October 4, 1926 ~ November 24, 2020 (age 94)


Dr. Robert William “Bob” Wise ,94, of Douglas, Wyoming passed away Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at Garden Hills Assisted Living in Spearfish, South Dakota where he spent the last four months of his life.  By his side was his son, Jim, and the wonderful caretakers at the home.   

Robert was born to Harry Lowell Wise and Vivian (Oneal) Wise in Basin, Wyoming on Monday, October 4, 1926.   He also lived in Torrington, Wyoming and then Rawlins, Wyoming until his sophomore year.  Robert graduated from Douglas High School and enjoyed many outdoor experiences.  He enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps and was called to Colorado and Texas for World War II.  After the war, he attended the University of Wyoming for geology.  He worked for Mountain States Appliance in Douglas and Glendo, Wyoming. In 1950, he graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago, Illinois. Robert enjoyed and excelled in his career as an optometrist.  He practiced in Douglas for 56 years along with other cities until his retirement. In 1963, he bought the Lusk Optometry practice and practiced there for 24 years.  Later, he practiced in Douglas, Casper, Wyoming and Gillette, Wyoming.  He retired at the age of 80 due to a heart valve replacement.  He loved the camaraderie with his fellow businessmen during coffee at the Koop and The Labonte Hotel.  He regularly enjoyed breakfasts at the Douglas, McDonalds, the Skelly Big Wheel and lunch at Mickey’s in Glendo. He was a 75-year member of the American Legion and served the Douglas community with 30 years of volunteer service on the Douglas Housing Authority. He saw and worked in the Glendo State Park from its beginning in 1954 to what it is today, from planting trees by dropping pine cones into the ground from the back of a truck, to trimming willows along roads, and fixing cattle guards. He loved the people of Douglas, Lusk, Casper, and the Glendo area.

Around 1954, he met and married Barbara Jean Burnside, in Douglas on November 20, 1954, where they raised four children. Along with being a wonderful husband and awesome dad, he was a talented mechanic and could often fix and create anything.  As somewhat of a MacGyver, his creations included a small motorcycle, trailers, and a huge fort for his children. Robert loved telling jokes, laughing, being outdoors, and long drives around Converse County, Glendo, and all of Wyoming.  He knew all of the country roads by their number and could share stories and held a wealth of information about the many areas. He taught his children how to fill washout areas for road repair, be avid marksmen, hunt, fish, camp, sled, car repair, work ethic, and family came first. He was committed to supporting all of his children in their 4-H projects.  He greatly enjoyed the adventure of riding dirt bikes in the mountains with his children and wife. As empty nesters, Bob and Barbara enjoyed traveling to many places around Wyoming: Jackson, Thermopolis, the Red Desert, Glendo, Saratoga, Meadowlark, and the Black Hills. 

Robert is survived by his four children, son, William Wise (Susan) of Las Vegas, Nevada and their children: Ashley Peterson (Sam) and great granddaughter, Sage; Blake Wise (Brynne) and great grandchildren: Holland, Alyla, Ellie;  Brandon Wise, and  Andrea Wise; daughter, Joyce Wise, of Casper, Wyoming, her children:  Michael Wise (Ashlee) great granddaughter Kella; and Allyson Zebre; son, Ron Wise, of Sundance, Wyoming, and son, Jim Wise (Shari) of Spearfish, South Dakota and their children:  Ben, Nick, and Hollie.

Robert was preceded in death by his father, Harry L., on March 11, 1967; mother, Vivian O., on November 15, 1993; and wife, Barbara Jean, on July 30, 2014.

Robert had a long, wonderful life, full of adventure and love.  We thank all who knew him and treated him with the greatest of kindness and friendship.

A graveside service will be held Saturday, July 10, 2021 at 1:00 P.M. at the Douglas Park Cemetery in Douglas with a reception immediately following at the Douglas Inn and Conference Center, 1450 North Riverbend Drive.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the memorial of the donor's choice in memory of Dr. Robert W. Wise.

The Gorman Funeral Homes – Converse Chapel of Douglas, Wyoming is in charge of the arrangements.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of DR. ROBERT WILLIAM "BOB" WISE, please visit our floral store.


Graveside Service
July 10, 2021

1:00 PM
Douglas Park Cemetery
Douglas, Wyoming 82633

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