A Life Full of Grace and Love
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Anne Feimster Wise
October 8, 1926 – January 29, 2019
I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore, I hate every false way.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments
Anne Feimster Wise is the eighth of nine children born to the late farmer and traveling minister, Everett and Neppie Smith Feimster, housewife, on October 8th, 1926 in Iredell County, North Carolina. Educated in a segregated public school system, she completed her early education at Morningside High School, graduating with honors. Anne’s love of knowledge as well as family encouragement, fueled her desire for higher education. Excited about being college bound, she first attended Bluefield College in West Virginia, a Christian liberal arts college founded in 1922. Her goal was to pursue an Education major with a focus on early childhood learning.
Anne’s life took an unexpected turn when her mother became ill and was diagnosed with cancer. Anne placed her educational aspirations on hold to care for her mother until her mother transitioned. With continual encouragement from her older siblings to return to college and pursue her dream of becoming a teacher, Anne enrolled at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. She relied on campus student employment and money sent from relatives to augment her scholarships and limited funds.
Very soon after settling into college life, she met Lewis Wise – an upperclassman! Lewis courted Anne while completing his Bachelor’s degree in Theology, he graduated with honors in 1947. The spark ignited at Shaw proved to be the beginning of a lifelong love story. Anne and Lewis were married on September 10, 1948. Anne graduated from Shaw University in 1950 with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Together they built a life based on love of God and family. When Lewis transitioned in February 201, they had the distinction of being married for over 67 years.
Anne and Lewis’ early life together involved frequent moves among cities in the Northeast, South and Midwest. These frequent moves were an integral building block of a young minister’s life. He was assigned to churches that were in various stages of development – from smaller, newer congregations to large established churches. Simultaneously, Lewis and Anne pursued post graduate studies at several universities.
Between 1951 and 1961, Anne and Lewis were blessed with three children. Their first born DeArmond developed a severe cold at about 11 months old and succumbed to his illness. His death had an immense impact on this young couple – yet – bolstered by their faith - they were able to move forward with his precious memory remaining in their hearts. They settled in Washington DC with two young daughters in about 1963. Anne became established in elementary education and Lewis continued at several United Methodist parishes and became employed at the Pentagon under the Department of Defense.
As their careers developed and their reputations flourished, they started saving money and searched for a home. On the heels of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act and prior to the Fair Housing Act of 1968, Anne and Lewis set out to purchase a solidly built four-bedroom home in the safe and vibrant young community of New Carrollton. They successfully obtained a mortgage for the last house built on Longbranch Drive.
When they moved in, not all the neighbors were welcoming. Shortly after getting settled in, a very scary incident occurred after sundown. Out on the front yard, there was something burning. A cross had been burned on the lawn, alerting several neighbors who assisted the family in dousing the blaze. Neighbors who had been reticent about speaking to the Wise’s now showed support for their right to live in New Carrollton. The family was assured that neighbors were looking out for their home and for their personal safety. No other incidents of this type occurred again.
Anne and Lewis continued to pursue their careers and both were recognized as trailblazers in their own right. Anne’s unique and interactive teaching techniques were noticed and admired. She was selected to return to college and became one of the first certified physical education teachers to implement structured physical fitness programs in elementary school settings– this was part of an initiative that the Kennedy administration pursued to enhance children’s physical fitness.
After retiring at a relatively early age, primarily due to medical reasons, Anne continued to serve as a substitute teacher in Montgomery and Prince Georges County. About 10 years after moving to New Carrollton, Anne also decided to attend church at Wildercroft Church of Christ which was about one mile away from home. She soon joined and became active in the church, Anne taught Sunday School and became close friends with many in the church community. There were frequent circumstances in which Anne offered her home, her time, meals, financial support and a sensitive ear to fellow parishioners. She was especially fond of the children and would take pride in their milestones and bring gifts for birthdays and graduations.
Anne’s ongoing interests included maintaining a beautifully decorated, orderly and clean home and procuring stylish, quality clothing. She took pride in furnishing and renovating her home many times including the addition of an in-ground pool and enclosed porch. Every closet is adorned with her clothing!
Once the grandchildren started coming, she, of course, thought her grands were the best and the brightest. She was more than adequately equipped to tutor, teach life lessons, bible lessons and show unconditional love for her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Despite increasing medical issues that come with age, Anne remained alert and quite clear concerning her beliefs about what was best for her medically. There was daily conversation about food and care preferences. Allowing others to care for her and make life decisions on her behalf was a challenge, however, she was always appreciative and accepted reality – begrudgingly.
The life force of Anne Feimster Wise will reverberate well beyond her earthly years due to her faith, her grounding in family and Christian values, her generosity and her ability to see the good in others. We are grateful to God for her journey here on earth for 92 years. Thank you, Mom for your strength, dedication, generous nature and love!
Ahead of her in heaven are her 8 siblings and their spouses – Margaret (Graham); Ernest (Sarah); Frank (Josephine); Howard (Ernestine); Elizabeth (Oscar); Ozella (Robert); Nellie (Maxie) and her younger brother Jim(Margaret).
Anne and Lewis will continue to live through those of us who remain: daughters - Jewyll (Hiawatha); Tonya, grandchildren – DeArmond; Hakim (Foluke); Iyana, Dion, great grandchildren – Keith, and Aniya as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews!
Celebration of Life Service in Laurel MD will be conducted on Friday, February 15, 2019, at 12:00 pm at March Life Tribute Center 7601 Sandy Spring Rd. Laurel, MD, 20707. Members of the family will receive friends from 11:00 am -12 pm at the March Life Tribute Center.
March Funeral Homes in Laurel MD is serving the Wise family.
A Celebration of Life Service in Statesville, NC will be Friday, February 22, 2019 at 11:30 am. at The First Baptist Church, Statesville, N. C. Rev. J. W . Brunson will officiate and burial will be in the Freedom Presbyterian Cemetery. Members of the family will receive friends from 10:30 am -11:30 am at First Baptist Church.
Rutledge & Bigham Mortuary, Inc. is serving the Wise family.