Willy Wiseman was my stepdad for 30 years. Together, he and my mom, Eve, lived at various times in Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, and finally Tennessee, where they moved in 2000 to be near our family. Willy enjoyed spending time entertaining and visiting with the many people who knew and loved him. He was treasured for his talent as a storyteller, his excellent skills as a cook, and his willingness to help anyone in need. Early in my career, he and my mom helped me move so many times he said the furniture still shook every time he got near it.
Willy was a true character. He often told the story of removing his own braces so he would look old enough to join the service. He served in the U.S. Army at Ft. Benning, GA, and was honorably discharged as an instructor in the Airborne School. He also served as a cook during his time at Ft. Benning, and continued to use his culinary skills to our delight until just several months before his death. Willy’s most coveted creation was his masterfully prepared smoked tenderloins. He cooked them as joyfully for family celebrations as he did for a group of homeless men at Room at the Inn. He willingly shared his cooking techniques with the many people who joined him at the smoker with a bottle of beer or a glass of wine in hand. He and my mom taught most of his grandchildren to fish, and he spent hour after hour restringing as many rods and fish hooks as needed in the process. In his later years, Willy enjoyed following his grandson, Allen’s, college baseball career.
Willy’s legacy of helping others continues with his willed anatomical donation to the Medical Education and Research Institute of Memphis, TN. A celebration of his life is planned for a future date. Willy is survived by his devoted wife of 30 years, Eva C. Wiseman of Franklin, TN, his grown children from a previous marriage; his loving stepchildren and their spouses: Diana and Kenny, Shelly and John, and Doug; his grandchildren and their spouses Kelly and Jimmy, Allen and Crissy, Rachael, Noah and Emelyn; and his great grandchild, Jay.
Willy will be missed more than he could have known. We were blessed to have him in our lives.