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Published: Thursday, 6/14/2007

Perrysburg teacher was mentor for students

Patty Wise, 64, an English teacher at Perrysburg High School the last 20 years, died Sunday in Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, from complications of a viral infection.

She became ill in mid May. Still, from her room at St. Luke's Hospital, she spoke with the substitute teacher. Her husband, David, helped her put students' grades in her grade book.

"She was keeping an eye on her students, making sure they were getting what they needed," Mr. Wise said.

She was widely respected at Perrysburg High School, Principal Michael Short said.

"Everybody looked at Patty as one of the kindest, most caring people on the staff," Mr. Short said. "She really cared about students and seeing them progress. Kindness almost radiated from her."

She kept puzzles and toys at her desk so students kept hands - and minds - occupied while waiting to speak with her. And she kept a supply of peppermint patties, "which she said were brain food," her husband said. "And if they did well, she'd give them brain food."

"She dearly loved the children and to expose them to literature and new ideas and thoughts," he said.

She was an artist and incorporated art into student assignments. Posters and artwork, student projects, even a William Shakespeare action figure might be on display.

"Her room was so unique," her son, Jim, said.

She also tried to connect literature with students' interests.

"She was kind of a mentor, helping students look forward to college and careers," her son said.

She was born Patricia Ann Klick in Philadelphia and graduated from high school in Allentown, Pa.

Her family - including her father - had been in the Lutheran ministry for generations.

She was a graduate of Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, where she was named Miss Greek and was president of Kappa Delta Sorority. She and her husband met there. She later received a master's degree from Eastern Michigan University.

She taught in Garden City, Mich., while her husband attended University of Michigan law school, and at McCord Junior High in the Sylvania school district. She then took what the family jokingly refers to as an "18-year maternity leave" to care for her children.

She was a docent at the Toledo Museum of Art during that time. She also wrote and illustrated Sunday school curricula used in Lutheran churches nationwide.

She was a member since 1978 of Zoar Lutheran Church, Perrysburg. "She dearly, dearly loved the Lord, and there was no question in her faith," her husband said.

Mrs. Wise was known for her infectious laughter and for opening her home to many.

"So many friends have been welcomed as family," her son said. "People from all walks of life have said that as soon as they met mom, it took no time at all to feel a part of mom's family."

Surviving are her husband, David Wise, whom she married Aug. 13, 1966; daughters, Katherine and Amy Wise; son, James Wise, and sisters, the Rev. Laura Klick, Dorothy Nye, Izzy Harvey, and Peggy Davis.

Visitation will be from 6 to 9 tonight and from 2 to 9 p.m. tomorrow in the Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, Perrysburg. Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in Zoar Lutheran Church, Perrysburg.

The family suggests tributes to the scholarship fund for Perrysburg High School students at Wittenberg University that is named for her late son, Michael, or the Zoar Lutheran Church endowment fund.



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