Famed wrestler, entertainer Mick Foley visits family friend at Continuing Care Center

CANANDAIGUA — It was a wish come true Wednesday for Wilma Gibson when legendary professional wrestler Mick Foley paid her a visit at Thompson’s M.M. Ewing Continuing Care Center. It had been years since Foley and Wilma Gibson had seen each other, but they had plenty of family memories to share.

Foley arrived bearing flowers and other gifts for Wilma Gibson, who has once been a neighbor and best friend of his grandmother, Doris Stocking, when the Gibsons lived in Wayland. Foley’s mom, Beverly Stocking, had babysat for Wilma’s children — Jimmy, Julie, Nancy and Susie.

“Your mom was my favorite babysitter,” said Susie Gibson, who lives in Naples. Many members of the Gibson family were there for the visit that drew a lot of attention at Continuing Care where Wilma lives.

A cornerstone of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.’s rise in the late '90s, Foley is now a best-selling author, stand-up comic and world performer. He was crossing upstate New York Wednesday on a national tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his bestselling autobiographical novel, “Have a Nice Day!: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks.”

During the visit, Foley pulled out a set of colored markers and autographed posters for Wilma representing various eras and characters played during his career. He was often called The Hardcore Legend, for his ability to absorb seemingly inhuman punishment in some of the most dramatic matches in sports-entertainment history. He also wrestled under the names Cactus Jack, Mankind, and Dude Love.

Wilma and her family reminisced about when they saw Foley wrestle years ago in Daytona Beach. Wilma talked about how close she and his mother were.

Foley’s visit was arranged through the “Wish Upon a Star” program for Continuing Care residents. Four names are drawn randomly, on a quarterly basis, by the program’s “genie.”

Wilma Gibson’s name was drawn in July. Shortly after that, Wilma’s family let Continuing Care know Wilma wished for a visit from Mick Foley.

Often people just wish for something simple, like a family dinner at a favorite restaurant or a fishing outing, said Anne Johnston, with UR Medicine Thompson Health corporate communications. Johnston said there have been unique wishes over the years — including a celebration of Ukrainian heritage, a phaser gun to kill a Klingon and an ice cream party featuring a belly dancer.

“But the one wish that was fulfilled Wednesday really stands out,” she said.