James Earl Wise

james wise

June 12, 1942 ~ September 23, 2021

Born in: Buncombe County, NC
Resided in: Candler, NC

James Earl Wise, 79, passed away Thursday, September 23, 2021.

Raised in the “Chicken Hill” area of Asheville, Earl was a son of the late James and Dorothy Wise. He was also preceded in death by his wife, Mary Alexander Wise, and his brother, Richard Wise.

Mr. Wise was an alumnus of Western Carolina University. He began his career as the budget/financial director for the American Enka Plant, and then worked in human resources for BASF until his first retirement. He then worked as bridge engineer/material inspector for the NCDOT.

He was a lifelong Mason, Shriner, Lion’s Club and Enka-Candler Fire and Rescue Department member. He was active in local politics, mentor programs with local elementary schools, at his church, Oak Hill United Methodist, and played Santa for the Marjorie McCune Center.

Mr. Wise received several awards for humanitarian services, Shriner of the Year award, and many more. He was the former president of the Lion’s Club of NC. He was also involved with youth football, community youth programs, the school board, and the Boy Scouts of America.

Earl was a proud father and grandfather, and took great pride in helping children.

Surviving are his son, David Wise, of the home; daughters, Tammy Wise (Jeff) of Largo, FL and Tracie Wise of Whittier, NC; step-daughter, Aimee W. Coulter (Jamie) of Shelby, NC; 12 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren; nephews Richard Wise and Joe Wise and their families; and niece Linda Wise and her family.

Graveside services with Masonic Rites will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, at Oak Hill United Methodist Church Cemetery, with Rev. Glenda D. Hayner officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children, Attn: Processing Center, PO Box 947765, Atlanta, GA 30394.


Graveside Service: September 29, 2021 2:00 pm

Oak Hill United Methodist Church Cemetery
277 Oak Hill Road
Candler, NC 28715

Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home - Patton Ave.
1401 Patton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28806


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Memories Timeline


  1. Daddy , you are missed more than you could ever imagine. Those early morning phone calls, that you gave us every single day , just to say “I love you” and I pray you have a beautiful day” . Our memories and laughter will go on forever. Thank you for being my best friend and most of all my father.
    I love you to the Heavens.

  2. Earl was a true gentleman. My husband Richard also met him at Enka and thought highly of him. I’ll always remember him fondly.

    My prayers go out to his family.

  3. Just wanted to say that l’m sorry to here of the loss of you dad. I have lots of memories of your dad and your family while growing up on Chicken Hill. Prayers for your family.

  4. We loved you well Earl and will miss your happy and generous presence on this Earth. Now you are with your love, Mary, in Heaven and hope it was a wonderful reunion.

  5. My Brother and my friend Earl. Dear family I pray the sweet Holy Spirit will comfort you during this time in the name of Jesus Christ.

  6. I sincerely regret not meeting, James Earl Wise, as he was the father of my girlfriend, Tamela Denise Wise. From what she and many others have explained, he was a Brilliant Thoughtful Loving Caring Man. Hopefully one day I’ll get to meet him In Heaven. God Bless

  7. To David and the girls
    and extended Family.You are all in my thought and prayers. May God keep his arms around you and give you comfort….So shocking to see your Dad has left us,but for a better place.
    ..a wonderful person,he filled a part of mine and my Boys life years ago,and was a special friend from there on,my boys adored him.No one can fill his shoes,God placed him on Earth to make it a better Place,and he did.The Candler community has lost someone with many talents,,and as they say wore many different hats…
    always was there for anyone in need..So much we could tell about his life..The way he lived his life tells the
    Story,He was one of a kind,Cherish his memories as I know you will,,Love you all,be ready to see him again
    in Heaven.
    “He will be in my Heart Forever”. He will be Missed by all who knew him,he is probably
    sitting around Gods table Smiling and eating fried chicken livers,gravy, Au Gratin potatoes and hot biscuits….Bless his heart,one of his favorite meals..gone to soon..God said,”time to come home Earl,your work on Earth is done”.

  8. Earl was a great friend to all of us in Engineering and a constant and dependable help to all of us as well. After retirement he often came to our monthly Enka/BASF Engineering Retirement breakfasts at Cracker Barrel, and we looked forward to his wit and wisdom. He will be long remembered and will be sorely missed!

  9. I worked with Earl at American Enka/BASF and served with him in Lions Club. He truly was a pleasure to work with and contributed so much to our community. My condolences to family and loved ones.
    Ron Morrow

  10. Earl was a good friend to me and Wilb. We enjoyed our golf vacations to Fairfield Glades with him and our wonderful Mary. He was such a caregiver to our community and we are all poorer without him. He has fought the good fight, kept the faith and is at home with Jesus. Goodbye for now, see you soon.
    My sympathy to his children and grands. May God give you the comfort of His Holy Spirit.

  11. My sweet beloved Uncle Earl Gone yet not forgotten, Your memory lives within me, forever in my heart uncle. Love your niece in Texas Linda Wise

  12. In the 20-or-so years I worked with Earl at American Enka/BASF, I can’t remember ever seeing him without his beaming SMILE!! He was such a great person to work with!
    Henry Letterman

  13. Dear Family and Friends,
    Scott and I were deeply saddened in learning of Earl’s passing. He always brought new insight, intriguing questions, and positive support to me when I was his Sunday School teacher a few years ago. Needless to say, he was one of my favorite students of God’s Word. May the Peace of God bring you strength for the days ahead. He was a good man. Sincerely, Sharon Byers Conner

  14. Sorry for Your loss Earl was a great friend for many years he used to drop by the shop just to say hello he will be missed.

  15. So sorry for your loss. Praying for peace and comfort. Earl was always a joy to run into around town. Loved his uplifting smile and kind words.

  16. Growing up I remember my dad David, would take to over their house and I would play and Mary, always had some kind of Baked goodies waiting for me. I know so little of his prestigious accomplishments and Services. I Miss my Grandpa deeply and the knowledge he had to teach. I know he is Dancing with Mary above the clouds, and I am Blessed to be Wise. For those who don’t know im Davids Son. <3

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