Cover photo for Celia Ann Simmons Wise's Obituary
Celia Ann Simmons Wise Profile Photo

Celia Ann Simmons Wise

January 31, 1937 — January 6, 2024

Wilson, NC

Celia Ann Simmons Wise

Celia Ann Simmons Wise went to be with Jesus on Saturday morning, January 6, 2024, surrounded by family.

Celia was the sweetest lady we knew. She had a radiant smile, forever optimistic, and always spoke kindly to others. She was very caring and instilled that value deeply in her family. She had unwavering faith in her Lord, Jesus Christ, and loved family and friends generously.

Celia was born January 31, 1937 in Alamance County, NC, and graduated high school in 1955 in Buena Vista, VA. She met her former husband, Norbert Irvine, in Virginia, and they later moved to Wilson with their young daughters in 1967. Her daughters have fond memories of her cooking, and even tell of when she ground wheat to make flour and bake it into fresh bread, both at home and sharing it with their elementary school class. She left a legacy of family recipes, especially her pecan pie.

Celia spent her early career at Wilson Technical Community College, and retired from the NC Department of Public Instruction in Raleigh, NC, in 1999.

Celia married her husband, Owen Wise, in 1997. They were members of Stoneybrook Christian Church, and loved attending on Sundays. They adopted and fell in love with a few stray bobtail cats. Celia loved when her special kitty, Blackie, would curl up in her lap just as soon as she sat in her chair.

In her retirement, Celia enjoyed staying active. Over the years, you could find her at the beach with her husband, Owen; at fitness and water aerobics classes; reading and learning; at the beauty shop; or cheering on her grandchildren somewhere. In recent years, she especially looked forward to Friday lunch with her friends at restaurants around Wilson. She loved her family dearly and was proud of her daughters, sons-in-law, and granddaughters.

Celia was an active member of the Golden Circle Optimist Club of Wilson since 2004, and served as President for several years. She truly enjoyed the friendships and being part of an organization making a difference for youth.

Celia was preceded in death by her parents, Luther and Virginia Simmons; husband, Owen Wise; and son-in-law, Jim Varnell. Surviving are her daughters, Amber I. Varnell of Elm City, and April I. Ricklefs and husband, Dick, of Wilson; granddaughters, Misty Varnell and Dana Varnell; and brother, Adrian Simmons and wife, Brenda, of Burlington, NC.

Celia was a loving mother, mamaw, and friend. She will be dearly missed.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday, January 10th from 10:00-11:15am at Joyner’s Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 11:30am at Joyner’s Funeral Home. Interment  will immediately follow at Evergreen Memorial Park. The Reverend Mark Woolard will officiate.

Flowers are welcome or memorials may be sent to Stoneybrook Christian Church or the Golden Circle Optimist Club of Wilson.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Celia Ann Simmons Wise, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

10:00 - 11:15 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Starts at 11:30 am (Eastern time)

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Interment

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Immediately Following Funeral Service

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