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James R. Wise

September 11, 1939 ~ July 10, 2018 (age 78)

James R. Wise

Age 78 of Coal City, passed away Tuesday July 10, 2018 at his home.

Born September 11, 1939 in Evergreen Park, Illinois, James Richard was a 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 together moved to Coal City, where they made their home and raised their family. Mr. Wise taught Social Studies and Geography in the Coal City Unit #1 School District for 37 years, and retired in 2000. During those years as an educator, he was influential in establishing the Teachers Union in Coal City; coached the Scholastic Bowl, and was an assistant middle school wrestling, baseball and track coach. Jim was a devoted Catholic and parishioner of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church in Coal City, and was a member of the Illinois Educators Association, as well as the Illinois Retired Teachers Association. He served as President of the Coal City Library Board, and always had a passion for social issues.

In his free time Jim took pleasure in sports, traveling and reading. He was a great collector of books and enjoyed the arts, both music and theater. He will be remembered as a great story teller, who had 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; one sister Patricia (the late Thomas) Caragher, and one brother-in-law, James Whitson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Jim was preceded by his parents; two sisters: Louise Whitson and Theresa Rener, and one sister-in-law, Madeline Sauerbier.

Cremation rites have been accorded.

The family will receive friends for a memorial visitation at Assumption Catholic Church, 215 S. Kankakee Street in Coal City on July 29, 2018 between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Services will follow on July 30, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. in the church, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated with Reverend Robert Noesen officiating.

Inurnment will be in the Braceville-Gardner Cemetery, where Jim will be laid to rest in the columbarium.

Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in Jim’s memory to the American Cancer Society, Joliet Area Community Hospice or to the Assumption Catholic Church Building Fund.

Family and friends may sign the guest book, upload photographs or share Jim’s memorial page online by logging onto:

Cremation services and memorial arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Reeves Funeral Homes, Ltd. in Coal City. (815-634-2125)

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