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Vance called me a few minutes ago to tell me of Bill's passing.

He died early this AM.

I would appreciate it if the news could be posted at Gunshop and SSM.

Cards and letters I'm sure would be appreciated

Rosalie Wise
246 Delaware Ave.
Harrington, DL 19952

RIP, Bill.

Charles M. Hill


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Sad news indeed. Bill will surely be missed. I always appreciated his candor. And his inspiration to me. Rest in peace Bill.
Chris

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Oh Bill, Bill , Bill.
I am welling up...what a brave , couragous & wonderfull man...i thought he was to tough to die.
I am so very very sorry.
My thoughts & prayers go out to his family & friends,
This is soo sad
God Bless Bill Wise
Frank

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This is a huge loss for all of us. I along with many who belong to this bbs were personal friends with Bill.

May God bless him, Rosalie and his family

God Bless you Bill

Doug


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My condolences to Rosalie and the family.

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Grave and Sad news indeed. A prince of a man who demonstrated depth of character, resolve and fortitude. We will all miss him. God Bless Your Family Bill. We are much poorer for your passing.

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May God's peace be with the family. Mr. Wise will be sorely missed.

Ken


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A man of strength and character, I will miss him dearly.

My heart goes out the Wise family and friends.

Peace be with you Bill, peace be with you.


Last edited by Utah; 02/23/07 09:42 PM.

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Bill truly stood among the best. My heart goes out to Rosalie.

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Lord, have mercy on him and his family...

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Gosh darn it!

Rest well, friend......

C.

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He was a great man and a great friend, I'll miss him.


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A sad day and a terrible loss for all. I met Bill once at the Vintagers for just a few minutes. That is all it took to know that he was a true gentleman. My prayers are with him and his family. May the lord have mercy on his soul.

Bill G.

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Gods speed Bill...

I count myself as one of the lucky ones who had the pleasure of spending time with Bill albeit only once. He was a man of great courage and wisdom.


"Not all who wander are Lost"
-Hoppie 14'
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I've written the letter, mailed tomorrow.

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Any of us would be blessed to have 1% of his spirit.


Courtesy of a WOMBAT
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How it could have been all good we'll never know, but Bill's family and friends attest to his ability to make it seem so.

jack

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Hopefully he and Oscar are compairing notes again.
bill

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I am saddened to hear this. Bill was a gentleman, an inspiration, an eternal optimist and an example of what we should all strive for. I will miss the conversations on Daly's most, I think. God speed and God Bless Bill.

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Like all of us, I cannot convey the sadness in my heart in learning of Bill's passing over the bar. My heart goes out Rosalie and the entire Wise family. May you rest in peace, Bill, for all things are good in your final resting place. You were my friend and I will deeply miss you.

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You'll always have a place in my heart Bill. God Speed good friend.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Rosalie and the family. Russ

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There are no words. I only hope that where he has gone, the surf is always up and the coverts always full.

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Walk, skip and run Bill. You deserve to have your feet under you a wave to ride and birds as far as you can see.

I have my glass raised and tears on my cheeks.

Dammit, I'm going to miss you.

Vaya con Dios my friend.


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Good news guys! Bill just borrowed a pair of side-lever ejector Grant hammerguns and is about half way through a round of sporting clays. Anyway, that is what I believe and I'm sticking to it.

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I figure that he and Lord Ripon have already decided what works best and who's in which peg for the next drive......

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Bill,
Welcome home sweet home.

May the Lord bless your family,

Loren

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“When my time comes I want to exit gracefully. Allow me to tell you here and now that whether I die within the next 24 hours or 24 years, my life has been filled with incredible experiences, a loving family and wonderful friends. All of this is more than I deserve. I am ready to meet my maker whenever that may be. On that bright note, I bid you fond adieu.”

“All Good, today and evermore , Bill”

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So very sad! He was a Gentleman and a Scholar. I feel privileged to have been his Guide on his visit to newenglandarms in 1988. We always had a laugh about his "Wheels" leaving mud-tracs on the 'Priceless' Oriental carpets! I have his letters to me in the 'Wise-One's File. Why is it that"The Good-Ones" leave so soon, and the'Rotten Bastards'live on?Bill was a Memorable Character', and is in MY BOOK as One of the Best. David Trevallion.

