May 13, 2024 at 1:55 p.m.
Updated May 13, 2024 at 1:55 p.m.

Wise, Phyllis J.

Phyllis J. Wise, of Barneveld, passed away at home Tuesday, May 7, 2024, after a long illness.

Phyllis was the second of eight children born to Robert “Laverne” and Virginia Forbes of Barneveld where she grew up, later graduating from Barneveld High School in 1965.

On a fateful night at the Club 18, she met a young man from Lena, Wis., attending UW-Platteville when she challenged him to a beer chugging contest. At the time, unknowingly to her, he would later become the love of her life for 57 years, Rodney Wise.

Phyllis and Rodney began their great adventure together and were married in August of 1967 at the Barneveld Lutheran Church. They moved to Platteville where they lived while Rodney attended college until a farming accident claimed the life of Rodney’s father, Earl, in October of 1968. At that time, they moved to Lena to help with the farm and milk trucking business, also welcoming their first son, Robb.

Rodney and Phyllis later returned and lived in Barneveld until Rodney completed his degree in 1970, but was drafted soon after into military service and later served in the conflict in Vietnam. Upon his return from service, Rodney and Phyllis returned to Lena when Rodney accepted a position with Lena Public schools. There, they lived and built a life together, welcoming their second son, Ryan, in 1974.

Phyllis loved life, more so she loved living life and was well liked and held in high regards amongst the community of Lena. She made many friends, often helping people if she could and raised her sons to do the same. Phyllis worked most of her life as a waitress at the local supper clubs, later working at Graff’s Restaurant in Lena for many years.

Phyllis through the years had many hobbies. She loved working with ceramics, where she made and gifted nativity scenes for her family and friends. She loved music and often played records by some of her favorite musicians including Elvis, Johnny Horton, and Rick Nelson. She loved to entertain and always looked forward to inviting her family up north to visit for long weekends, camping trips and holidays, as well opening their home for parties and to anyone who would like to stop over on Christmas Eve for a drink and food to celebrate the holiday.

Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents, Robert “Laverne” and Virginia Forbes; in-laws, Earl and Helen Wise; brothers-in-law, Ronald Johnson and Marvin Rhyner; sister-in-law, Debra Forbes; nieces, Hope and Shea Forbes; and grandnephew, Landen Havens.

Phyllis is survived by her husband, Rodney Wise of Barneveld; her sons, Robb (Stacy) Wise of Barneveld and Ryan (Aimee) Wise of Suamico; her granddaughter, Hollie (Zach) Wise; grandson, Trent Wise; her precious great-granddaughter, Naomi; and Jaden Roloff; brothers and sisters, Darlene Johnson of Mount Horeb, Shirley (Jerry) Olson of Dodgeville, Debra Rhyner of Ridgeway, Robert (Susan) Forbes of Lake Placid, Fla., Monica (Monte) Olday of Barneveld, William (Vicki) Forbes of Mount Horeb, and Thomas Forbes of Barneveld; as well as 24 nephews and nieces; and 51 great-nephews and great-nieces, all of whom loved her and will miss her infectious spirit.

As per her request, no services will be held at this time, but a special celebration of her life will be held for close friends and family members at a later date.

We would like to thank the Barneveld EMT service for their quick response and for her niece and EMT, Sadie Olson, for her efforts and being with her in her final moments.

Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson Camacho 

Mount Horeb

Funeral & Cremation Care

500 N. Eighth St.

(608) 437-5077