Celebration of Life
Obituary of Gary A. Wise
Gary Wise, age 71, passed away at his home in Tucson AZ the afternoon of October 8, 2018. Born to Jack Wise and Carrie (Romans) Wise McNatt in Texas, they soon moved to Colorado where most of his formative years took place. Those years included an action filled boyhood complete with mischievous adventures, including an often told story of when his family visited a beloved aunt, Gary proceeded to remove all of the doorknobs and all cupboard knobs in her house. This marked the start of his successful machinists career and life-long penchant for understanding how something works and for fixing things. When he reached the age of 17 he heard duty call and enlisted in the Navy.
Gary graduated from the Naval Academy in San Diego, and soon shipped overseas. It was then that his career as a machinist really took hold. Oh, and his desire for adventure of course as he spent time in Hong Kong and other exotic ports of call. Then, as so many during that time, Gary was assigned duty in Vietnam. He served on the USS Nicholas before reassignment as an SP patrolling in Danang. Gary was in Vietnam for 17 months, before returning home to serve out his tour of duty on the east coast. Following completion of his service, he then returned to Colorado and more adventures.
Building on his experience from the Navy and his love of working on engines, well, working on anything really, Gary embarked on a successful career in machining and industrial sales. Gary was a natural born fixer, who never met a stranger. Those two traits combined to serve him well throughout his life.
In 1974 he met and married the love of his life, Deanna (Bird) Wise. It was then that the real fun began. Family was everything to Gary, and he spoke often of how proud he was of his sons.
Gary wore many hats in his lifetime, although his favorite was always his Navy Veteran hat! His many other hats included working in nuclear plants, machine shops, and as a mill manager for several years before transitioning into sales. Gary’s last post was with Applied Industrial in Tucson, where he was well respected and known for his success and approach, not only in that organization but throughout the greater Tucson area. He loved his time working there, and those he worked with.
True to his nature, Gary frequently gave of his time, money and energy to individuals and to various charitable organizations. Most notably, Gary was well known for his work with Bal Swan Children Center in Broomfield CO, a school for special needs children providing a welcoming environment that celebrates the uniqueness of every child by focusing on their strengths and building upon their successes. Through the time of his direct involvement, his efforts resulted in the school being able to afford a needed therapy pool, an upgrade to the kitchen, the purchase of new wheelchairs and therapy equipment, and an upgrade to the playground. Using his unique skills and abilities (never meeting a stranger and always looking to be of help), Gary organized the Chad Everett Celebrity Tennis Tournament which was an annual fundraising event. He was proud that he played a part in the success of this school.
Being the social person that he was, Gary was involved in many bowling leagues throughout his lifetime, was a member of the American Legion, and although he had passed the normal age of retirement, Gary continued to work and be a productive contributor. He loved working and being useful; he gave back in so many ways. Always wanting to see someone grow, he was a natural born mentor to whomever would listen. Gary had a way of making conversations about bearings and sprockets even seem fascinating!
Gary will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 44 years, Deanna (Bird) Wise, his children Greg (Crystal) Wise and Michael (Corrie) Wise, his adorable grandchildren, his sister Dana (Larry) Schmidt, his brother-in-law Don (Kathleen) Bird, his sister-in-law Laura (Mike Gabrielson) Bird, and the many nieces, nephews, cousins and very dear friends he made over the years.
Gary was preceded in death by his son, Mark Wise, and by his parents Jack Wise and Carrie (Romans) Wise McNatt.
Services will be held on Monday, October 15, 2018 at Bring's Broadway Chapel, with the Navy performing military honors at the start of service at 2:00 p.m. Following this service, a Celebration of Life will be held at The Village Church - 1926 N. Cloverland Avenue, Tucson AZ.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in memory of Gary to a charity of your choice.