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Bill-
May God bless you as you continue your 'Magic Carpet Ride'...
We hope you know that you left this board '..All well..'

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A true gentleman and inspiration. I never heard Bill utter a cross word or slight toward anyone. Bill was helpful,courteous to a fault and made others feel valued. I will miss him. The courage and selflessness with which he lived his life provides the rest of us with a model.
He was and always will be" all good".

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Sorry to hear of his passing.


-Shoot Straight, IM
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Originally Posted By: Rocketman
Good news guys! Bill just borrowed a pair of side-lever ejector Grant hammerguns and is about half way through a round of sporting clays. Anyway, that is what I believe and I'm sticking to it.


I will go along with that. And when he is through he will, no doubt, be riding the long board on a never ending wave.


No doubt that Bill left the world a better place.

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You will be missed, Bill.
Rest well, Brother.

Last edited by Eric B; 02/23/07 11:55 PM.
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Sad news. I really enjoyed our emails and phone conversations. Bill will be terribly missed.

My best to ALL of the Wise family.

Chris Baumohl

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I enjoyed several exchanges via email with Bill concerning our mutual love of Boswells. He was a courageous and learned man. I will miss him greatly.

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Oh Owleye...

I wasnt ready for you to leave. I still have a ton of questions to ask, and an essay for you to look over for me...

The Lord make His face to shine upon you, and give you Peace.


Friends:

when my wife became ill, he would take the time to just drop me a note, or send a picture. When she died, he started checking up on me, seeing how I was weathering the storm... I am sitting here with tears running down my cheeks...what a true PRINCE of a fellow...he will be missed by many.

He will no doubt be discussing his next hunt with "The Indian", seeing old friends, and getting ready for a long ride on a long board, the REAL "Big Kahuna"

Gregory K. Taggart


Texas Declaration of Independence 1836 -The Indictment against the dictatorship, Para.16:"It has demanded us to deliver up our arms, which are essential to our defence, the rightful property of freemen, and formidable only to tyrannical governments."
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Farewell Bill.

Best wishes and condolences to Rosalie and Bill's family.

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In the world of guns there are tons of folks that think they know, and a few that do. Bill was one that knew. We are diminished.

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What a tragedy and a great loss for all of us. For those of you who have not been in this room long enough to have known him, you certainly missed out on the chance of a lifetime to meet the most dignified treasure you could ever meet. Never an unkind word ever came across the screen from him. He only made everyone swell with a ray of light just to see his kind thoughts and words appear in front of us. I remember once he tried to console someone on this board who had lost a close one by saying, "I hope the hole in your heart will be filled with many glorious memories of the one you lost." I have remembered those words now for years. And you can bet I now feel the same way as those words he had once spoken. God Bless you, Bill. I hope, "ALL IS WELL." In heaven.

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Shucks,

I thought he had his health troubles whipped.

He's healthy now. The Lord will see to that.

He loved his Vincenzo Bernadelli's. Bet he's shooting a double out of a covey rise right now.

We'll miss you Bill,


Bryan

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All who believe His promise know that, now, "Bill Wise Surfs" again. My condolences to all who loved him. TT

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God Bless you and keep you safe Bill, until we meet again, fondly remembered, greatly missed.
Peter

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GOD rest his soul! He's at peace now. My condolances to the family. We will miss him dearly.

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Godspeed

Peace to his family and friends

--Tinker

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I was lucky enough to meet him once a few years back at the Vintagers, my fondest memory of that affair.

You will be missed Bill, you made those around you better.


My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income.
- Errol Flynn
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Had quite a few good chats with Bill online.
Bill was a man of faith and he helped to renew mine.
Bill would not want us to be sad.
I am sure that he is not.
God Bless you, Bill. You were what we all should aspire to be.

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Oh, Bill !
You will be allways in my thoughts!


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This one is hard. He left a large legacy of remembrances and spirit. I know his face is turned the sun forever. Godspeed friend.

