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Col Paul E Wise Jr.

1935 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Col Paul E Wise Jr. Obituary


Col. Paul E. Wise, Jr., 81 of Middletown passed away peacefully on December 27, 2016 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Wilmington.

Paul was born in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania. He attended Pennsylvania Military College's Preparatory School (now Widener University) and Dickinson College.

He graduated with a B.S. degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Penn State University, and earned an M.B.A. from Michigan State University in Food Marketing.

As a Quartermaster Officer he taught club management for the Army and Air Force at Fort Lee, Virginia, and ultimately became responsible for the operation of 670 Army clubs and hotels. He was instrumental in the design and construction of the Hale Koa Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii that serves US Armed Services Personnel today.

Paul was a highly-decorated US Army officer, achieving the rank of full Colonel. He retired in 1982 but not before he was awarded two Legions of Merit, two Bronze Stars for meritorious achievement, four Army Commendation Medals, the Meritorious Unit Citation, the National Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal after serving two tours in Vietnam. He was the 1961 recipient of the International Food Service Executives Association's first Phillip J. Connolly Award in recognition of having the Army's Best Dining Facility in a worldwide competition. He was a graduate of the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS, and the National Defense University Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Military tours of duty took Paul and his family to Alaska, Panama and numerous stateside installations.

Shortly after his retirement from the Army, he started a Hotel and Restaurant Management Program at Prince George's Community College in a suburb of Washington, D.C.

Paul launched the next step in his career when he founded, directed and chaired the Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management (HRIM) Program at the University of Delaware. He grew the program from it's infancy to national notoriety, elevating the program to the 6th best Hotel Restaurant School in the US. After his retirement, he served as Professor Emeritus and Ambassador for the HRIM program.

Just as he envisioned, the HRIM program includes "learning laboratories" in the forms of a fine dining restaurant, the Vita Nova, and a concept hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott where the students have opportunity to work in a live hospitality setting. The program became "large enough to lead, small enough to care." Under his watch, Paul established a cooperative program with the Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality Management in Chur, Switzerland.

Paul was honored with the Cornerstone Award, a lifetime achievement award, by the Delaware Restaurant Association. He is also a member of the Hall of Fame for Outstanding Individual Achievement in the Governor's Tourism Awards.

He has been designated by the American Hotel and Motel Association as a Certified Hotel Administrator, and as a Certified Catering Executive by the National Association of Catering Executives. He was inducted into the International Military Club Executives Association Hall of Fame and became a member of the Military Club Hall of Fame. He was named the Penn State Hotel Restaurant Society Alumnus of the Year and he was identified in Who's Who in U.S. Executives in and was among People to Watch in Delaware Today. Paul received the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitor's Bureau Tourism Superstar Award.

In 2008, upon his retirement from UD, the Professor Paul E. Wise endowed Scholarship was established in his honor as was the Paul Wise Executive-In-Residence Program which features a distinguished speaker series for the University of Delaware.

He was a man of deep abiding faith who knew his ultimate destiny and longed for the day when he would enter his final rest.

Paul is survived by his wife of 60 years, Caroline and daughters Bethann Detwiler of Richmond, VA, Susan Clairmont of Elkridge, MD and Amanda Milne of Gibbstown, NJ. He is also survived by his sister, Patricia Strickler of Carlisle, PA and his nine grandchildren, Jason, Zachary, Caroline, Abram, Joseph, Jacob, Alexis, Haley, Adam and four great granddaughters, Cambria, Cara, Afton and Etta.

A special thanks to the nursing staff at the VA Hospital in Wilmington and to Hannah Smith who served as his most recent CNA caregiver. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the University of Delaware Hospitality Paul Wise Scholarship.

A Visitation will be held on Wednesday evening, January 4th from 6-8PM at the Daniels & Hutchison Funeral Home, 212 N. Broad St., Middletown, DE. Funeral services will be on Thursday, January 5th at 11AM at the Middletown Baptist Church, 419 Armstrong Corner Road, Middletown, DE. Interment with Military Honors will be in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.

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Published in The News Journal from Jan. 1 to Jan. 3, 2017
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