After serving 2 active years in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War as both a cook and a gunner, William Bruce Wisley, Sr. (Bill) ran home to marry his sweetheart, Bonnie Lou Cokerham. They started off their 68 years of marriage together by attending Letourneau College in Longview, Texas, where their first child (Deborah) was born.
Bill was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on May 9, 1932 to Mr. and Mrs. Earl Jackson Bruce Wisley. Because of the economic deflation, Earl and his wife, LeAutha moved to Dallas, Texas to find work. Bill graduated from North Dallas High School while his younger brothers, Jerry and Tommy graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School. They all played football and were known as the "Wisley Boys."
Bill and Bonnie met at Scofield Memorial Church where they attended regularly. At first, Bonnie did not like Bill, but you see where that led. After college in Longview, Bill got a job at Texas Instruments so, Bill, Bonnie and Deborah moved to Garland, Texas. It wasn't long before their family grew. Karen was born 15 months later and then 7 years after that, their first son, William Bruce Wisley, Jr was born. He was a welcome surprise after having two pink frilly little girls. But it still wasn't the end. Vickie was born two years after and then the clan was complete.
Bill worked hard but was still not satisfied. He went back to college at nights and 15 years later received a degree in Physics. He left Texas Instruments to find a job at Rockwell International/Alcatel as a Quality Assurance Manager.
Bill was not just about work. His true love was flying. He loved to build and experiment with his own designs. It wasn't long before he was flying his own self-made "Bill original" airplane. There were always three places you could find Bill; the garage, under a car his kids needed him to fix, or at the airport. This man enjoyed adventure. He also had a BMW motorcycle he drove across country with Bonnie traveling on the back and holding on for dear life. They enjoyed, or not, the weekend adventures.
As a man of faith, it was not uncommon to wake up at Bill's house to find a dozen of the young people he had witnessed to the night before. These young men could not go home. They wanted to hear more and more about Bill's description of Jesus and the ultimate debt that was paid "in full" for their lives. He wanted them to know that Jesus loved them and all they had to do was to believe and trust in HIM. These young men all grew deep in their relationships with HIM and changed both their heart conditions and their paths. No one will ever know, except Jesus, all the people Bill witnessed to and helped to redirect their pathways.
When he was as young boy, he was saved at a Good News Club in his neighborhood. One day the teacher asked if anyone knew someone who could play the piano. Bill raised his hand and nominated his mom to play. To make a long story short…Bill's mom was also saved through this Good News Club by playing the piano. And thus began their regular attendance at Scofield Bible Church.
Later, Bill would have the privilege of singing in the chorus for the Dallas Opera. He loved singing, but the opera was not what he wanted to sing about. He loved singing in the choir at church and being asked to sing solos. His favorite songs to sing were "Now I belong to Jesus" and "How Great Thou Art." As a side note, Bonnie was singing "Now I belong to Jesus" to Bill in his final minutes on this earth. This was a sweet and precious way to send him to meet his Personal Savior, Jesus. We can all see him now, singing in God's Heavenly Choir.
Bill Wisley went to his planned home going on Sunday, November 8, 2020 at 10:23 p.m. He was proceeded in death by his mom (LeAutha Tucker Wisley) and his dad (Earl Jackson Bruce Wisley), and a little brother (Jackson Wisley). He is survived by his beautiful bride, Bonnie, brother, Jerry Wisley and wife, Linda, brother Tommy Wisley and wife, Sandy, oldest (yellow-rose of Texas) daughter, Deborah Johnson, second daughter, Karen Fite and her husband Tony Fite, his one and only precious son, William Bruce Wisley, Jr and his wife Wendy and baby daughter, Vickie Johnson. He also had 11 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren - Carmen Franks and her husband Brett (children Chase and Morgan), Tracy Fite and wife, Kelly (children, Christopher and Brendan), William Johnson (children, Blake and Bailie), Stephen Fite and wife, Paola (children, Alexah and Nico), Tiffany Patton and husband Jason (children, Ethan, Emily, John and Jake), Aaron Johnson and wife, Lindsay (children, Eric, Riley, Ethan, Lila, Landen, and Huntley), Jennifer Johnson (children, Molly, Kamden and Kegan), Jessica Johnson and husband Matt Runnels (children, Liberty and Addison), Timothy Johnson (children Keith and Bailey), Trey Wisley and Hannah Wisley. He is also survived by wonderful nieces, nephews, and many very special friends.
We will end this obituary the same way we started every family gathering with a 20 minute long prayer by Bill Wisley, known as dad and papa!
There will be no service. When we do decide to gather together to celebrate the life of Bill Wisley, we will notify everyone through FaceBook or other forms of social media. What a precious legacy he leaves us!
Services entrusted to Charles W. Smith & Sons of Sachse, Texas.