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What a great loss! Condolences to his family. He will be greatly missed. -- Ed


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One of the BEST!

Mal

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Sad news!
The old guard's ranks are starting to thin-out.

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Sad news in deed. He fought bravely and was a well like fellow gun travelers. He will be missed by all who knew him. We are poorer for his passing. The only bright side is that I know he is whole again and can now do what he wanted to do for the last 40 years. God bless him and his entire family.

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Really sad news . . . I'm really going to miss Bill - a terrible loss.

I met Bill about 8 years ago on this board. He was having some computer issues and I offered to help him. We became friends and spent many hours on the phone working to debug some computer problem or other and talking guns, hunting, and family. My first Daly was purchased with Bill's guidance.

Bill's attitude and outlook on life were tremendous, and infectious. It was several months after talking with Bill for the first time on the phone that I learned of Bill's injuries. I always wondered if faced with similar circumstances if I could live up to Bill's example.

My condolences to Rosalie, Ben, and the rest of Bill's family. We will miss you Owleye.

Ken


Bill out at a gathering at Pintail Point, MD - 2005

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I came here to learn about shotguns. Bill's posts taught me about life and living.

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"All good... Bill!"

Bill lived a life of challenges few of us could have withstood, setting a standard of civility few of us could ever achieve. A true GENTLEMAN in all respects.

I pray for God's comfort and peace for his wife and family.

NCTarheel

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We've lost a great one, and heaven has gained an angel.

By courage and example Bill showed a lot of us how to live -- and how to forgive. Truly one of the finest men I've ever had the privilege to know. You live on, and none of us will forget you.

Godspeed, Bill, and God Bless

Life is real -- life is earnest
And the grave is not its goal:
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

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A very great loss for Rosalie and his family, and us here. But, I pray and believe, a promotion to a much better Place for Bill.


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Bill's death is a great sadness for those who know him. We were so greatly enriched by his presence which we now trust is with the Lord. We place our hope the Lord will strengthen Rosalie and the family during this time of grieving.

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My condolences to the family.

Bill knew his shotguns, but he taught us more about living and how to treat others. God bless Bill Wise.

Charlie Sides

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His like will not soon come again.

We will remember his courage and optimism, his advice and support and most of all we will remember that he gave of himself readily and openly.

My condolences to Rosalie and her family.
T.C.

"All Good"




Good Shooting
T.C.
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I did not know Bill but every photo shows a man with a vibrant smile. That's the sign of a man with true inner peace.

God bless!


Tom C

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I am truly saddened. Condolences to the family.-Dick

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Peace be with him and his lovely and loving wife. The time he shared with all of us was priceless. May the angels of God advance to meet him.

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In some African cultures when the hunters bring down a large animal they sit around it in a circle to mourn the hole in the universe created by the loss of this noble life. Although the end of every human life creates a hole in the universe, with the loss of some, the dimension of the missing part is palpable and takes a long time to be filled in by our good thoughts ........ And for some like Bill it will take a very long time to fill the space .... even with the abundance of our good thoughts.

Bon Voyage Bill

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Learned with deep regret at the passing of a premier contributor to us all. With the most profound sympathy for his family.

Tim

Last edited by Tim Carney; 02/24/07 03:08 PM.
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Here's the cover of a DVD that Bill sent me a couple of years ago. That's Bill in the photo surfing sometime in the early 1960's... sorry it's not that clear but it was the best I could do.


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We are certainly less than we were. My prayers are with Bill's family. Lee

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All-
After re-reading all of the eloquent tributes from everyone here, Yeti said it so well......

"..I came here to learn about shotguns. Bill's posts taught me about life and living..."

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If I were writing these words with ink, the page would be smudged. I'll try to follow his advise and fill the hole in my heart with his memories.

My condolences to Rosalie and the family.

Juan Carlos


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All those that knew Bill through this site should visit his website, billwisesurfs.com . I truly can't believe this is happening. I thought we had more time. Bill Murphy

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Requesicat in Pace, Bill

Jim Kilday

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This is a heartbreaker. Bill was truly a first among equals. All I can add at the moment is my prayers and condolences to Rosalie and the Wise family.

