Wilma was born March 13, 1926 on a farm near Frankfort, Illinois to Paul and Louise Mark. She attended a one room grade school, Peotone High School, and Metropolitan Business College in Joliet, IL. Wilma held several office positions, including secretary at General Mills, Inc. in Chicago. She married P. Kenneth Wise of Lockport, IL in 1948. They had two sons, Douglas and Dennis. In 1954, they moved to Naperville, IL. In 1958, Wilma became an entrepreneur and started the Naperville Credit Bureau. Later she added collection services, a telephone answering service, temporary and permanent employment services. The business name was changed to Wise Suburban Services, Inc. She served as President of Associated Credit Bureaus of Illinois 1980-81, and Illinois Collectors Association 1985-86, and was on the national Board of Directors. In 1971, Wilma received the American Business Women’s Association “Woman of the Year” award.
She was active in the community, serving on the Naperville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; member of the DuPage County Board of Health, District #203 Career Education Council, Edward Hospital Women’s Center Advisory Council, North Central College Community Fund Executive Committee, and Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church Council. In 1984, she helped organize Illinois Business Week, a State educational opportunity for High School students to learn about business.
Wilma was also an organist and pianist. She served as organist at the Frankfort and Lockport Methodist Churches, and was the first organist for Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL. As pianist, she accompanied the Naperville Women’s Club Chorus, performing at senior facilities in the area. She was on the national Board of Directors of the Old Time Music Preservation Association.
In 1990, her first husband, Ken Wise died. In 2002, she married Albert J. Brons. Albert died in 2019.
Wilma is preceded in death by father Paul Mark, mother Louise Staedke Mark Hostert, stepfather Jacob Hostert, sister Elizabeth Margaret “Betty” Mark Bixler (Herbert “Buck”), husbands P. Kenneth Wise and Albert J. Brons. She is survived by sons Douglas Wise (Joy) and Dennis Wise (Audrey), grandchildren Erin Wise and Ashley Wise (Beth), great grandchildren Caelan, Linnea, Emberlei, and Juneau.
The funeral will be Saturday, May 20, 2023, at 1:00 PM, at Lutheran Church of Christ the Redeemer, 5440 Penn Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN. Visitation from 12:00 to 1:00 PM.
Wilma will be buried in Rose Hill Cemetery near Frankfort, IL, across the road from the farm where she was born.
Gill Brothers 612-861-6088