WARNER ROBINS -- A memorial service is planned for Saturday following the death of community leader William Wisse.
Wisse died Wednesday at the age of 93.
A New Jersey native, Wisse started practicing law in Warner Robins in 1951, and he became very active in the community. His accomplishments included serving as president of the Houston County Bar Association, president of the then-Warner Robins Area Chamber of Commerce, president of the Lions Club and president of the Air Force Association, according to his obituary.
Wisse also was the charter member and first president of the Warner Robins Rotary Club. The club was founded in 1957, said Art MacDonald, current Rotary Club president.
Bill was an institution in the Rotary Club, MacDonald said. He was a regular attender of our meetings like clockwork if he was up to it. ... He was an inspiration.
MacDonald, who knew Wisse for about five years, said Wisse may have been frail physically, but he was sharp mentally.
I consider it a privilege to have known him, MacDonald said.
Houston County Commissioner Tom McMichael, past president for the Rotary Club, also knew Wisse from Wisses service as board chairman of a financial institution and from when Wisse practiced law.
He had an absolute phenomenal memory of things that had gone on at the Rotary for decades, McMichael said. He will be greatly missed as a Rotarian ... and for the contributions hes made to our community.
Perry attorney and former state lawmaker Larry Walker worked for Wisse and the late attorney George Kushinka in 1965 and 1966.
They taught me so much -- in particularly about filing systems and office systems, and 48 years later, Im still using the same systems, Walker said. They were both very good lawyers and very good people.
I liked both of them very much and felt really privileged when I started off with them. ... I learned law at law school and learned how to practice law working with Bill Wisse and George Kushinka. Im deeply appreciative. I miss George Kushinka, and Ill miss Bill Wisse very much.
Houston County Attorney Mike Long of Warner Robins also got his first job out of law school with Wisse.
Ill be ever indebted to him for giving me that opportunity, Long said. Its kind of tough fresh out of law school finding a job.
He said he received good experience and some good mentoring under Wisse.
Wisse retired in 1990 from the firm of Wisse, Kushinka, Calhoun and Godwin. He previously attended Mercer Universitys Walter F. George School of Law after retiring from military service in 1974.
His military service began in 1937 when he enlisted in the New Jersey National Guard. Called to active duty on Sept. 15, 1940, he graduated from Officer Training Corps in 1942 as a second lieutenant in the infantry. He served as a war crimes investigator after World War II and attended the war crime trials in Nuremberg, Germany.
His service to the community also included president of the College of Mortgage Attorneys and president and board chairman of First Federal Savings and Loan Association. He was a member of the Tyrian Lodge, a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Shrine.
He was longtime member of the First United Methodist Church of Warner Robins where he was a member of the Wesley Fellowship Class, a former administrative board chairman and former finance committee member.
The memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church, 205 N. Davis Drive, Warner Robins. Visitation is from 1-2 p.m.
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.