Columbus-born comedian Tim Wilson, 52, died Wednesday of a heart attack at St. Francis Hospital. His manager Chris DiPetta said visitation will be held Sunday at Vance-Brooks Funeral Home on Macon Road. The funeral will be Monday. Times have not been announced.
Born Timothy Collins Wilson, in Columbus in 1961, Wilson was a stand-up comic and a country music artist, with his act combining both.
The Brookstone graduate made a name for himself with humorous country songs such as “Garth Brooks Ruined My Life” and “First Baptist Bar & Grill.” He also co-wrote Jeff Foxworthy’s hit “The Redneck 12 Days of Christmas.”
In addition to releasing more than a dozen albums, Wilson was a frequent guest on radio shows such as John Boy and Billy, Bob and Tom and Big D and Bubba. He also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
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Wilson could sometimes be seen at open mic night downtown at The Loft, owner Buddy Nelms said Thursday.
“Tim would just walk in (on open mic night) and try his new jokes on the Columbus market,” Nelms said. “We didn’t know when he would show up, but it was always a treat.
Nelms said a lot of folks are in shock, but that “Tim lived large.”
“He was a big, vibrant person,” Nelms said.
Wilson recorded some of his stuff in Columbus with Nelms. The business owner said Wilson was a “crafty vocalist who could imitate anybody.”
Wilson also was known as a real history buff.
He cowrote the book “Happy New Year — Ted” with Roger C. Keiss on his theory that Ted Bundy was responsible for a couple of the “Stocking Stranger” killings that crippled the area in the late 70s. Carlton Gary, the man who has been convicted for several of those rapes and killings, is actually in town this week requesting a retrial.
Fellow comedians took to Twitter to express their condolences.
Daniel Whitney, aka Larry the Cable Guy, said, “Horrible news. Comedian Tim Wilson passed away tonight. I hope you were one of the lucky ones that got to see him preform. One of the best.
“Tim was a mentor and friend to a lot of us comedians who started in the south, Him, (Jeff) Foxworthy and James Gregory. One of the big 3. Hat off.”
Ron White, who is scheduled to performed at the RiverCenter tonight, said Wilson will be missed in the comedy community.
He is survived by his wife and two children.
Here are a few videos of Wilson:
This one is a bit longer:
To watch more of Wilson, click here.