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Deepest sympathy and condolences to the Wise family.
May they have nothing but good memories of the man, and
may he rest in peace.
Tom Hall


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It just occurred to me that it's possible Bill's family might need some financial help. Does anyone know? If so, the DVD would be a great fund raiser.

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Last edited by Michael Petrov; 02/25/07 04:58 PM.

MP Sadly Deceased as of 2/17/2014




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Here's a portion of Bill's obituary that was included in an email I received from the Wise family.

"Family and Friends may call from 10 a.m. to Noon Tuesday, February 27; with prayer service following at Melvin Funeral Home located at 15522 S. DuPont Highway, Harrington, DE 19952. http://www.melvinfuneralhome.com

Burial will be private at Hollywood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Hunt of a Lifetime.

6297 Buffalo Road
Harborcreek, PA 16421
http://www.huntofalifetime.org

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May a fine man now rest in peace. My condolences to the family.

Anton

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Our prayers and Best Wishes to Bill's family.

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My thoughs and prayers go out to Bill's family. The gun & surfing community has lost another great one.

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If you follow the links through "Obituary", you can send a letter of love and condolence. Let's fill up the box!

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To save you the time of looking through the links, you can write to Rosalie directly at:

Rosalie Wise
246 Delaware Ave.
Harrington, DL 19952

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'To the wise man all the world's a soil'

------ Ben Johnson

And so it was with our friend.

I'd been off hunting for a few days in some remote country and came back to cell phone civilization today to find a messg from WtS from Friday last. Had to just cry that one out about a hundred miles before I could even call back.

The friend I'd been hunting with has this note stuck inside their kitchen cabinet that says something to the effect of ...
'It ain't between them & me, never was. Its between me and God.' I don't do that justice, but Bill understood that as well.

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What an extraordinary man was Bill Wise. He suddenly and unfairly had to close his mind to other options but he very quickly learned that he could bring people together, and he exercised this talent in the most superlative way, for the good of others and without ceasing.

This is a blow. Though I never met him in person it brings me to tears. There are many places on this planet where Bill's influence will be missed.

-- R F

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Self-pity is a trap into which it is so easy to descend when misfortune strikes. To face your adversity and grow stronger as a human being instead of diminishing takes real strength of character.

Tom & Jim Purdey one wrote "shoot to enjoy yourself and in such a way that you are a pleaure to shoot next to all day and you will find that you can shoot all your life and when you can no longer shoot, you will always be missed and your memory remain golden".

Bill's memory remains golden, to those who met him and those like me, who did not. a rare thing.

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My condolences to brave Rosalie and Wise family. Never met Bill, but I have plenty of memorable conversations with this great friend via e-mail and this bulletin board. Bill had always positive thoughts and words to his friends all over the world.

Special honour to Rosalie, who all these years have took care about Bill and family.

God, take your son Bill to Heavenly Home.

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Bill will be missed, by me for his personal grace, wisdom, and caring heart, just a few of his many outstanding qualities. Our prayers are with his family. RIP, Bill Wise.

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Such sad news my sincere and heartfelt condolences to Rosalie and Bills family. One of the finest and couragous of men has passed and I consider myself fortunate to have had known Bill through this forum and our e-mail correspondence. A wonderful human being and we are diminished for his loss. Jeff Stephens

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I will be attending the service for my/our friend tomorrow. If any of our friends here will be in attendance, I would like to meet them. If you would email me at wilmrph@verizon.net , we can arrange to touch base before the service. If anyone needs directions or assistance, call me at 301-972-0740. Bill Murphy

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Bill:

A number of Bill's shooting buds will be at the Funeral as well. No doubt you will recognize many of them from past events. Together you all will be the ambassadors for Bill's friends here and on the other boards who cannot make the journey in person. Thanks. Russ

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I MUST down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,

And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking.


I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.


I must down to the seas again to the vagrant gypsy life.

To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.


John Masefield, Sea-Fever

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bill, Be safe on your journey.

