Jean Kathryn Wise, 99, died unexpectedly Oct. 19 after a fall in her apartment in Mesquite, Nevada.

Jean and her twin sister, Virginia, were born Sept. 16, 1922 to Harvey and Helene Barnett in Hardin, Montana.  She grew up on the family’s dairy farm on the outskirts of town, where she milked cows and did chores daily before and after school.

Jean graduated from Hardin High School and then attended, along with her sister, the St. Vincent Hospital School of Nursing in Billings, graduating as a Registered Nurse in 1944.  She married Luther K. Wise on Sept. 3, 1944 in Billings after Luke returned from World War II.  Jean worked as an RN at the hospital for many years in Billings.

Later, Jean traveled to and from Australia over a 25 year period, helping at the various stations (ranches) Luke established in Australia’s Northern Territory.  After selling those properties, they were involved in Dude Ranching at the Chief Joseph Ranch in Darby Montana.  In 1996, they purchased the Fish Creek Ranch in Eureka, Nevada, raising cattle for more than 20 years.  They also had a home in Billings and Las Vegas for many years before moving to Mesquite in 2005.

Jean was a resident of Sterling Court Retirement Home in St. George, for 5 years before moving back to Mesquite where she became a Founding Member at Mesa Valley Estates Assisted Living.  Jean loved to play cards, especially Bridge, and played with a local group weekly before the pandemic.  She was an extremely social person and was always present at the many activities at Mesa Valley.  She will be missed by her many friends and staff at Mesa Valley Estates.

Jean was preceded in death by her husband, Luther (Luke) Wise, her brother, Byron Barnett, New Hampshire, and her twin sister, Virginia (Wilson) Richards, Lewistown, Montana.
She is survived by her son, James K. Wise (Diane), Billings, her daughter, Bette Jean Pederson (Lawrence), Mesquite, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Viewing will be from 6-7 PM at the Virgin Valley Mortuary on October 28, 2021.  A Memorial, to be held in Mesquite at the Methodist Church will be announced at a later date.
The family invites you to leave a message or memory in their Guest Book at

Virgin Valley Mortuary

320 E. Old Mill Road
Mesquite, NV 89027
(702) 346-6060
Fax (702) 346-8055