Janice "Teko" Thames Wiseman

January 1, 1928November 27, 2011

Janice "Teko" Wiseman - died at home on Sunday, November 27, 2011, after a full and joyous holiday weekend with all of her extended family. Teko was 83 years old, a native of Mobile, AL, who spent her life in activism and service to her community and her family. She was with her beloved husband, Hollis Jay Wiseman, MD, her sweetheart since they met at age fourteen. She suffered not at all. After a lifetime of love and work, her heart simply stopped beating. She is survived by Hollis; her sister, Merrellyn Miller; her six children, Holly Wiseman, Merrell Wiseman, Valery De Laney, Carole Norden, Jay Wiseman, and David Wiseman; her six grandchildren; and a close and far flung circle of friends and admirers who loved and honored her for herself and her many achievements. In the sixties, she and Hollis set an example of courage and commitment to justice and the city they loved by founding ABLE (Alabamians Behind Local Education), an organization to help peacefully integrate the Mobile County schools. Although their work was not appreciated by all, their efforts did not flag, demonstrating that people of good will and good sense in the South could contribute to positive change. This example profoundly shaped the values of their children, all of whom remain grateful to this day. In 1983, Teko helped found Keep Mobile Beautiful and worked as its coordinator for ten years. Her energy, creativity and verve resulted in a beautification competition called No More Eyesore, which engaged residents from schoolchildren to bank presidents to clean up and beautify the ugliest eyesores around town. Other projects included planting the intersection of I-65 and I-10 and landscaping the entrance to Bankhead Tunnel. Her impact on the city is visible to this day. When they retired twenty years ago, Teko and Hollis moved to Fairhope, AL and built their dream home overlooking Mobile Bay. There Hollis, who had built the University of South Alabama Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which is named after him, became president of the Fairhope Library Board and spearheaded the drive to raise approximately seven million dollars to build the current state of the art library. Teko turned her attention to the lack of sidewalks along the Bay, and conceived the project of building a hike/bike trail beginning at the Battleship on the Causeway and extending along the Eastern Shore to Weeks Bay. The organization she founded in 1995 to realize this dream, the Eastern Shore Trailblazers, has raised over 6.5 million dollars through private donations and grants. The 32 mile trail is only two miles short of completion. As passionate an activist as Teko was, her abiding love and tenderness for her family took precedence over all. Down to the last afternoon of her life, when she picked satsumas from the trees in her backyard and washed them to send home with her departing children, she was first and foremost a devoted mother and a wife, intimately engaged in her family's trials and triumphs, a source of strength, wisdom and love. Words cannot express how she will be missed. A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, November 30, 2011, at Dauphin Way United Methodist Church at noon. The family will receive friends from 10:30 a.m. until noon at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Baldwin County Trailblazers, P.O. Box 701, Daphne, Alabama 36526. There will be no interment. According to her long-standing wish, Teko will be cremated and her ashes scattered over her beloved Bay. Condolences may be offered at www.radney Arrangements by Radney Funeral Home, 3155 Dauphin Street, Mobile, Alabama 36606.



  • Visitation

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

  • Memorial Service

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

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Janice "Teko" Thames Wiseman

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jenny and Gary Rich

July 14, 2012

I don't know how we missed this, but our thoughts are with you, Teko's loving family. We loved Teko. She lit up a room when she walked in . We will miss her!

Jamie Miernik

January 14, 2012

I really appreciate recieving word of Teko's passing. Thank you, Valerie for letting us know. Up here in Huntsville we had not heard until recieving your note. My condolences to the family and especially Hollis.
Teko will be missed by many, especially in the cycling community; The Baldwin County Trailblazers and the Alabama Bicycle Coalition.

Sandy Smith

January 3, 2012

Such a lovely lady. One of Mobile's most beautiful blooms. She was a Blessing and an inspiration to all, and will be missed. Keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Nancy Chason

December 27, 2011

Hollis and family,
Teko was such a motivator and would not take no for an answer. Sometimes the phone would ring and I would see that it was Teko and I would be tempted not to answer because it meant work! Of course, I answered how could you not when she worked so hard. I think she brought out the best in everyone she knew. She will be missed. Baldwin County has certainly lost a leader and those of us who knew her lost a friend.

Kristy Caradori

December 6, 2011

I was honored to know Teko and work with her on the Baldwin County Trailblazers. She was an amazing woman and an inspiration to everyone that had the pleasure to know her. Her absence will be a huge loss to so many people. The Wiseman family will be in my thoughts during this difficult time.

Debi Jones-Foster

December 6, 2011

From the first time Teko and I met back in the early 80's as we were beginning Keep Mobile Beautiful, she was always an inspiration to me. As the years progressed as did as our respective projects, she always kept me motivated and focused on the "big picture". Though we hadn't seen each other in several years, I considered her a friend and always will. My thoughts, prayers and sympathies go out to you Hollis, your family, and the many friends Teko acquired over her many years. I'll miss her.

December 6, 2011

My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.She will be missed . Love ya. Kathy Rhinehart Mobile

Holly Wiseman

December 4, 2011

To all of you who have written here on these "pages," we hope to answer you personally. Let me just say now, that reading these lovely, cheering and moving thoughts of my mother are a comfort and a joy. Thank you all for taking the time to communicate with us. All my best, Holly Wiseman

Pat Siano

December 3, 2011

I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of this wonderful lady. I did not know Teko until the ACCR (Alabama Citizen's for Constitutional Reform) organized a bus trip to Montgomery, in 2006 to deliver over 70,000 signatures on petitions calling for a new Alabama Constitution. And there she was on the bus with us, fighting for a new Alabama Constitution. I just read the obituary and my thoughts of Teko as an activist and organizer in other areas of her life were confirmed.

My thoughts and condolences to Dr. Wiseman and the entire family. What a wonderful life you shared with her.


December 2, 2011



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