Best Regards and


Good Shooting
T.C.
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A good amount of Bill's fine and inspirational poetry was recited at the service. The eulogies were...I don't know what they were. They were just the most memorable collections of reflections and anecdotes I have ever heard. I don't know how to describe them. I feel that as well as I thought I knew Bill, I knew just a speck of what the man was. For the first time ever, I am at a loss for words. I hope someone will fill in for me. Sorry. Bill Murphy

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He was, and is, alive in the truest sense of the word ... and tho there were the normal doubts and fears that none of us might even imagine, he came to understand just how well he had drawn after all. I know that for a fact.

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Just back from Delaware and Bill's funeral. Eightbore, sorry we missed you. It was a lovely and inspirational service. Bill's casket was decorated with a surfboard and most of his mojo bag contents. Rosalie and their children and spouses and grandchildren were fantastic. The eulogies were delivered by Bill's sister who gave a very funny and sincere address about Bill and Rosalie, and then Leroy Betts, Bill's pal since high school gave a talk about Bill's sporting life. It was very moving.

As part of it, Leroy read this: The Old Songs Which I thought was perfect.

But in the end, the reception following the funeral was full of fun. I will post some pics later today of people laughing and smiling and celebrating and remembering Bill, who brought more disparate people together than anyone I've ever known and enjoyed each one of them. Perhaps the most comforting thing that can be said about a person after death is: "He was loved." Bill was loved.

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Bill Wise was one of the most courageous, intelligent, humourous and thoughtful men I ever met. His enthusiasm for all things double-gun was infectious, and his positive attitude, despite what would have been a debilitating physical ailment for most people, was inspiring. Fly on the wings of the Dove now, Bill...

Last edited by Larry Leake; 03/01/07 08:33 AM.

Best Regards,
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I just logged on and read the news. I am choked up. I have read his words of wisdom for years, and only wish I could have met him in person. My most sincere condolences to his family. Jim Haynes


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If you haven't read these yet.. more very poignant tributes:

http://bbs.shootingsportsman.com/viewtopic.php?t=33414

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On behalf of myself and family or deepest regrets and prayers go out to his family in this their trying hour.

God Bless.

Greg Westberg Family


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My grandfather told me that no man is gone till his memory and works are forgotten by all. On that basis, Bill will be with us for a long long time.

Condolences to the family.

Mtwoodson

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Seeing Rosalie and her family at the funeral, I realize how strong they really are. Please let them hear some of your thoughts in a note or two. I know it would mean much to them.

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It has taken me far to long to express my thought on my friend, Bill. To his family, and his memory, I sincerely express my regrets.
As one looks at a man's life, one does look for those parts that will bring credit to that man. No matter how that search may go, no man may find any facet of Bill Wise's life lacking in valor and love.
One is often challenged to define the difference in valor, bravery and courage.
I will offer you this to contemplate: Do not confuse valor with either bravery or courage. Valor stems from the character of the person. Bravery originates in the willingness of the individual to confront danger. Courage is found in facing obstacles when all choices are disadvantageous.
My friend was brave. He was courageous. But I will remember him as having valor far more than most men that I have known.
He also had love and for that I will remember him.
God speed my friend and rest well in the bosom of our Lord.
John


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How blessed I have been in being able to know such a great man. God bless him and his family.


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He was always willing to share his knowledge. An honest and genuine fellow, I will miss him greatly.

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I feel blessed to have known Bill. It was about a year ago that I actually got to meet him. He will be missed by all that knew him. Thank you, Bill.

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Peace be with you.
Brian


Brian
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His wealth of experience will be greatly missed. May he rest in Peace.

