James Scott Wisby

Born in Waterloo, IA on June 15, 1942

Departed on June 14, 2014 and resided in Nashville, TN

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James Scott Wisby, of Nashville, TN, passed away Saturday, June 14, 2014 at home, after living for 10 years with Alzheimer’s disease.

A celebration of Jim’s life is scheduled for Wednesday, June 25th at 11 a.m. at Bellevue Presbyterian Church, Nashville, TN. The family will receive friends Tuesday, June 24th from 5-7 p.m. and one hour prior to service time.

Jim was born June 15, 1942, in Waterloo, Iowa, the second of five children to Harry and Betty (Scott) Wisby. He attended Cedar Falls High and went on to the University of Northern Iowa where he met Joyce Sullivan, whom he married June 19, 1965. They shared an adventurous life together for nearly 49 years. After receiving his Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa, Jim and Joyce moved to St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands, where Jim served as Legal Counsel, first to the Legislature, and then to the Governor. He and Joyce fell in love with the island and stayed for seventeen years. While living on St. Thomas, they created many lasting friendships and raised their two beautiful children, Joey and Julie. They returned to Des Moines, IA in 1988, where Jim served as an Assistant Attorney General until his retirement in 2005, when he and Joyce moved to Nashville to be close to their children. Throughout his life, Jim enjoyed camping, gardening, staying physically fit, and spending time with his family. He also enjoyed music, and was known for his sense of humor and love of practical jokes. He was a member of the Bellevue Presbyterian Church, the Bellevue YMCA, as well as both the Virgin Islands and Iowa Bar Associations.

Jim is survived by his wife Joyce; children Joseph (Renee) and Julie Phillips (David); five grandchildren, Marley and Erika Wisby, Henry, Jasper and Amalie Phillips; his mother Betty Wisby-Hill; brother Gary (Pat); sisters, Barbara Harms and Sharon Joseph (Tom).

He was preceded in death by his father and brother Greg.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Alive Hospice or the Bellevue Presbyterian Church Cares, to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association, 100 Cross Timbers Dr. Nashville, TN 37221.

15 Comments to James Scott Wisby

  1. Gary Baumgartner
    June 16, 2014 1:28 pm

    What a delightful man who made the world richer for his presence in it. As a fellow graduate of the CFHS class of 1960 I knew Jim as a scholar athlete, pleasant always and a friend to, and admired by, everyone. He will be missed by all who knew him. May You Rest In Peace, Jim!
    Gary Baumgartner

    • Thomas C. Davis
      June 16, 2014 2:42 pm

      Jim was a gentleman and a scholar.

      “To live in hearts we leave behind, is not to die.” (Thomas Campbell 1928)

      Save us a spot in heaven in Jim…. as we know that;s where your are.

      Tom Davis

  2. Mike and Nancy Norman Newsome and Judy Norman Husted
    June 16, 2014 2:59 pm

    Jim was a wonderful, kind man who always had time to help someone, as a classmate and as a friend. We shall miss him, knowing we won’t see him again here on earth, but we shall love knowing that Jim and his entire family has found peace. We look forward with contentment and with love, knowing that when we see Jim again, he will once more be healthy, glorious, and smiling his way around Heaven and in the beautiful room GOD has prepared for Jim to reside throughout eternity.

    With prayers and our love,
    Mike and Nancy Norman Newsome and Judy Norman Husted

  3. Nothin' Fancy
    June 16, 2014 3:58 pm

    From all of us at Nothin’ Fancy, we were always delighted to see Jim at our festivals and glad that we were able to contribute maybe a small part to his happiness & contentment during his illness. He always shared a smile and encouraging words and he will be missed.

    Sending good thoughts and Love to all,
    Mike, Mtichell, Tony, Chris, Mac, Willie & Robyn

  4. Bob and Nancy Neely
    June 16, 2014 8:33 pm

    Bob and I met Jim and Joyce at the Y and immediately became friends with this fun loving couple. We enjoyed many laughs, good times and made good memories. We shared the good and sad times.

    The hardships they faced with Jim’s disease, they met head on, never giving into a disease that had no cure. We have watched our friends handle this terrible disease with strength, dignity and most of all love. Bob and I were privileged to be apart of Jim’s life.

    We are praying that God will surround your family with peace and love.

