Shirley Janet Smith Wise, aged 81, died peacefully on February 21, 2018 at home in her apartment at Parkway Village Retirement Home in Little Rock, after a long satisfying life. Shirley was born March 15, 1936 in West Helena, Arkansas, the daughter of Henry W. Smith and Vada L. Hamilton Smith.
After graduation from Helena High School, Shirley moved to Memphis, TN. In 1955, while attending the Draughn Business College, she met and married James Edwin Wise, Jr. while he was attending the University of Tennessee Medical School. After his graduation in 1958, Dr. and Mrs. Wise moved their growing family to Marvell, Arkansas. Shirley worked for the Wise Medical Clinic from home as the bookkeeper and office manager, and after her three children graduated from college, she worked in the office.
Shirley was funny, known for her girlish giggles, a very intelligent woman and an accomplished pianist and organist. She performed many recitals during her school years, and won the talent competition where she was runner-up in the Miss Phillips County beauty pageant. She used this gift until no longer physically able as the pianist, organist, and choir director at each the Marvell United Methodist Church and the Marvell First Baptist Church.
Because of her great love of reading, the Wises donated the Wise Medical Clinic building to the town of Marvell which is today the Marvell Library. She often frequented the library while residing in Marvell and at the time of her death, was still interested in and was kept up-to-date by the librarian.
Shirley was a member of the First Baptist Church in Marvell, and also had close ties to her friends at the United Methodist Church. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. James E. Wise, Jr., and a grandson. She is survived by her children Pamela Sharp (husband Jeff) of Little Rock, Jim Wise (wife Lisa) of Benton, and Bobby Wise (wife Kim) of Ocala, FL, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
A brief visitation at the West Helena Roller-Citizens Funeral Home will begin on Saturday, February 24 at 10:00 a.m. followed by a graveside service to be held at Sunset Memorial Park at 11:00 a.m. conducted by Brother Justin Curtis. Pallbearers are Bill McCartney, James Futrell, John Stiedle, Dean Massy, and Chris Clatworthy. Honorary pallbearer is Robin Clatworthy.
Memorials may be made to the Marvell Library, First Baptist Church at Marvell, or the Marvell United Methodist Church.
Services will be directed by Roller-Citizens Funeral Home, West Helena, (870) 572-2571. Relatives and friends may sign the online guestbook at www.rollerfuneralhomes.com/westhelena.