“For God so Loved the World.”
Kenneth Wise, of Lake Limestone, passed away on August 10, 2023.
There will be Visitation at Groesbeck Funeral Home on Saturday, August 19, 2023, from 9:00 - 12:00 noon.
Funeral services will begin at 1:00 p.m. in the First Methodist Church of Groesbeck, with Rev. Ben Huebner officiating. Burial will be in Hawkins Cemetery in Arlington, TX. at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 19th.
Kenneth Odell Wise was born October 23, 1934, on a kitchen table in Burkburnett, Texas, the oldest of two children, and son to Lydia Frances Wortham and Paul Odell Wise. He was raised by his mother and his stepfather Alvin Farrell Barton. In his early years, he lived in Burkburnett and Wichita Falls, Texas graduating from Wichita Falls High School and eventually Texas Tech University with a degree in Architecture.
On Sunday, November 3, 1957, Kenneth married the love of his life, Donna Marie Hawkins, at 23 years old, while on a short leave from the Navy. They celebrated 62 years of marriage until his bride passed on October 4, 2020.
While living in Lubbock, their son Todd Kenneth Wise was born (1962). From Lubbock, they returned to Wichita Falls for Kenneth’s work as an Architect and soon after, their daughter Alisa Marie Wise-Phillips was born (1965). After Wichita Falls, Kenneth moved his family to the Houston area, eventually settling in Alief, Texas.
In 1981, longing for a little space, they moved to 3 1/2 acres in Fulshear, Texas and remained there until he retired to Lake Limestone in 2000. After the death of his wife, Kenneth became a resident of James L. West Center for Dementia Care in Fort Worth, Texas where he spent his days as an active and well-loved resident, contributing greatly to his immediate community and enjoying visits from family and friends.
While in the Navy (19571959), Kenneth ventured across the globe on the aircraft carrier USS Essex CVA-9 as an Aerographer 3rd Class Petty Officer, where he was responsible for the ship’s weather forecast, weather maps, measuring air pressure, temperature, wind speed, and direction. His ports of call included: Rhodes, Greece; Naples, Italy; Genoa, Italy, Valparaiso, Chile; the Philippines.
Kenneth’s architectural career focused on projects in the Houston area where he built a successful practice, Kenneth Wise Architects, Inc. Notable projects included Twelve Oaks Hospital, Ben Taub Emergency Center, Houston MTA, Surety Savings, Hoechst Celanese in the Texas Panhandle and the George Observatory in Damon, Texas. He was the architect of his own homes in Fulshear and Lake Limestone, Texas. In 2000, he semi-retired and began enjoying lake life, but still dabbled in a few architectural jobs in Waco, Groesbeck’s Hospital renovations, First Methodist Church, and a bank in Teague, Texas.
Kenneth loved baseball. Playing baseball, coaching baseball, or watching baseball it did not matter, as long as it was baseball. As a young adult, he played first base for a semi-pro baseball team (the Burkburnett Oilers). He loved attending Houston Astros games in the Astrodome with his family, arriving early for batting practice, with an Antone’s po’boy in hand.
Kenneth was an accomplished watercolor artist painting beautiful landscapes and architectural renderings. He also enjoyed watching movies and musicals. “Shane” was by far his favorite movie. Sitting inside the screened-in porch at the lake with his cup of coffee watching the blue jays, cardinals, hummingbirds, and other wildlife at the lake gave him such joy.
While living at Lake Limestone, he made many good friends and always loved when his family came to visit. He attended Groesbeck Methodist Church for a long period and loved singing in the choir and special Christmas cantatas, men’s bible studies, and helping with the architectural needs of the church.
Among his greatest loves were his grandchildren, Nathanael Reed Phillips, Cody Odell Phillips, Eden Anne Wise, and Arwen Shea Wise. Known to them, as Poppa, he instilled in them the love of laughter, art, baseball, fishing and so much more. He enjoyed attending their piano and choral recitals, soccer, baseball, rugby games, and high school and university musical theater productions.
Kenneth is preceded in death by his wife, Donna Marie Hawkins-Wise, and parents, Lydia Frances Wortham Barton and Alvin Farrell Barton.
Kenneth is survived by his son, Todd Kenneth Wise, and daughter-in-law Kimberly Anne Wise of Weatherford, Texas; daughter, Alisa Marie Wise-Phillips and son-inlaw Reed Phillips of Lake Limestone, Texas; grandsons: Nathanael Reed Phillips of New York City, NY and Cody Odell Phillips and his wife, Katie Lynn Jackson-Phillips of Jonesboro, Arkansas; granddaughters: Eden Anne Wise and Arwen Shea Wise of Weatherford, Texas.
Husband, father, Poppa, cousin, uncle, and friend – We love you MORE!
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