Mary Ada Wise • July 27, 2017




Mary Whitten Wise beloved Mother, Grandmother, and Great Grandmother, died on July 27, 2017 in Pensacola, FL.
Born Mary Ada Whitten on Sep 29th, 1920 in Roanoke, AL, She was a teacher, an artist, a mother of six and dedicated wife. Mary was also an incredible seamstress. She could sew and tailor professionally. She loved to write and correspond with many people. She had perfect penmanship at nearly 97.
Mary grew up in the country fifty miles north of Auburn, AL, without electricity or indoor plumbing. She learned chores such as milking cows, preserving foods, and raising chickens. Her father, Grady Whitten, operated a farm.

After graduating from Roanoke High School she attended LaGrange College then Troy State where she earned an AA degree in education. She was selected as Homecoming Queen while a student at Troy. There she met the love of her life, Lon Richard Wise.
Mary and Lon married in December, 1940 at her home in Roanoke, AL, the same home in which she was born. After Lon returned home from WW2 they started a family while Lon coached HS football at Hartford then Euphala, Al.
In the early 50s the Wises moved to Escambia County where Lon was principal at Century HS then came to Pensacola for a series of principalships. By this time there were six children, three boys and three girls.

Mary became a sales agent at Sears. She worked at both the downtown store on Palafox then at the new mall on Davis Highway. She was well liked and respected for her work ethics and her outgoing personality and incredible sense of humor.
Mary was a very sociable person. She never met a stranger. She loved to converse and was a good listener. She was known for her positive, happy demeanor. She was never without a smile or happy salutation.
Mary was a member of Richards Memorial Methodist until the church became inactive. She then transferred her membership to Myrtle Grove Methodist. There she set up a new network of friends which included many members of Myrtle Grove Baptist. She participated in Keen Ager activities and provided humor and entertainment on their trips. She was famous for her book of jokes from which she initiated her one woman stand-up routine.
Mary participated in exercises classes at Pensacola Athletic Center for thirty one years. Most of her later acquaintances were participants. She was a loyal follower of Sandy Crane, exercise instructor, who became her dear friend.
Mary was determined to stay healthy, fit, and lucid. She did.

Under the loving care of son Tom Wise, Mary enjoyed independence until her last days.
Mary was preceded in death by her husband of 73 years, Lon R. Wise, her younger sister, Martha Jones, her older brother, Thomas P. Whitten, and a brother, John Whitten, who died at six.
She is survived by six children, sons Whit, Tom, and Matt Wise (Karen), daughters Marilon Killam (Elton), Lane Anderson (Walker), Jena Mead (PJ) and former daughter in law Nancy Norman, grandchildren Dr. M. Whit Wise, Jena Wise, LCDR Russell Wise, Amie Birk, Patrick Mead, Marylona Wise, and nine great grandchildren, Alton, Evans, Eleanor, Roman, Ruby, Reid, Raleigh, Jack, Nell.
A visitation will be held at Pensacola Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home on Wednesday, August 2, from 5-7 pm. A funeral service will be held at Myrtle Grove Methodist Church, on Thursday, August 3, at 12:30 pm.

She will be interred at Barrancas National Cemetery on Thursday, August 3, at 2 pm.

  1. Charles Nieling says:

    It was an honor to have known Miss Mary.

  2. Jean and Walt Coggin says:

    What a wonderful person, friend, wife and Mother Mary was. She was such an attentive wife to Mr. Wise. In his latter years,, she would go the extra mile to get him to the Bellview Middle School Retiree luncheons even missing those special workout at the health club.

    How we enjoyed her sharing her family stories, trips especially the football trips to state championship games, going to Troy for homecoming at Troy trips aboard ,and the jokes she entertained us with.

    Mary was such a lovely person and like your children we will miss her. My sympathy and condolences to each of you.

  3. W. L. Stafford says:

    What a pleasure to have known Mary and Lon. My sympathy to her family and prayers for comfort for your loss. Truly a joy to have known them….

  4. Joe Neidig says:

    My deepest sympathy to all of you. Mary was quite a lady and I know you will greatly miss her. She was caring and friendly. I enjoyed listening to her tell about her various trips and events. She would describe them so vividly as though she was painting a picture with words. Once during a rainstorm Chloe became frightened and ran away while under Mary’s care. Mary had some of us looking for Chloe most of the night. Mary frequently left bags of fresh baked cookies at PAC’s check-in-counter for Roger and me (and occasionally a ham bone for Chloe). In April 2014, the last few days were the rainiest on record. Nancy and Max invited my son Mike and I for supper. After supper it was pouring rain and the sky was dark black when Mary and Tom arrived with a bag of cookies for Mike and me to munch on the next day while driving to Lancaster, PA. I will always be grateful for Mary’s friendship.
    Joe Neidig, Lancaster, PA.

  5. Alana Moodie says:

    I’m so honored to have met Ms. Mary Wise. She was a beautiful person inside and out. I will miss her beautiful smile.

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