    Bob and Nancy

  5. Bob Phillips
    June 16, 2014 9:58 pm

    I only knew Jim a short while starting about 5 years ago at Nothin Fancy Bluegrass festival. I admired how Joyce was such a loving wife and cared for Jim. Watching him pat his small dog while patting his foot at the beat of music. A very kind and wonderful man I could see in him. And yes while jamming music around the campground and singing some gospel music that I am sure Jim could remember, seeing him from a distance singing along . He was such a inspiration the short span that I met him and Joyce but will last a life time. Rest well my friend and I pray for God’s tender mercy for the family at this time.

  6. Marsha (Hale) Leonard
    June 16, 2014 11:34 pm

    Dear Joyce,

    I had no idea of what you have been going through. This makes the kindness of your reaching out to me even more touching than I can ever express. I didn’t have a return address or I would have thanked you then.

    You were a wonderful friend in high school and i know you married a fabulous man. I’m so sorry for your loss; it sounds like you have a great support around you and an abundance of love.

    Please know that I send love and prayers for you and your family.

    Love, Marsha

  7. Dave Larsen
    June 17, 2014 10:48 am

    As a class member of Jims i also remember him well. Am sorry for your loss but we all can rejoice in knowing he is now in better hands in a better place. Sorry i did not know you were in Nashville as i was there for a week just a few years ago. Rest in peace Jim.

  8. Tim Fitzgibbon
    June 17, 2014 7:54 pm

    Jim was a colleague at the Iowa College Student Aid Commission and a good friend. We worked closely together managing the Commission’s default portfolio and finding creative ways to help borrowers out of default. Jim was such a pleasant person to work with and always had a positive outlook. We left the Commission at about the same time and I’ve thought of him often. May he rest in peace and may his family feel the comforting presence of Christ.

  9. Yvonne Addis
    June 17, 2014 8:33 pm

    Dear Joyce,

    Dottie’s message has had me holding you in my heart all day; please count me among all those who mourn the loss of your husband. He was an amazing human being, and I know you and your family will celebrate all he did to make the world a better place. I have deep admiration for you and your children in embracing fund-raising as a way to attach even more meaning to Jim’s life and to help others. You are an inspiration to me in terms of what I may do in fund-raising for Parkinson’s Disease, as my beloved husband is now under Hospice care, also saying a long goodbye.

    Joyce, I have such wonderful memories of you from Horace Mann and Girl Scout camping days. I’m glad I got to see you briefly 3 years ago. I hope to see you again.

    Holding you all in loving care,

  10. Pam Griebel
    June 17, 2014 9:26 pm

    Joyce and family,

    I worked with Jim at the Attorney General’s Office. His bright smile, easy way with clients, and dedicated service are part of our history, our legacy. We are so sorry to hear of Jim’s death. He enriched our lives. Jim always spoke of his family as his number one priority. He was a loving, caring person. We are thinking of you and know you’ll remember all the vibrant times, as we do.

    Pam Griebel
    Des Moines, Iowa

  11. Ruth Manning
    June 17, 2014 10:58 pm

    Sorry to hear of Jim’s death. He was a special person, great friend and boss. I always enjoyed his sense of humor. I smile when I think of him.

    May your memories help you through this sad time.


  12. Sue and Terry Robinson
    July 8, 2014 12:23 pm

    Dear Joyce, Julie and Joey, We were so sad to learn of Jim’s failing health. It is never easy to let go of the person you love so much. Amy and Scott join Terry and me as we send our deep sympathy to you. We have wonderful memories when you lived in St. Thomas and we were together with the Wisby, Heikkila, Tyson and Robinson Family gatherings: worshipping at the Thomas Reformed Church and attending church events along with activities at the beach, on the Heikkila’s boat, at the tennis courts and the horseback riding ring. We will never forget the bonfire and cooking S’mores at your house! So glad that we have the memories of the happy times! We are holding you in our hearts and hope that your lovd shared together as a family will give you just the right balance of tears ,love, joy and laughter.
    With great love,
    Terry and Sue

  13. Christian G. Boschulte
    July 21, 2014 7:36 pm

    I met Attorney Wisby when he first moved to St. Thomas and was employed at the Legal Counsel’s Office of the Legislature. At the time I worked for the Governor’s Legal Counsel. Because of our positions, we had frequent interactions on legislation. Jim soon moved to Government House and we worked on many pieces of legislation together. It was a joy to work with him. He was always very helpful in explaining the legal aspects of bills and Executive Orders; and helping me to improve my drafting skills. My kids attended his wife’s daycare school and we were very pleased with their early childhood preparation. It gave them the skills needed to excel in grade school. Jim was deeply admired. A kind and loving friend. Christian G. Boschulte, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

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    September 12, 2014 11:29 pm

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