News

Bob Wise - original Wacco Founder

07/31/2019 10:02 AM
Wacco, Inc is sad to announce the passing of one of Wacco's founders: Bob Wise.

Robert Wilburn Wise

October 30, 1923 - July 18, 2019

Robert Wilburn “Bob” Wise, died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, July 18, 2019.

Born October 30, 1923 to Pauline and Robert F. Wise in Greensboro, Alabama, Bob graduated from Savannah High School. He then attended N. Georgia College in 1941, enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and later attended Pre Flight School in Athens, Georgia.

Attending the U. S. Naval Academy had been a lifelong ambition of his. Bob entered, graduating in the Class of ’47. He married Edythe Stephenson . Bob had sea duty aboard destroyers and minesweepers, later joining the Naval Reserves, rising to the rank of Captain.

Bob and Edythe moved to Spartanburg to join Milliken, Inc. for many years. Later, he built and managed Whitestone Chemical, now BASF in Spartanburg. He would design and operate other businesses as well, including Riceboro Chemical Co., WACCO Inc, and Enviro Air.

In his spare time he enjoyed playing golf and refereeing college football games. He was active in the Episcopal Church of the Advent where he served as Sunday school teacher and Senior Warden. His club memberships included Country Club of Spartanburg, Piedmont Club of Spartanburg, the Savannah Yacht Club, the Skidaway, and Oglethorpe Clubs of Savannah.

He is survived by a daughter, Ange Pickens (Jim); a son, Rob Wise; five grandchildren, Edy Levin (Danny), James Pickens (Kendall), Bert Pickens (Suzanne), Aimee Wise, and Robert Wise, III; and seven great grandchildren. Bob is also survived by two sisters, Polly Wise and Betty Walden; and several nieces and nephews.

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