Dr Wise

Obituary of Dr Elton Wise

Dr. James Elton Wise SOUTH CONGAREE: Dr. James Elton Wise, 83, passed away on Saturday, August 6, 2011 at the Agape Nursing Home in West Columbia. Born in Jakin, Georgia on June 23, 1928, he was the only child of the late James Thomas and Carrie Lee Wise. From an early age, he had a thirst for knowledge, instilled in him by his mother, and he spent his entire life learning. He attended Auburn University when he was just 15 years old before joining the Navy in 1946. Stationed as a radar operator in Norfolk, Virginia, he met the love of his life, Virginia Grillo, whom he married in 1948. He is survived by his wife Virginia, his daughter Suzanne Rhoten of Lexington, SC and her husband Boyd, and his daughter Stephanie Hooker of Longmont, CO, her husband Matt, and their daughter Snezhana. Working as a civilian for the Navy, he was a pioneer in the field of Human Factors Engineering and developed a strong interest in how the brain responds to stress. He coupled this interest with his passion for education and his love of children, completing his B.S. in Experimental Psychology from Old Dominion University in 1966, his M.S. in Educational Psychology from Old Dominion University in 1968, and his Ph.D. in Educational and Developmental Psychology from the University of South Carolina in 1973. Much of his education was hard-fought, completed at night while working full-time to support his family. As part of his doctoral thesis, he conducted research to detect visual perception problems in young children in order to identify those at risk for educational problems during later years. During this time, he had the opportunity to work with many children who touched his life, particularly those with degenerative eye diseases. Later, as an educational consultant, he worked tirelessly to develop creative ways to teach basic skills to at-risk students, working toward his dream of a better education for all children. In addition to being a wonderful husband, father, and educator, he loved animals and cared for numerous strays throughout his life. He believed in giving a hand and a job to those in need, and always looked for opportunities to help those less fortunate. His primary recreation was his garden, from which he grew the most amazing vegetables each summer. His family will be receiving visitors from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at Thompson Funeral Home of Lexington on Augusta Road. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at Congaree Baptist Church on Pine Ridge Drive with Pastor Bill Messer officiating. Burial will follow in Southland Memorial Gardens on West Dunbar Road in West Columbia. The family wishes to thank all who provided care during his illness, especially the caregivers at Agape Hospice for their attentiveness during the last week of his life. Particular thanks go to Debbie, Debbie, Deborah, Kim, Katherine, and Charlene for their special touch during this difficult time. Family and friends may sign online guest book at www.thompsonsfuneral.com Family and friends may sign online guest book at www.thompsonsfuneral.com
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