her Life

Mrs. Nan Wise was born Leonia "Nan" Jackson on May 3, 1915 in Kellyton, Alabama in Coosa County as the only child to Margaret Jackson who passed on when she was one and a half years old. She was raised by her grandmother,Liza Jackson, and aunt, Cora Jackson Leonard, in Alexander City, Alabama.

Nan started school at the age of five and was skipped a grade

due to her advanced educational acumen. After being promoted

to the sixth grade, but not continuing her formal education, her

wisdom and 100-plus years of being "Wise" continued to progress

ahead of her years.

At the age of twelve, Nan joined Bethel Baptist Church (Alexander

City, Alabama) under the pastoral care of Reverend

M. Nunn. While under his leadership, she expressed an interest

in learning how to play the piano. Reverend Nunn obliged by

paying for her piano lessons for one year. She completed the

first grade in music, beginning her love for and career in the

ministry of music.

At age fourteen, Nan began playing the piano for Bethel Baptist

Church Sunday school, continuing her musical roots and

expanding her ministry of music over 4'1 years. In addition to

Bethel Baptist Church, she played the piano and organ for various

churches and organizations including: Early Rose District

BTU Sunday School Convention and Association (Tallapoosa

County, Alabama), Morning Star BTU Sunday School Convention

and Association (Coosa County, Alabama), and numerous

other churches throughout both county districts.

Mrs. Wise retired from music in 1977, receiving - under the

new pastoral leadership of Reverend E.B. Burpo, Jr. - Great

Bethel (formerly Bethel) Baptist Church's service award for

faithful service in the ministry of music from 1930-1976. She

faithfully continued her membership at Great Bethel Baptist

Church (Rev. Dr. Emerson Ware, Jr., Pastor) throughout her

remaining 101 years and-22 days oflife.

Nan married the late Roosevelt Wise of Alexander City, Alabama

on November 29,1951, becoming the stepmother of Lucille

Wise Blair of Cincinnati, Ohio.

She is the mother of two sons, the late Cleo Jackson of Alexander

City, Alabama and Garland Wise (Frankie.Wise) of Tuskegee,

Alabama. She shared motherhood with the late Cora "Shug"

Lee of Alexander City, Alabama, for James Ralph Cameron

of Birmingham, Alabama, born to her cousin, the late Naomi

Cameron of Alexander City, Alabama.


Mrs. Wise is the proud grandmother of Lucille Blair's children:

Eugene Blair (Dawn Blair) and Nancy Blair; James Ralph

Cameron's daughter: Chaundra Cameron; and Frankie and

Garland Wise's children: Monica Rene Wise, Michele Rhonda

Wright (Terry WrighQ, Michael Roosevelt Wise, Marcos

Reginal Wise, and Marshalette Rolanda Wise. She is also a

great grandmother and a great-great-grandmother.

Beginning at age 13 and continuing throughout her entire life,

she worked for countless churches, homes, and organizations

including: St. James' Episcopal Church (The Rev. Reb St.

Germain-Iler, Rector) in Alexander City, Alabama where they

officially named their nursery "Nan's Place" in honor of Mrs.

Wise's many decades of dedicated employment and service.

Mrs. Nan had a very special place in her heart for all the children

who blessed her life including Anne Watwood, her adopted

granddaughter and the daughter of Mrs. Nancy Watwood and

the late Dr. John Watwood. She was caregiver to Anne for

over 30 years. She enjoyed every moment and appreciated and

valued each of her employers - too numerous to name.

Mrs. Nan Wise celebrated her l0lst Birthday on Tuesday, May

3, 2016, with her family and friends. She peacefully transitioned

on Wednesday, May 25,2016, with an abundance of love that

she so unselfishly shared over a century of life.

The evening before she transitioned, she blessed her son,

Garland Wise, and those around her by joining her adopted son,

James Ralph Cameron, in singing her favorite song, "Precious

Lord, Take My Hand".