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I thought I'd wait and read what has already been said --- didn't want to repeat what's ali ready been stated. Now. I find nothing new to add --- it's all been said . So, Mr. Bill you were loved, respected and admired ! Can anyone say more about you or your character ---- we'll miss you, May God welcome you and comfort your family. With deepest respect, Ken



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Gentlemen, this is going to be rather long, but I think those who have not read it will
appreciate it:

"THE SABLE TALE" by Victor R. Simone, Jr.
(subtitled: the worst shot of my life)

We were on the 13th day of a 14 day hunt. We had been the beneficiaries of tremendously good hunters' luck all throughout the two weeks and up to that point I had bagged 17 animals comprising 12 species. Going into this safari with high hopes but modest expectations, I had been fortunate to collect the largest Leopard, Eland, Bushbuck, Duiker and Klipspringer of the year in that area, in addition to extremely good mature representations of Zebra, Kudu, Impala, Cape Buffalo, Warthog, Baboon and tuskless Elephant. I don't know how many times in one's life where your expectations were exceeded to this degree, but for me this experience was remarkable. The only thing we were having trouble with on my "wish-list" was Sable. We had seen a few herds earlier in the first week, but no mature Sable bull worth collecting and as Leopard was my highest priority, we were busy at that time running around baiting over several locations. Sable was my second highest priority and only after we succeeded on Leopard did it seem that all the Sable in the area just suddenly and almost literally disappeared. It was eerie.
Three weeks earlier in my office, I received an e-mail from my friend Bill Wise. Bill, as many of you know is well known to shooters and hunters who frequent the internet. He has regaled many of us with his sage advice and expertise on a variety of topics not the least of which is Pigeon guns. But his real job I have come to learn, is to act as a "shooters hub" to keep us all connected. If I ever need something, I contact Bill. I remember when I was fortunate to acquire a fine Brancquaert hammer pigeon gun, Bill, one of the few who understood exactly what I had, graciously gifted to me a rare original Brancquaert catalogue from the turn of the century. For those of you who do not know Bill, it was 38 years ago this month that he was surfing in Delaware when a freak accident fractured vertebrae in his neck, paralyzing him almost completely. I actually don't know how he did it, but he would laboriously send out e-mails to those fortunate enough to be the recipients from time to time. As time passed and communication became progressively more difficult for Bill, one enterprising member of Bill's circle of friends came up with the idea of taking up a collection to purchase voice recognition software which would greatly facilitate his connectivity. I was fortunate to be included in that circle. You see, Bill thinks we did him a tremendous favor. What he doesn't realize is that we were merely lining our own pockets with Bill's intelligence. Bill wished me luck on my safari, instructed me to be careful and asked me if I would bring back some small token from the hunt which he would throw into his "Mojo bag", an eclectic collection of good luck charms he has assembled over the years.
We decided that we would make one last stab in the mountains where the Sable generally like to be. In the land cruiser we went up to the top of the doma on the edge of the tribal boundary, overlooking an area of about a quarter million acres where apparently no one else had been. I felt as though we were on the top of the world. My Professional Hunter (PH) Butch, a tall 6' 2", 40 year-old Zimbabwean from British stock, had been glassing with his trackers for about a half hour when he spotted some Sable about 6 1/2 kilometers away. Neither I nor even the trackers could believe that he actually spotted them at that distance. It took me a good several minutes of coaching and description to finally pick out with my binoculars what he was talking about. There were 5 bulls together. He turned to me and said "how do you feel"?. Not fully grasping the situation, I naively said "oh, fine thank you...and you?". He continued staring at me smiling and then it occurred to me, "you mean we are going in there"? He said, "you wanted a sable didn't you? One of those is a really good one, but I can't tell his exact size from this distance. Plus, you know I've always wanted to go in there, because no one has ever been in to that sector. Besides, I haven't had a client who was willing and able to make the hike....until now".
An eternity passed. I said "yes, but....but....but...uh....um..." The trackers immediately huddled and started groaning, which I took as an omen. If they didn't want to do it, how should I expect to fare? He handed me two bottles of water and said "drink these now". After I dispatched with those, he said "well....let's go". Off we went, me with my rifle on my shoulder to find those Sable. Down we went from the top of the doma over three valleys and ridges to arrive almost 2 hours later at the spot where my PH first spotted them. The trackers then went to work and followed their trail across another valley and over another ridge until we found the herd. My PH and I sneaked in along some extremely steep and rocky terrain which was like skree with tall grass, which made seeing your poor footing even more difficult. At just under 200 meters, we decided that we were not likely to get in any closer as the herd was exhibiting very twitchy behavior having sensed our presence. The PH erected his shooting sticks (3 crude sticks from a mapone tree tied at the ends by a tire inner tube). Being on very steep terrain, I could not get the sticks to settle properly, but there was no other available brace like a tree in close proximity where we would not have spooked the herd trying to get there. Stuck with my poor shooting stance, we awaited for the biggest bull to stand up and present us with a shot. Finally he stood, looking at us with a very tight quartering stance and in my PH's excitement he said to me "you haven't got a shot"! However, in my own excitement what I heard was... "go for the shot"! Up to that point, everything had been largely a one-shot kill. However, I proceeded to make the only bad shot of the safari and the worst shot of my entire life. Overestimating the distance, my first shot clipped him harmlessly across his mane and he recoiled downward at the shot. My PH screamed "shoot him again"! My second shot hit him in the lower part of his back leg and he kicked and bucked like a bronco after a bee sting and took off like a bolt of lightning. My third shot was what I would characterize as a "Hail Mary". My heart sank.
