Harry H. Wise

Boston Globe- July 20, 2014

Harry H. WISE: Succumbed to lung cancer on June 12, in Stamford, CT, after two years of valiant battle against multiple illnesses.

Born in Boston on October 1, 1938, to Robert and Ethel Pastan Wise, he attended Lawrence Elementary School, Brookline High School, and graduated with honors from Harvard in 1960.

In his early adulthood he was a captain in the US Air Force, earned an MBA at Harvard Business School, and began a long, varied, and distinguished career in business and finance. He worked for McKinsey and Company, Citibank, American Capital Partners, several of his own companies, and various others.

His commitment to education was salient throughout his life, in many philanthropic activities and his own unceasing learning.

In later life he earned a masters degree from Columbia University in Organizational Psychology and Leadership.

Music was central to his life, from undergraduate singing with the Harvard Gilbert and Sullivan Players, to his acclaim as a jazz pianist and certified jazz educator, his patronage of the musical arts and active engagement in many musical ensembles such as the Canterbury Choral Society and Uptown Sound.

An avid sports fan and player, passionate follower of the Boston Red Sox, he also established a library endowment at Harvard to build a collection in Judaica, supported a pro-bono summer camp for the elderly, and led the establishment of the Wise-Marcus Scholarship Fund in the Syracuse University Honors Program.

In countless ways large and small, visible and invisible he lived a life of constant generosity toward others. He was beloved for his swift and sparkling humor and his intense loyalty to his many friends. Wise lived in Manhattan until a recent move to Stamford, with frequent summers spent at his beach home in Sagaponack on Long Island.

He is survived by his loving wife and musical partner Sheila Johnson Wise, his stepdaughter Alisa MacNeille Kuhn and stepson Eben MacNeille, his sisters Sara Kane and Cheryl Skura, his nieces and nephews Gwen Kane-Wanger, Jonathan Kane, Sam Skura, Stacey Zedeck, Rachel Burris, their families, his beloved cousins, and a very large number of devoted friends, old and new, who mourn his untimely passing.