Camden School Advisory Board President Martha F. Wilson, a crusader for children in the city of Camden and the wife of Camden County Sheriff Gilbert “Whip” Wilson, died this morning. She was 67. Her death was sudden, but not caused by COVID-19.
“Martha Wilson was a beacon in the city and someone who dedicated her life to making it a better place,” said Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli in a statement announcing her death. “It was no secret that Martha has been part of the dynamic team of leaders bringing the Camden School District back to prominence and has gone above and beyond for the students in all the city’s schools.”
Cappelli credited Wilson with helping to recruit a new state schools superintendent and setting the troubled local school system on a path to increase graduate rates and substantially lower the dropout rate.
“She was the cornerstone of our community and someone you could always count on to roll up her sleeves and get the job done,” Cappelli said. “We will miss Martha’s smile, integrity and intelligence, and we will miss her constant presence in the city and at every district event.”
Rep. Donald Norcross (D-Camden) issued a statement praising Wilson’s leadership as a pillar of Camden.
“My heart is broken over the passing of my dear friend Martha Wilson,” Norcross said. “Martha was truly one of the pillars of the Camden community and the entire city will feel this loss. Martha was a tireless advocate for our children whose years of service and leadership on the Camden City School Board as well as the New Jersey School Boards Association will leave a lasting legacy for students across our state. I’ll always remember Martha for her wit, kindness and grace, and above all for her love and devotion to her husband, partner, and best friend, my longtime colleague Sheriff Whip Wilson. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Wilson family during this difficult time.”