We made our way across the ravine to where the bull had stood to look for signs. Lo' and behold, one of the trackers found the tiniest spot of blood on a leaf. It is nothing short of remarkable, what these trackers can do. Now......I knew... I "owned" this sable. My PH looked at me with a doleful face and said "OK.... let's get on him". The trackers went to work again and followed the bull's tracks coming upon tiny - and I mean almost microscopic - spots of blood and only every so often. Clearly, this animal was only superficially wounded at best. I know it happens even to the best of hunters and to the best of shots, but I tried my best to suppress the obvious thought that this was extremely likely to be a lost animal with a huge trophy fee and no more sable available on quota.....period....end of story. We continued to track this bull, all the while oscillating between losing and reacquiring the trail for about an hour. At one point we tracked him down to the bottom of another ravine and saw that his trail then went straight up an extremely steep incline to the next ridge. At that point, I thought "this guy is not hurt at all if he climbing this stuff... in fact he is only just pissed off". As we tracked him up this incline my PH spotted the bull up ahead having laid down in the tall grass, but he spotted us too. The bull immediately got up and charged down the hill toward us veering to my left across a rise whilst my PH was screaming for my attention. I managed to get three shots off and later discovered that I hit him with only two shots, followed by another "Hail Mary". This error was compounded by the fact that in all the excitement, I had forgotten to turn the scope down from 5 power from my very first shot from 200 meters and accordingly, had trouble acquiring the bull in the scope for the running shot. Fortunately, one of my shots was a raking shot through the left hip and the other through the top of the shoulder. As we approached from the top of the rise, we spotted him down below us on his haunches sitting upright with his rear-end to me (head facing directly away) and his horns spanning straight back over his long back. My PH said "shoot him again but don't hit the horns"! I raised my rifle and decided the only shot I had was to spine him near the rear end about three quarters of the way back so as not to hit the horns. At the shot, he sunk down further but remained sitting upright unable to move. We approached from behind seeing that he was clearly still alive but also not going anywhere. At that point my PH said "do not go near him, and watch those horns! he is an unbelievably aggressive animal." I put one shot through the lower right shoulder which sped through his heart and lungs, exiting the opposite shoulder and he immediately succumbed.
At this point the PH, the trackers and I all rejoiced at having triumphed and persevered, a sense of accomplishment the likes of which I had not appreciated in my life until then, that rivaled only my own inner sense of relief. Just as quickly, we collapsed from the excitement and exhaustion. After a reasonable rest, we arose to take photographs which accurately captured the exhaustion on our faces and which made us look like it was the morning after an all-night bender. "Now what"? I asked my PH. "We'll, we cape him out and take him out of here. There's no chance at getting a vehicle back into this sector". More groans. I asked the trackers "would you guys like to have any of this meat"? Their eyes lit up. "Oh yes sir"! Well you guys deserve it. If you can carry it, you can have it. With that, a renewed sense of energy followed and the two trackers decided that they would each like to carry a hind quarter and the scout, another large section. Butch, my PH and I decided that we would carry the trophy and the equipment out so that the trackers could have what they earned. Just before we left, I turned to my PH and said "wait a minute, I almost forgot something". I removed my pack and my rifle, withdrew my knife from my pack, got down on my knees and removed the tip of the Sable's tail. "What's that for"? inquired the PH as he stood over me. "I promised somebody something special". He smiled "well this would be it, because I'll never forget this one myself". With that, he took the tail from me and stuffed it into his pack.
What followed was the most exhausting trek of my life. Back over four or five valleys, without stopping for fear that we would tighten up and not want to proceed. The last mile or so was the worst. Almost straight up, back uphill through the same skree and tall grass that we had started hiking from and which seemed to have never left us. When we finally made it back to the road where the land cruiser was three hours later, no one spoke a word. We packed up and set off for camp. Upon arriving, we were greeted by the hoots and hollers of the staff and the skinners. The camp manager's wife said "what would you like to drink to celebrate with"? I said "please don't misunderstand, thank you, but I think I will go and take a hot shower". My PH, looked at me with a pathetic, albeit satisfied smile, the color not having yet returned to his face and said "Amen"!
On the morning of the 15th day, we had breakfast and engaged in a slew of goodbyes to the staff, the skinners, trackers, etc. etc. etc. We went over to the grass runway where our bags were being loaded on to the single engine Cessna for the trip back to Harare. My PH came up to me and said "thanks for the best hunt I can remember in a long time. It was a pleasure hunting with someone who enjoyed it as much as I did and with whom I could take into some pretty challenging terrain. You were willing to do the work and I believe we earned everything we collected. Even I saw things I never saw before." Appreciating the sincere compliment, I thanked him likewise and as I started to get into the plane he said "oh, before I forget, I took the liberty of 'putting this in the salt' for your friend". He handed me the Sable's tail which he had de-boned, cleaned up and salted for me. "Thank you! I had forgotten"! Butch said "well I never will". We both laughed. " I meant about the tail" I said. Butch then found his feet with his eyes and pawed pensively at the ground. The he looked up. "Your friend.... will he understand"? I replied. "Yeah.......then I thought for a minute and smiled....oh yeah... he'll understand". I pause for a moment. "And besides, he was here with us the whole time. Why do you think we had such good hunters luck"? He beamed with that big Zimbabwean smile and quickly retorted "You realize of course this means I'll have to double your professional fees". I responded "Hey.... if you snooze you lose." We both laughed. "Well then" Butch said, "I suppose that you should tell him that I said that it was a pleasure having him here and that he is welcome back anytime." We laughed again. Butch then stared at his feet again for some time before looking up. "Happy days, Vic". "You too Butchie".

