John A. Wise
 
March 19, 1924 - May 4, 2016


John A. Wise
New Hartford and Marcy, New York
1924-2016

John Arthur Wise, lifelong resident of the Utica-Rome area, passed away peacefully May 4, 2016 in New Hartford with his daughter at his side.

John ("Jack") Wise was born in Utica, NY on March 19, 1924, the son of John Edgar Wise and Anne Bevan Wise. He was married for 55 years to Barbara Jane Busacker Wise before her passing in 2005. John was a graduate of Whitesboro High School and earned both bachelor's and master's degrees in Music Education from Ithaca College. John was well known as the Band Director at Rome Free Academy where he taught music for 20 years before becoming Director of Music and then Assistant Superintendent of the Rome City Schools. John was an accomplished trombonist and union musician with deep passions for music performance and education. The telephone often rang in the evenings with requests for John to play trombone in bands across Central New York. He was an avid, highly competitive golfer, sports enthusiast, fervent Syracuse Orange fan, and talented photographer, both professionally and for fun.

John married Barbara Jane Busacker on August 27, 1949 and is survived by his daughter, Deborah Lynne Wise Dowling of New Hartford, son and daughter-in-law, Dr. John Gregory Wise and Dr. Pia D. Vogel of Allen, TX, and the joys of his life, his five grandchildren and one great grandchild, John Michael Dowling, Kevin Sean Dowling, Jonna Lynne Dowling, Benjamin John Alexander Wise, Eric Jonah Wise, and Madison Marie Dowling.

John served his country in World War II from January of 1943 to January of 1946, in the Pacific Theater with the 4th Engineer Amphibian Brigade. John participated in combat in the Luzon and New Guinea campaigns, and took part in the occupation of Japan. At the same time, John was a trombonist in the 4th ESB Army Band. He spoke of the perks of being a musician with deck privileges to play for the troops when on transport ships, and of his "lack of chops" when ordered to play at short notice after not seeing his horn for months at a time when in theater. He returned home safely in 1946. John entered Ithaca College on the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 ("GI Bill"), completing his bachelor's degree in three years and master's degree in an additional year.

After completing his work in Ithaca, John joined the faculty at Rome Free Academy as music educator and band director, remaining in Rome throughout the entirety of his career. "Prof" Wise touched many lives as educator, musician, and friend, enriching both the students around him and his community. After completing coursework in educational administration at SUNY Oswego, John joined the administration of the Rome City School system, first as Director of Music and then as Assistant Superintendent of Schools. He remained in the latter position until his retirement in 1979. In 2007, John was inducted into the Hall of Distinction of the Genesis Group of the Mohawk Valley for his life-long contributions to education.

After retiring, Barb and Jack spent the rest of their marriage at their home in Marcy, "wintering" on the beach and golf courses of North Myrtle Beach, SC. John loved to "grind" on the links and was a member of Oriskany Hills and Beaver Brook Golf Clubs, and was a member and an active golfer at the Teugega Country Club until his late eighties. John was also an accomplished trap shooter and member of the Trenton Fish and Game Club for many years. John was an active member of the Professional Musicians of Central New York, Local 78 of the American Federation of Musicians, until he died. He was also a long time member of the Rome Elks Lodge, the Rome Toccolana Club, and the United States Golf Association.

John was predeceased by his wife Barbara, and two brothers and sister, Robert "Bob" Wise, Henry "Hank" Wise, and Marjorie Anne Wise Ryan. John was very close to his brother Bob, both maintaining roles of brother and best friends throughout their lives.

John was deeply loved as a true family man. He put his family above himself, working diligently to provide safety, comfort and educational opportunities to all those around him.Dad, "Papa", "Poppy", "Jack", and "Prof" will be sorely missed by all those whose hearts he touched, friends and family alike.

Funeral services with be held Monday, May 9, 2016 at 5 pm at the Dimbleby, Friedel, Williams and Edmunds funeral home at 40 Main Street, Whitesboro, NY with Chaplain Jill Farnham-Us officiating. Calling hours will precede the service from 3 to 5 pm. Military Honors will be presented at the conclusion of the funeral services.

Please consider memorials in the name of John A. Wise to Hospice and Palliative Care, Stevens-Swan Humane Society of Utica, or a charity of your choice. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

For online expressions of sympathy please go to www.dfwefh.com

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"Prof" Wise was the band director at RFA during our years there from 1967-70.  He was one heck of a guy.  One time in marching band we were practicing formations and I had my formation sheet upside down. So the rest of the band was on the north end of the field and I was on the south end. Through his bullhorn I hear "Di Caprio! Do you need a compass or a seeing eye dog?!" I enjoyed all 3 years in his band. Great guy.- Bob DiCaprio
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R.I.P. to a great band director - Joe Mercurio
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He was a great guy. I think of him often to this day. - Joel Cooper
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"Prof" Wise - no finer teacher or person anywhere. I can't recall the names of some of my favorites in marching band as a majorette, but I can hear him saying, Pull up #5 in your purple band book." He made me wish I had played an instrument! God speed, "Prof" Wise. I hope you knew how much we all loved you, even 46 years after graduating!! - Donna Summa
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Many of my better memories of RFA centered on band and orchestra.  John has joined CB who passed on many years ago. - Paul Andrews
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RIP "Prof"! - Debbie Hall
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"Prof" Wise was an inspiring teacher , we loved band, and he knew how to get the best out of us, even this lowly 2nd chair 3rd trumpeter , RIP - Bob Evans
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Iím saddened to see the passing of  Prof Wise. Prof had such a positive influence during my high school years. It was an honor to play in band and also march during football season under his direction. Many of our closest friendships were started in band and playing music under Prof. I became a much better Trumpet player learning from Prof Wise. R.I.P. Prof!! - Walt Kapinos
































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