Adelia Wisbey

Obituary of Adelia W. Wisbey

Adelia "Dea" W. Wisbey Age 98, of Horseheads. She was born on May 12th 1923 in Crete, NE, the daughter of the late Rev. J. Peter and Catherine (Oxenhardt) Wagner, and passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, February 6th 2022 surrounded by her family. In addition to her parents, Adelia was predeceased by her beloved husband of 55 years, Dr. Herbert A. Wisbey, Jr. in 2000; her daughter Jane, son Thomas, son-in-law Charles Van Alst; and sisters, Clarice and Carol. She is survived by her children Susan W. (Charles) Van Alst of New Paltz, NY, and Peter A. (Sarah) Wisbey of Rochester, NY; beloved grandchildren Kenneth (Nadine) Van Alst, James (Eileen) Van Alst, Laura (Nathan Harl) Van Alst, Jonathan, Kate, Anna and Julia Wisbey; great grandchildren Amon, Angelo, and Marshall Van Alst, and Caleb Harl; daughter-in-law (Karen) Wisbey of Eliot, ME; along with her niece, nephew, and extended family and friends. Dea attended the University of Cincinnati, Class of '44, and met Herbert, the cousin of one of her sorority sisters, on a double date. She skipped class to see him again the next day. He proposed to her before he shipped out to Europe and they wrote hundreds of letters during his war service. Within weeks of returning home in November, 1945, they married. The couple moved several times as Herb completed his master's and doctorate degrees in history. Dea served as his research assistant, proofreader and typist while also teaching business classes and raising the Wisbey children. With the children grown, she returned to Elmira College to pursue an MS in Education. She taught business classes at EBI and Horseheads High School from 1970 to 1985. Her son remembers her grocery lists filled with Gregg shorthand notation. Herbert, as a founding member of the Mark Twain Society and the co-author of Mark Twain in Elmira, drew scholarly attention to Elmira's important place in the author's life. Dea and Herbert hosted many Twain scholars at their home and watched with pride as Quarry Farm was transformed into the Center for Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College. The couple also loved music and travel, visiting Greece, the Middle East, West Africa, Egypt, Mexico, France and the United Kingdom. At home, Dea was active in the Wednesday Morning Club and faithfully attended bible study at the First Presbyterian Church, Horseheads. She was a member of the First Pres congregation for 55 years. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 14th at 11 am at the First Presbyterian Church of Horseheads, 2943 Westinghouse Road, Horseheads, NY. She will be laid to rest alongside her husband and daughter in Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira, NY at the convenience of the family. Those wishing may make a donation in Adelia's name to The Center for Mark Twain Studies, 1 Park Place, Elmira, NY 14901.
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Memorial Service

11:00 am
Saturday, May 14, 2022
First Presbyterian Church of Horseheads
2943 Westinghouse Road
Horseheads, New York, United States

Final Resting Place

Woodlawn Cemetery
1200 Walnut Street
Elmira, New York, United States
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