JC(AL)


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I have been slow to get to this since my access to the net and this site is limited. My apologies for my dereliction.

I first met Bill here at this very site ten or more years ago - I don't even remember. Our email exchanges quickly grew to weekly extended phone conversations. I had no idea how much a part of my life they were until they were no more last August. The few days he and I got to spend together last winter in Phili were too few by far for a happening that would be only once.

I was proud to think him my friend. I was honored to have him think me the same.

Hasta la vista, baby

WtS
Charlie Hill


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I haven't checked in here for a long time. It is a sad moment. We also recently lost Russ. Tough year. It is hard to lose folks of this quality. God bless them both.

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It's been a long time for me, as well. Bill was a great man, who touched many lives. He will be missed.


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I've been off the web for sometime, I'm sorry to here that Bill Wise passed on, the world has lost a treasure. I will miss his words of wisdom and positive attitude towards life in the face of adversity.
Steve


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Rest in peace Bill.

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This is the time of year some used to gather with Bill near his home. Rain or shine, stories would be told, clays broken, bread shared. Now, the group is joining with Rosalie and Ben and friends to celebrate great memories and spirit. RIP, Bill Somewhere in Maryland, I know glasses are raised and maybe there is even a wobble trap salute.

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I posted on the Bill Wise thread over on SSMBBS and never added my thoughts here, but I wonder, because of the great contributions Bill made to this board, if this thread ought to have a permanent home here.

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