On April 19th, 2023, Janice Kae Wise became Heaven’s newest choir member. Those who remain remember her as an amazing mother, spirited friend, savvy business woman, and fun-loving Mimi. Kae’s smile and eyes sparkled with mischief (and beauty!) Her humor and love of fun led to many adventures. But Kae’s unwavering personal strength, her deep faith in Jesus, and her desire to simply “make things better” will be her legacy.
Janice Kae was born July 19, 1940, to Charlie and Mina Dixon in Phillips, Texas, where her dad was employed by Phillips Petroleum. Kae played outside until sunset, when she would run home covered in dirt to listen to her favorite radio show. In high school, social clubs, choir, art, and volleyball were her passions.
At an early age, Kae’s beautiful voice was discovered, and showcased on a radio show for talented children. She pursued vocal training, eventually becoming a local entertainer, touring the area to perform at country clubs, social events, and dances. She sang regularly with friend and co-writer of the hit song “Pretty Woman.”
Though Kae continued singing, it was her powerful volleyball spike that landed her a full-ride scholarship to Howard College and a championship season. She shared her skill for volleyball as a middle school coach during and after college. It was in Howard County where she met the love of her life, Warren H. Wise, Jr. They were married one day before her 19th birthday and lived in Big Spring most of their 32 years together. Warren farmed cotton and co-owned the International Harvester dealership and Kae was secretary to the plant manager at Cosden refinery.
While raising her two daughters, Kae continued to paint, craft, sing, and play sports. More than one of her paintings garnered awards at regional art shows, and she taught art at Marcy elementary for a time. She was a frequent soloist in the choir at First Baptist Church, Big Spring, and played co-ed adult volleyball there for years.
Never one to stop moving, in 1978 Kae opened Spoiled Rotten, an upscale children’s boutique in Big Spring. After 10 successful years of retail, the Wise family moved to Dallas where they owned Kae’s Associates, a children’s showroom in the Dallas Apparel Mart. Kae stayed active in her community, participating in the choir at First Baptist Carrollton and volunteering with her daughter’s high school theater booster club.
Kae’s soulmate, Warren, passed away in 1991 and she began a career in the corporate office of Mary Kay, while also being the primary caregiver for her mom, Mina.
Kae loved traveling with the friends she made through high school, work, and church, adventuring across the globe on cruises, mission trips, Prestonwood Choir trips, and even hiking the Grand Canyon when she was 67! But she especially loved being Mimi to her 6 grandkids. Her garage playhouse, the trips to Disney, helping with art projects, and attending all the sports, recitals, and plays, and witnessing her grandchildren accept Christ gave her immense joy and pride.
Kae is survived by her two daughters, Kristi Derrick (Craig) and Kappi Helms (Steve) and the grandchildren she loved so much; Payton, Ty and Finleigh Derrick, and Holiday, Kate, and Bennett Helms, all of Frisco, as well as her sister Carolyn Tims, and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband, mother, father, and siblings: Patricia, Jim, and Mike Dixon.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a gift to the various charities Kae championed through a fund established in her honor by visiting:
You may also send a gift to Communities Foundation of Texas, 5500 Caruth Haven Lane, Dallas, Texas, 75225 c/o The Kae Wise Family.
A Celebration of Kae’s life will be held on Friday, May 26th, 2023 at 10:00 am at Faith Chapel at Prestonwood Baptist Church, 6801 Park Blvd., Plano, Texas, 75093.
Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home and Crematory. Online condolences can be made at www.npwelch.com
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