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Earl G. Wise, Age 88, of Elkhart Lake, passed away peacefully early Saturday Morning, June 2nd, 2012, at Libby's House in Plymouth. Earl was born on March 9, 1924 in Dallas, TX, a son to the late Rose (Silverman) and Earl Gronlund Wise Sr.
He graduated from Oak Park High School, Oak Park, ILL, and was a student at Dartmouth College when he enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II. He served in the Combat Engineers in minefield clearance and bridge building in France. After the war ended, he completed his Business Degree at the University of Texas. Earl married Ruth Gracy on December 21, 1946 in Austin, TX. They had two daughters, Sally Harral and Lucinda. They lived in Evanston, ILL.
On August 24, 1979, Earl married Carol N. Grunow at Wilmette Lutheran Church in Wilmette, ILL, and increased his family by five children.
Earl enjoyed a 40 year career with Sears Roebuck and Comp. in Chicago. He served as National Merchandise Manager for several departments and as Manager of Strategic Planning. He was the first executive to hold a meeting in the Sears Tower while it was still under construction; the attendees wore hard hats. His signature is on the top beam of the Tower. His greatest reward was acting as a mentor for his staff members. As the father of five daughters, he was especially interested in encouraging women to seek promotion.
Earl was a board member and director of various civic organizations in the Chicago area, including the Cook County Court Watchers. He served as president of the Michigan Shores Club in Wilmette, ILL. He was a board member and Planning Committee Chair for Pelican Cove, Sarasota, FL. He was honored to be a friend of Sir Edmund Hillary and enjoyed mountain camping with him.
For 20 years, Earl and Carol divided their time between Elkhart Lake and Sarasota enjoying the friendships and beauty of both places.
Earl is survived by: his loving wife Carol and daughters Sally Harral Wise of Miami, FL, and Lucinda Wise, Austin, TX. He was also Dad to his dear stepchildren and Farfar to his step-grandchildren: Jordan (Elizabeth) Bader-Grunow, Justus and Marika, Ashland; Kristen (Robert) Ricigliano, William, Greta and Anabel, Fox Point; Jason (Mary) Grunow, Sheboygan; Karen (Joshua Munter) Grunow, Kellan, Eily and Judah, Ashland; and Cameron (Leif) Olsen, Brigitta, Bergen and Henrik, Chanhassen, MN. Earl is further survived by brother-in-law: Charles (Belinda) Neibel, Mandan, ND; and by cousins Jay (Naomi) Josephs, Rockville, MD; Phyllis Hult, Rockford, ILL; and Joan Hult, Mitchville, MD. He is also survived by his former wife, Ruth Gracy Wise, brother-in-law David (Laura) Gracy, and sister-in -law Lucile Gracy Harmon, all of Austin, TX.
Memorial Services will be held on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 11:00 A.M. at Grace Lutheran Church in Elkhart Lake. The Rev. Peter Peitsch, pastor of the church will officiate.Lunch and reception with the family will follow.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established in Earl's name for Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice or Alzheimer's Research.
The Suchon Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Plymouth is serving the family.
Earl's family is grateful for the loving attention he received from the caregivers at Libby's House in Plymouth. They enriched his final year and were a blessing to him and his family. Thank you also to Dr. George Schroeder for his continued care and advice.
Suchon Funeral Home and Cremation Services - Plymouth
1317 State Road 67 P O Box 535
Plymouth, WI 53073
Published in Sheboygan Press on June 6, 2012