Mar. 13--SAMSON -- It was going to be a great weekend for the Wise family.
Murray and Tracy Wise would have celebrated their 18th anniversary on Sunday. Their simple, private celebration may have included pleasant memories of the past 18 years such as their last family vacation to Gatlinburg, or all the way back to 1990, when Tracy quit school in the 10th grade to marry the man she loved.
For Murray and his 15-year-old son, Dean, the weekend would extend into Monday, the first day of turkey season.
According to WTVY, Murray was a volunteer with the Samson Rescue Squad as well as the local fire department. The squad set up a special account at: Samson Banking Company Inc., 2 West Main St, Samson, AL 36477.For more information about the fund, you can contact Melissa Stinson at 334-248-3663.
They loved to hunt. Even before Dean was old enough to hunt, father and son would go into the woods, sit and watch. They would try to remain quiet, but sometimes Dean and Murray would talk about Alabama football. A full day without a deer or turkey kill was never a wasted day for the two.
But Murray Wise is planning funerals today instead of anniversary celebrations and hunting trips and wondering why a crazed gunman would take away his family.
Wise stood outside his home Thursday afternoon, less than 30 yards from where Michael McLendon shot and killed his wife and son Tuesday in a crazed killing spree. He said he can still stand only because of the prayers of friends and strangers. Still, he literally clings to his sisters for support.
"The 15 years I had with my son and the 18 years I had with Tracy were good, but I need more," he said.
"I'm lost without (Tracy). She kept me alive."
Tracy Wise was simply known as "Tator" to the Samson community, and everyone knew her. To Murray, Tator had the strongest will in southeast Alabama. After quitting school in the 10th grade, she acquired her GED and put herself through law school at the University of Alabama. She later became the town's magistrate and struck fear into the hearts of the town's lawbreakers.
"People were afraid of her if they had to go in front of her because they knew she would put them in jail," Murray Wise said.
Murray Wise was working just below the state line in Florida on Tuesday when he received the call that buckled his knees and crushed his world.
"I just broke down," he said. "I couldn't stand up."
He will bury his wife and son Tuesday in Samson. He plans to establish a scholarship fund in the name of Dean Wise for deserving local students.
"I want their names to be in this community for as long as I'm around," he said.
Copyright 2009 The Dothan Eagle
The Dothan Eagle (Alabama)
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News
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i have informed the members of my station about this situation and want Mr.Wise to know that him and his family are in all of our thoughts and prayers. I know there is no way that it will help but i hope the person or people who did this will be punished to the furthest extent of the law!