June 27, 1998
GERTRUDE WISE, 101
Gertrude Lassiter Wise loved being a nurse and taking care of people. It was the thing she was most proud of. “Aunt Gertrude,” as she was affectionately known, died Monday at Sentara Hampton General Hospital after a brief illness. She was 101.
Born July 10, 1896, in Nansemond County (Chuckatuck) at Hobson, where she lived 10 to 12 years before moving to Hampton, she was a resident of Riverside Convalescent Home and would have celebrated her 102nd birthday in two weeks.
Her words of wisdom were, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Owing her longevity to God, she recognized him daily. “She loved to sing her hymns and she had a good voice. She loved to read her Bible and spend time with her nieces and nephews before she became ill,” said great-great-great-niece Beverly Little of Hampton.
During her early years, she was a member of Macedonian Baptist Church of Hobson and as an adult, she was baptized at Third Baptist Church on Wine Street in Hampton, now located on Victoria Boulevard in Hampton.
Denise Little of Hampton, another great-great-great-niece, said, “She was proud of her age and she always talked about nursing and how it had changed over the years. She kept letters as far back as 1920, 1915, cards that, judges and other people she did private duty nursing for. I still have letters and thank you’s because it meant a lot to her and I’ve got them right here, neatly folded in the same envelopes and everything.”
Denise Little said her great-great aunt had her original uniform put away. Little also said it was hard for her to let others take care of her because she was so independent and she was used to doing for others. The niece added, “If she never met you, her favorite thing to talk about was nursing.
Educated in Hampton schools at Union Elementary, Whitaker Junior High and George P. Phenix High School, she was a 1957 graduate of Booker T. Washington School of Nursing in Norfolk.
She was a registered nurse at Dixie Hospital in Hampton, now Sentara Hampton General, and also did private duty nursing for many years until her retirement. Aunt Gertrude was also active in organizations at Third Baptist Church and a member of Tents No. 41 of Norfolk until illness forced her retirement.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Samuel Wise of Hampton; her mother, Ariel Lassiter of Hobson, and her father, Elick Alexander Lassiter of Hobson, eight sisters and one brother; her niece Beulah (Buena-Vista) Garris, two great nieces, Louise Dennis and Julia Little, all of Hampton.
She is survived by great-great-nieces Marie Peyton of Dale City, Rosalind Dennis of San Antonio, Texas, and the Little sisters of Hampton, Vonda L. Robinson, (Na’Na’), N. Denise Little, Nita L. Little, Beverly J. Little, Myra R. Little, and Almeta M. Little; great-great-nephews James E. Dennis III, Floyd E. Little and Jesse Thomas Little, all of Hampton; a cousin, Louis Lassiter of Hampton; and a host of other great-great-great-nieces and nephews and friends.
A funeral service will be held at noon on Saturday at Third Baptist Church, Hampton, with the Rev. P.D. Wells officiating. Burial will follow in Hampton Memorial Gardens. She will be placed in the church by 9:30 a.m. Assemble at 11 a.m. Saturday at Smith Brothers Funeral Home. Viewing was held from noon to 5 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.