forever remember his stories, wit, humor and Wilsonisms. May your beautiful memories bring you strength and peace. Rest peacefully dear friend.

  • Tom Wheeler, Maria, Thomas, and Wilson Posted March 18, 2020 2:12 pm

    Met Wilson about 1986 and yes first meeting involved fishing and his new dog. Since have fished all over with Wilson and his posse from near Hudson Bay to Venezuela including our favorite in Abaco. The passing of this fine man saddens and personally hurts all he knew him and especially Terri, Avalee, Wilson jr., Cassandra, Ben and Marty., and Norton. My bet is Wilson has figured out how to be fishing somewhere and Shasta, Khaki 1 and Rosie are close by. Probably making another long, long list for Terri, sporting perfect clothing and that mischievous smile. That constant Wilson smile will be so missed because we all knew he was always thinking about stirring something up on everybody. MISS YOU BUDDY, YOU LEFT WAY TOO EARLY.

  • Pam Bell Posted March 18, 2020 2:22 pm

    I was so sad to hear of Wilson’s passing. Praying for Terri and all the family.

  • Wyatt Pringle Posted March 18, 2020 3:38 pm

    I remember the 1st and only time I met him, he treated us like a friend.

  • Donna Panucci Posted March 18, 2020 10:02 pm

    I am so sorry for you loss, Terri. What an amazing man and inspiration to all. Love to you and your family.

  • Bill Eskridge Posted March 20, 2020 1:18 am

    Norton, Ben, and family,
    So sorry to learn of Wilson’s passing.
    Great memories of a great guy.

  • Charles Plitt Posted March 20, 2020 8:38 am

    My sincere condolences to the family on Wilson’s passing.

  • MARCY MOCK Posted March 20, 2020 11:26 am


  • director Posted March 20, 2020 1:08 pm

    Please offer my condolences, great guy, great family
    Mosby Vogler

  • Mary Coleman Weaver Posted March 20, 2020 7:32 pm

    My 95 year old mother was telling me about Wilson as a little boy when living at Cloverdale Apartments. He befriended everyone and would report news back to his mother and mine as well as to who was “bagnat” (pregnant), and anything else that might be going on. His mother was my godmother and our families go back over seven decades. So sorry for the loss of a fun loving, southern gentleman.

  • Sandy Fierro Posted March 22, 2020 2:11 pm

    I’m so very sorry, Terri. I use to work at Palmetto Walk. Wilson was a true gentle and good man. May God comfort you and your family. So very sorry.

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