DUE TO FEDERAL AND STATE GUIDANCE ON GATHERINGS DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, MASKS ARE REQUIRED AT THE VISITATION AND FUNERAL SERVICE. THE SERVICE WILL BE LIVE STREAMED ON FACEBOOK ON THE FOUTS FUNERAL HOME WOODBINE PAGE STARTING AT 2:00 P.M.
Gerald Ethan Wiser was born October 11, 1932, the second son of Grayson and Bertha (Benedict) Wiser on the family farm in rural Chenango Forks, NY, where he was raised with a strong work ethic and a sense of right and wrong.
He graduated from Chenango Forks High School in 1950. Eager to serve his country, he enlisted in the United State Air Force on April 20, 1951, and proudly defended his country. He was primarily stationed in Alaska. He received an honorable discharge in October 1953, following the end of the Korean Conflict.
On October 20, 1957, he married Thelma Shaefer in Hartley. They spent the early years of their marriage moving around the Midwest where he worked in construction, building banks and bridges, including some over I-480 in Omaha, NE. He talked about listening to Don Larsen pitch his perfect game in the World Series on his lunch break. On July 5, 1967, he started working at the US Navy’s ammunition depot at Savanna, OK. He later returned to the US Air Force in 1973 when he took a civil service job as a carpenter at Offutt Air Force Base. He would later run the base’s housing maintenance program until his retirement. Always willing to help those having a rough time, he was able to secure jobs for a couple of friends.
Taking early retirement on July 2, 1993, he started a second career in the ministry. He took over his first charges, Northboro and Blanchard United Methodist Churches on July 4, 1993. He also had charges with the Noble, Grant and Lincoln Center churches, southeast of Griswold. He retired in 2011 when the couple relocated to Minden.
He loved working with wood and made hundreds of crosses to share with family and friends and there are very few picture frames in the house he did not make. Family and friends were important to him. He always made a point of telling dinner guests the house rules: Keep one foot flat on the floor at all times and if you go away hungry it’s your own fault” He frequently brought Airmen to the house for a homemade meal. His invitation for Thelma’s fried chicken was highly sought after.
He was a long-time 4-H leader in Harrison county and an avid fan of the high school sports and music programs in which his children participated. He liked to cook. His specialties were fried, boiled and scrambled eggs, fried bologna, hot dogs and soup. He believed soup was not meant to be chewed and would spend hours cutting the vegetables into tiny pieces.
He never fully “forgave” Lori for making a liar of him. He told Thelma she wasn’t a mother yet because Lori was not yet born during the week prior to the holiday. Thelma was in labor all Friday night and Lori was born at 5:30 Saturday morning. Instead of staying at the hospital he had to go pour cement all day then go find a Mother’s Day gift.
Over the last several weeks of his life he and Cathy spent a great deal of time traveling back and forth to doctor appointments. One day he told her, “We sure spend a lot of time in the car going back and forth. I don’t remember ever spending this much time in a car.”
Survivors include Thelma, his wife of 63 years; five children, Beth Christensen, Wichita, KS, Lori and husband Dave Dyas, Minden, Lisa and husband Warren Eastman, Fort Dodge, Jerry Wiser and wife Kris of Council Bluffs and Cathy and Jeff Wiser, Underwood; grandchildren, Matt Christensen (Samantha), Erin Christensen Krier (Tim), Cassie Beavers (Dennis), Rick Beavers, Ben Eastman, Lara Jolley (Devin), Shelby Wiser, Anthony Kelsay, Cami Wiser, Adele Schroeder, Samantha MacLean, Stephanie McCoid and Jacob McCoid; adopted granddaughter, Amber Barnett; great-grandchildren, Cassie O’Donnell, Michael, Alexandra and Charlotte Christensen, Clare Hayden, Reagan and Jayse Krier, Elijah Humpal, Anthony Humpal, Coda Beavers, Keegan and Elizabeth McCoid; sister and brother-in-law, Lois and Rich Dilworth, Castle Creek, NY, and many other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Grayson and Bertha, brothers, Warren, Leo, Richard and Harold (Happy); sisters-in-law, Joann and Mary Lou; father-in -law and his wife, Clarence and Fern Shaefer; mother-in-law and her husband, Vera and Cliff Hoff; brothers-in-law, Darrell and Ronald Shaefer and sister-in-law, Wilma Knock.
“You mortals, the Lord has told you what is good. This is what the Lord requires from you: to do what is right, to love with mercy and to live humbly with your God.” - Micah 6:8