Mary Wilson, the widow of Bills founder and Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson spent almost an hour thanking fans as they made their way through the Memorial Celebration set up in the Bills Fieldhouse Saturday. The first two fans she thanked were Dennis Brown and Regina Moultrie.
“That’s was a big shock. She came up and said, ‘I like your outfit’ and I wasn’t really paying attention because I’m waiting to sign the (registry) book and I’m like, ‘Oh thank you.’ And then I’m looking at Regina and she’s making this face and I turn around and say ‘Oh God,’” said Brown. “But she was really, really nice. That was really, really nice.”
Brown, who made his way to Canton back in 2009 to watch Ralph Wilson’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony was touched by Mrs. Wilson’s presence as was fellow fan Regina Moultrie, who also felt the display in the Bills Fieldhouse was a fitting tribute.
“I think they did him well. There’s a lot of history here that I didn’t know,” Moultrie said. “For all I knew he was just the owner of the Bills. I found out a lot of things in the past week and a half from the news reports. It’s just amazing to see so many people come out and then Mary Wilson gave me a hug, so that was pretty amazing.”
“It feels real good to be a Bills fans today,” said Brown.
For those fans that Mrs. Wilson could not personally thank Mrs. Wilson issued the following statement.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank Bills fans and people everywhere for their tremendous outpouring of love for Ralph. Their heartfelt condolences and warm wishes have truly been a comfort for me, Ralph’s daughters Christy and Dee Dee, Mary Owen and the entire Wilson family during this difficult time.
“Ralph loved his life and he had a great full life that touched so many people in a variety of ways. He loved his family and his many friends. He loved his Buffalo Bills and he loved the fans. Before he passed, he told me that he wanted people to celebrate his life after he was gone. He wasn’t big on tears. And so that’s why we are referring to events such as the one today as “celebrating” the life of Ralph Wilson.
“This man accomplished so many things during his time and most of them have been well documented in the past couple of weeks. But the one thing that everyone has mentioned in their kind words was his sense of humor and that certainly was one of his most endearing qualities. Ralph most likely would have offered a funny quip about today’s event. But at the same time, he would have been profoundly touched by the fans outpouring of emotion.”
Tags: Mary Wilson, Ralph Wilson
Posted in Inside the Bills