Zanesville- A lifetime of service was completed by Sara Jean Wise (89) as she heard the words of her Savior “well done, good and faithful servant, welcome home” on July 14, 2017 at The Oaks at Bethesda. Her earthly body is now healed from respiratory failure and the challenges of an aging servant of God, family, and community. She was born November 22, 1927, in Thornville, Ohio, the daughter of Homer and Clara (Cover) Crist. Her childhood was one of music, church, and caring for others. She graduated from Lash High School in 1946 where she was a member of the Key Club, the high school branch of the Kiwanis with the mission to serve the children of the world. During her high school years and for a brief time following, she worked as a salesperson and window dresser for S.S. Kresge Company in downtown Zanesville. She married Harold Bell, who was the caretaker of Greenwood Cemetery. They lived in the house in the cemetery. After his untimely passing in his mid-20’s, Sara continued the work as caretaker. Can you imagine her driving a dump truck and a backhoe? Eventually her knack for numbers and problem solving led her to a job as a bookkeeper for Citizens National Bank. It was at the bank that she met Charles Franklin Wise. They married on October 6, 1956. As a young couple, they were active at Central Trinity United Methodist Church. Along with Violet Tom, Sara founded the children’s choir. She continued as the accompanist for the choir for the next 20 years. During her time at Central Trinity she was involved with the women’s missionary circle, teaching Sunday School, and assisting with the youth group. Charles and Sara had two daughters, Sheryl Lynn Wise of Zanesville and the late Ann Elaine (Wise) Hartshorn who went to heaven on May 25, 2017. Outside of her church work, Sara was always active in community service. She served as a Girl Scout leader and was chairman of their cookie drive for many years at a time when the cookies were delivered to the chairman’s house for distribution. A semi would pull up to their garage and unload cookies for the entire Zanesville area! Sara also chaired the Dolly Derby for the Girl Scouts in cooperation with Goodwill. During the time of raising her children she had become a stay at home mother, but the association with Goodwill Industries provided an opportunity to return to work as their accountant, where she worked for 10 years. Later, she became Deputy Auditor for Muskingum County from which she retired after another 20 years of service. Music was always an important part of Sara’s life. She was an accomplished pianist and organist and taught lessons in both. In 1972 Fair Oaks Baptist Church was seeking an organist to fill in while their organist was ill. This began a career spanning over 40 years of working with choir director Hazel Rambo and many pastors as their organist. She became a member at Fair Oaks and was active as a circle leader for American Baptist Women. Her community volunteer work never ceased. She was a member of the Genesis Volunteers where she was the receptionist at Bethesda Hospital front desk for over 10 years. She was a member of Muskingum Chapter #485 Eastern Star for over sixty years and twice served as Worthy Matron as well as many other offices. Eastern Star services will be held as part of her celebration. She was an avid cook, seamstress, and loved to read and share devotionals. Sara lived to love her God and to serve Him to the best of her ability each and every day.
Sara will be missed by daughter, Sheryl Lynn Wise; son-in-law Stephen Hartshorn; nieces Jackie Combs, Loretta Mertens, Nancy Summerlin, Karen Hand and Aara Wise; nephews Kenneth Crist and Andrew Wise; sister-in-law Nancy Crist; good friends Liddy Kirkbride, Hazel Rambo, Mary Evelyn Parkinson; and many others. She will be welcomed to heaven by husbands Harold and Charles, daughter Ann, brothers Paul, Lawrence and Raymond, and sister Myrtle.
A Cremation-With-Care has taken place and a Celebration of Life service will be held on July 22, 2017 at Market Street Baptist Church, 140 North 6th Street, Zanesville. Calling hours will be from 9:00 to 11:30 A.M., with the celebration at 11:30 A.M. followed by a luncheon. A private burial service will be held at Memorial Park at a later date. To honor her life of service the family asks that you bring a non-perishable food item or a school supply item to her celebration that will be donated to Eastside Community Ministries. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Fair Oaks Baptist Church, 1025 Woodlawn Avenue, Zanesville, Ohio 43701.
Dignified and professional services entrusted to BOLIN-DIERKES FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY, 1271 BLUE AVENUE, ZANESVILLE. www.bolin-dierkesfuneralhome.com