BLUFFTON, S.C. (WSAV) — Life of the party, quick-witted and “a rock for so many” are just some of the phrases used to describe Terry Wisdom.
The beloved Bluffton Middle School technology teacher died on Sept. 8 from COVID-19 complications. On Saturday morning, nearly 80 community members came together to honor Wisdom in what they coined a “tearful celebration.”
“There’s nothing wrong with shedding a tear, nothing even wrong with laughing out loud today as we remember this dear man, husband, father, grandfather, son, brother and friend,” said Pastor Rob Jacobs.
Family members, staff, students and neighbors made up a sea of red in honor of Wisdom’s favorite team, the Oklahoma Sooners, while gathered on the middle school’s football field.
“There was not a single day that went by that he did not come to my office and ask me for more money for his department and for his robotics students,” principal Matt Hall said. “Which is just a testament to that man for how much he advocated for his kids. We know how much he loved his family, but he loved his students just the same.”
Loved ones took turns sharing funny memories of Wisdom, the person who always put a smile on their face.
“He’s just amazing. One of my best friends. Just brought the most happiness and best joy out of my life,” Wisdom’s son, Dallas, said.
“The smile that he always gave to everyone else and the smile his students had with robotics – just smiles and laughs is how I remember him,” Wisdom’s coworker said.
Community members described Wisdom as someone who would do anything for the people he cared about.
“He would check on me if I wasn’t at work and that meant a lot,” said coworker Lakeisha Lofton. “And when he wasn’t at work, he’d check on me two, three, four times a day still. So I’m definitely going to miss him and he’s always going to have that special place in my heart.”
Prior to becoming a teacher, Wisdom served six years in the military between the army, special forces and marines.
He was known as someone who lived life to the fullest and did it well.
“Terry was a fighter,” said Pastor Rob Jacobs. “In fact, he told the front office here at Bluffton Middle a few weeks ago when things were looking up with his health, he said ‘don’t give me extended days I’ll be back next week.’”
Wisdom began teaching at Bluffton Middle in 2017. He was 54 years old at the time of his death.
In honor of Wisdom, the family asked attendees to donate to the Bluffton Robotics Club or Nine Line Apparel.