Richard J. “Dick” Wise (A&S’62, Law’65), 72, died February 23, 2012, after a valiant battle with colon cancer.
Dick was born and lived most of his life in Denver, Colorado, and was always proud of being a native son. Some of his early years were spent in Salida, CO where he graduated from high school. He graduated with both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Colorado.
His early career found him serving as an attorney on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a law firm in Boston, on Colorado state Senator Peter H. Dominic’s staff in Washington, D.C., and the State Department where he worked for the Under Secretary of labor Relations. He returned to Denver in 1974, working for a local law firm until he was appointed to be a Commissioner for the Industrial Commission of Colorado under Governor Richard Lamm. The final years before his retirement he was a consultant in the areas of mediation and arbitration.
Anyone who knew Dick knew he was a life-long student of many different and diverse topics. His mammoth library is full of underlined books on philosophy, art, church growth, evangelism, spiritual formation, discipleship, history, bird watching, gardening (especially bonsai), travel, anatomy, and many other subjects. Tina says that traveling with Dick required throwing out any predetermined timetable, as every local museum, historical monument, park or scenic drive would be added to the rich and varied adventure.
A man of integrity and a deep spiritual life, dick took his Christian faith seriously. He challenged himself and others to examine how closely beliefs matched behavior. As a member of Christ Episcopal Church for over 30 years, he served on the Vestry; led the Men’s group for many years; was involved in the local and state Cursillo movement; served on the Diocesan Evangelism Commission; and was a delegate toe the Episcopal General Convention from Colorado. He also taught Adult Sunday School classes and was a consultant in the areas of evangelism and church growth.
A bachelor for his first 50 years, he married the love of his life, Tina, in 1990. With not a little trepidation he took on the responsibility of raising her two sons. He loved being a husband, a father, and “Gramps” to his grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife, Tina; his step-sons, Drew Royster and Nathan Royster (Rhonda); his grandchildren, Brookelyn and David; two sisters-Donna Holcomb, Kenbridge, VA and Diane Bement (Ron), Broomfield, CO; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Donations can be made to the Christ Church Memorial Fund or The Denver Hospice, the staff of which did a wonderful job caring for Dick in his last days.