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Joyce and Lyle Wilson are honored by the Todd Ruritan Club for their many years of community service. They were presented with the ceremonial key to Todd by Barry Stevens, right, club president.

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Originally published: 2013-10-22 18:00:41
Last modified: 2013-10-22 18:01:58

Wilsons given key to the Todd community by Ruritans

by Sherrie Norris

Lyle and Joyce Wilson were honored for their community service and given the ceremonial key to Todd at the annual Todd New River Festival on Oct. 12.

On behalf of the Todd Ruritan Club, in which the Wilsons have been longtime members, president Barry Stevens made the presentation with a large crowd in attendance.

Stevens described the Wilsons as "most deserving" of the recognition.

"They both have given countless hours of volunteer service to their community and Watauga County, in general, since moving their family to Todd in 1974," he said.

The Wilsons, along with their daughters Sandy and Susan, found their way to the historic town following Lyle's retirement from the United States Army.

After relocating to the area, Lyle went to work at the U.S. Post Office in Boone and became active in the Boone Civitan Club.  Joyce accepted employment at Appalachian State University.

In 1987, Lyle transferred to the Deep Gap post office, where he assumed the role of postmaster.
While there, he helped form the Deep Gap Ruritan Club and served as its first president. He and Joyce were charter members of that club, which is still thriving today.

The couple was instrumental in starting the Todd Volunteer Fire Department and was among the department's first active firefighters. Lyle served on the board of directors for several years; Joyce worked with the auxiliary, which sponsored two annual barbecue fundraising dinners for many years, as well as a yearly indoor flea market and a community Christmas dinner for many years. 

She also coordinated the Adopt-A-Highway program in Todd for 20 years, with the Todd Volunteer Fire Department contract being the first official roadside cleanup project for Watauga County.
The Wilsons also helped organize the Todd Ruritan Club and were actively involved with its many projects until health issues recently forced them to step aside.

They continue to support the Ruritan Club scholarship project and other community projects.
On behalf of her sister, Sandy Hicks, Susan Reese said, "We have always been proud of our parents -- with or without the keys to the city."