As the sun rises on Boggy, we are deeply saddened to share that we lost our dad, Helen lost her husband and best friend, our family lost its patriarch and the City of Niceville its Mayor. He loved all of the above and we loved him!
The Honorable Mayor Randall R. Wise was born in Niceville, Florida on August 31, 1930. Mayor Wise, 89, passed away Monday, January 20, 2020.
He was a true Boggy Boy having grown up in Niceville and graduated from Niceville High, crossing the stage on crutches due to a slide into second base. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and gardening.
His passion for the city began at an early age when he served as a volunteer firemen. Later, he was appointed Mayor in 1971 and then elected due to a charter change in 1987. He served the City of Niceville until his passing with unmatched love for his community. At the time of his passing, Mayor Wise was longest serving mayor in the state of Florida and was the fourth-longest current serving mayor in the United States.
He was a life-long member of First Baptist Church and served as a deacon.
Mayor Wise was a constant and passionate advocate for the city he served and for the local military. He served as an honorary commander at Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field and Duke Field. He was an avid reader and Friend for Life of the Niceville Public Library. He has served on a number of boards and committees throughout the state, including a stint as past president of the Panhandle League of Cities and the Okaloosa County League of Cities, President of the Florida League of Cities. In 1997, the Florida League of Cities presented Mayor Wise the 20th Annual E. Harris Drew Award for his contributions to the cities of Florida. He also served on the Board of Directors of Okaloosa Gas District. He served as a Life Director of the Niceville Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce and was very active in the organization. He was selected as a 2016 Inaugural Inductee of the Civic Hall of Fame. The media center at Ruckel Middle School is named in his honor.
Mayor Wise was married to Mellodean Thomas Wise from 1951 until 1990, when she proceeded him in death.
He is survived by wife Helen Wise, son, Randy Wise (Debbie), daughter, Jil Watson (Rick), grandchildren; Caleb Wise (Megan), Landon Wise (Tricia), Rianna Smith, Drew Feist (Mardi), Christopher, Jack, and Mollie Hadley, and Marina and Luke Braaton; great grandchildren; Caden, Grayton, Levi, Ellie, Harper, Riley, Maddex, River, and Lily.
He is also survived by Helen’s daughters, Jayme Wilson (Mark) and Lori Hadley (Mark) and sister-in-law Vicki Moon.
He will lie in state at the Niceville Council Chambers on Wednesday, January 22 and Thursday, January 23 from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm. Visitation will take place at 10:00 am on Saturday, January 25 at First Baptist Church Niceville, and Celebration of Life service will follow at 11:00 am.
Donations of flowers are accepted or in lieu of flowers donations can be made to: Niceville Children’s Advocacy Center, The Niceville Children’s Park or The Niceville Senior Center.
His drive for change and passion for Niceville will be a lasting part of his legacy.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mayor Randall Ruffus Wise, please visit our floral store.