Joan Wilson Wingate, 85, our beloved wife, mother, and grandmother died Wednesday, Aug. 8, at her home. There will be a visitation Friday, Aug. 10, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. A celebration of her life will be at 5:00 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange with the Rev. John Warren officiating.

Joan was born Sept. 25, 1926 in Beaumont, to Luther and Marguerite (Mantooth) Wilson. She was the older of two daughters. She and her sister, Carol, were raised by their Uncle Ralph Wilson. Joan graduated from Beaumont High School and attended Sam Houston State College for nearly two years. After World War II broke out, she did her part to help with the war effort by working at Levingston Shipbuilding in Orange for several years.

Joan met and married the love of her life, Nicholas Matthew Wingate, Sr. after they met when he had returned from serving overseas in the U.S. Navy during World War II. They were married on June 26, 1946.

She and her husband, Nick, together ran the Wingate Meat Market in Orange for decades. This continued a family tradition of a meat business which first began in Orange around the year 1906. They raised their family while running this market including their son, Nick Wingate, Jr. as well as Nick’s daughters, Betty and Polly Wingate. Joan stood by her man throughout the years in working with him and supporting his livelihood. She always had a smile for everyone who visited the market and she knew most of them by name. The market was filled with mementoes which Nick, his son, friends and relatives had brought back from fishing trips on Nick’s oceangoing boat. Joan was always there with her support for everything they caught, even small sharks.

Above all things, Joan cherished her time with her husband and family. Joan simply glowed when her family was around. She spent many hours in the kitchen cooking her famous home cooked meals, including her famous “Sauce Piquante” which only she could do. Regardless of the circumstances, Joan was always the first to build someone up with encouragement. It was a joy to spend time with Joan and Nick in their family home listening to the stories about their lives. Their memories were crystal clear as they recalled events of their past.

Nick and Joan had been married for 66 years. They were recently asked about their long-time marriage to which Nick and Joan both smiled and said they just kept working together taking one day at a time.They said that it also helped that they had been best friends forever.

 Joan was preceded in death by her parents, her Uncle Ralph Wilson, her brother-in-law, W.L. Scott and a large extended Wingate family.

She is survived by her loving husband, Nick Wingate, Sr., her son, Nick Wingate, Jr. and his fiancée, Brenda McMullen; her step-daughters, Betty Wingate Doak (husband Kent) and Polly Wingate Miller (husband Tim) whom she raised as her own daughters; her precious sister, Carol Wilson Scott and Carol’s son, Bill, and his family.

Joan is also survived by their dear friend, Artie Longron, and her brother-in-law, Roy Wingate, and his wife, Crystal of Orange. Joan has many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews whom she was very close to and who will miss her dearly.