Evonne Wise – beloved matriarch, faithful wife, dear friend, gifted artist, dog lover and proud Democrat – escaped the relentless indignities of time and flesh following a stroke and brief hospitalization.
The canvas of Evonne’s life was richly colored by family in the Tacoma home of Fred and Nona Matzat, an only child but surrounded by a large extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins. She met her soon-to be husband, George “Pete” Wise at a USO dance at Fort Lewis, where he was stationed, and they were married in 1950. Four daughters followed during his postings in Alaska: Rebecca (Dennis) Drewes, Kathie (Simon) Wise Willmore, Debby (Rick) McLain, and Pam (Beth Lolley) Wise. In due time, she was further blessed with five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Evonne’s life was highlighted by artistic pursuits, and she excelled in many media, from domestic design to traditional crafts to fine arts. Her liturgical work graces houses of worship in the U.S., England, and Europe. She also enjoyed several trips to England, first with Pete and later her grown daughters, further coloring her life; always the enthusiastic Anglophile, she even adopted several of her dear Westie companions there.
The darker, more somber colors on her canvas were applied by the premature deaths of grandson Zachary, husband Pete, and children Debby and Rick, all within a relatively short period in the 1990s. She bore it all with grace, buoyed by her liturgical and secular artwork in paint, textiles, beading, and interior decorating, as well as the love of a progression of canine companions, and enduring bonds with her offspring. Her move to Vashon, in 2006, provided more opportunities to pursue her love of gardening and interior decorating, while also being nearer to her remaining children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and developing lasting friendships in her new Maury community.
In her final years, Evonne, was blessed by the assistance of caregivers fromVashon Care Network and TheKey – sincerest thanks to them, and to the staff of Swedish Cherry Hill 3E, whose care eased her passing.
Evonne’s love of life, people, and animals will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her. May she continue to be an inspiration to us all! Memorials may be made to your favorite animal welfare organization, ACLU, or Southern Poverty Law Center.
Memorial service will be held April 22, 2023 at 2:00 PM, Trinity Lutheran Church, 12115 Park Ave S, Tacoma, WA