Cremation rites have been accorded.
The family will receive friends for a memorial visitation in Assumption Catholic Church, 215 S. Kankakee St., Coal City, Sunday, July 29, from 2 until 6 p.m.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Rev. Robert Noesen Monday, July 30, at 10 a.m.
Inurnment: Braceville – Gardner Cemetery.
James Richard was born September 11, 1939 in Evergreen Park, son of Orlando Patrick and Marjory Hiatt Wise.
He was a 1957 graduate of Spalding Institute in Peoria; went on to receive his BA in Political Science from Quincy College, and later earned his Master’s in History from Indiana State University in Terre Haute.
On August 20, 1966, Jim married Rita Sauerbier in St. Peter Catholic Church in Piper City. Soon after marriage they moved to Coal City, where they raised their family.
Mr. Wise taught Social Studies and Geography in Unit #1 District for 37 years, retiring in 2000. He was influential in establishing the Teachers Union in Coal City, coached Scholastic Bowl, and was assistant middle school wrestling, baseball and track coach.
A devout Catholic and parishioner of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Coal City, he was a member of the Illinois Educators Association and Illinois Retired Teachers Association. He served as president of the Coal City Library Board and always had a passion for social issues.
Jim took pleasure in sports, traveling and reading. He was a collector of books and enjoyed music and theater. He was a great story teller with a dry sense of humor.
Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Rita; three children: Kathryn (Carl) Mueller of Gibsonia, PA; John (Meghan) Wise of New Lenox; and Ann Wise of Chicago; four grandchildren: Gabrielle and Elena Mueller and Brody and Avery Wise; a sister, Patricia (the late Thomas) Caragher; a brother-in-law, James Whitson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Louise Whitson and Theresa Rener; and a sister-in-law, Madeline Sauerbier.
Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in Jim’s memory to the American Cancer Society, Joliet Area Community Hospice, or Assumption Catholic Church Building Fund.
Family and friends may sign the guestbook, upload photographs, or share Jim’s memorial page online at:
Arrangements were under the direction of Reeves Funeral Homes., Ltd. of Coal City.