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West Columbia—Funeral services for Robert M. “Bob” Wise will be 2:00 pm Friday August 9, 2019 at Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church. Burial will follow in Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church Cemetery. Visitation will be 5-7 pm Thursday August 8, 2019 at Barr-Price Funeral Home Lexington Chapel.
Robert M. ‘Bob’ Wise, passed away on Monday August 5, 2019 following a life of devoted service to those around him. Son of the late Claude K. Wise and Lucille H. Wise, he was born in Prosperity, SC. A 1950 graduate of Brookland-Cayce High School and a 1953 graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University, Bob Wise was a leader in the community, in the church, and in his family, serving others in countless ways.
He was elected again and again by his neighbors to represent them on the West Columbia City Council. He served on City Council for 12 years (1977-1989), six of them as Mayor Pro-Tem. During this time, he represented West Columbia as a member of the Finance, Administration, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee of the National League of Cities. Bob worked to make West Columbia and Lexington County a better place for all, serving as a member, past President, and Treasurer of the Lexington County Development Corporation.
Ever active and visible in the community, Bob Wise was a Charter member of the Cayce-West Columbia Jaycees (1957).
He served as President of the CWC Jaycee Chapter in 1962, and for his service he was named a Junior Chamber International Senator in 1967. The South Carolina Jaycees established the “Bob Wise Award” in his honor, presented annually to the local Jaycee chapter in South Carolina having the most outstanding community development project. He was named Outstanding Young Man in the Cayce-West Columbia area in 1962.
He was a member of the Cayce West Columbia Lions Club for over 50 years, and served as President of Cayce-West Columbia Lions Club in 1983. He received the Dr. Franklin G. Mason
Fellow Award in 2012 for 50 years of service to Lionism. He was personally responsible for making West Columbia a cleaner city, selling hundreds (perhaps thousands?) of brooms to raise funds for Lions charities. Following two decades of active board involvement, he served as President of Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce in 1983. His tireless efforts on behalf of the business community were recognized in 2014 with the Greater Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award. Bob was partner and President of Wise Furniture Company for 43 years. The local family business was actually started in 1946, where he worked part time while in school. As President and partner he was always engaged with the people around him. He was a member of the Southern Home Furniture Association and National Home Furnishing Association, and served as President and Secretary/Treasurer of the Greater Columbia Retail Furniture Dealers Association. Bob lived his Christian faith daily, and was an energetic member of Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church for over 70 years. During these decades of his faith journey, he was elected by the congregation to multiple terms on Church Council, twice serving as President of the congregation. He served as church Treasurer, and worked diligently for over 30 years on the Finance Committee. He taught adult Sunday School classes for over 50 years, and served as President of the Mt. Tabor Lutheran Men. Bob’s service to his community and his dedication to the church were exceeded only by his love of family. He was married to his devoted wife Betty (Monts) Wise for one week less than 66 years. He is survived by his daughter Gale McLeod (Bobby); son Allen Wise (Willette); by four grand children: Sarah Gaston (Will); Mary Beth McLeod; Evan Wise; and Robert Wise; and by two great-grand children, Alice and Jane Gaston. He was pre-deceased by his sister, Delores Hutchinson, and is survived by his brother-in-law, Carroll Hutchinson. After decades of work at Wise Furniture, his retirement included many (mostly) relaxing days on the golf course at Indian River. He was the benefactor of many happy tailgates for family and friends at Death Valley and followed his beloved Clemson Tigers in whatever sport happened to be in season. Most of all, he enjoyed sharing meals and conversation with his much loved family and friends. The family extends deepest thanks to Dr. Frederic Smith, Dr. Rodney Rhinehart, and to the Caregivers from Right at Home for their care and attention. Memorials may be made to the Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church Capital Campaign Fund.