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Late Sweetwater County residents Joseph and Catherine Wise establish endowment at Western Wyoming Community College

November 10, 2016

Catherine and Lt. Co
Catherine and Lt. Col. Joseph H. Wise. (Photo courtesy of Joann Lane, niece.)

Lt. Col. Joseph H. Wise and his wife, Catherine (Henderson) Wise, recently bequeathed $100,000.00 in their wills to establish a scholarship endowment at Western Wyoming Community College. Funds from that endowment will support scholarships for Sweetwater County residents who have a grade-point average of 2.5 or higher.

“We are very grateful to Mr. & Mrs. Wise for this generous donation,” said WWCC Community Relations Director David Tate. “This endowment will help to fund education costs for students of Sweetwater County for years to come.”

Joseph Wise was born in 1918 and attended schools in Winton and Reliance, Wyoming. He graduated from Reliance High School in 1937. After learning to be a butcher in several meat markets, he left Wyoming for San Diego, Calif., to work for Lockheed Aircraft. Joe later joined the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.

Catherine was born Jan. 7, 1921 in Galt, Ontario, Canada, and attended school in Green River, Wyo., graduating in 1939. 

In 1942, Joe married Catherine. After their marriage, the couple traveled all over the world while Wise served in the military. They lived in Oklahoma, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Alaska, Hawaii, France and Turkey.  Joe retired in 1976, and Joe and Catherine moved to Colorado for retirement.

Joe passed away in 2000, and Catherine passed away in 2016. In their estate, they made provisions to leave funds for an endowment to Western. Interest from their $100,000 endowment will support student scholarships.


For more information, contact Audrey Harton at (307) 382-1661 or
(307) 382-1600 or toll free (800) 226-1181