CHARLESTON —Nell Wiseman, a long-time teacher at Charleston High School (CHS), passed away on Oct.10, 2017, at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. She was born the daughter and only child of Walter V. Tanquary and Tressie Withrow Tanquary. Nell was preceded in death by her parents.

Nell married Robert C. Wiseman on July 3, 1952, and enjoyed a storybook life of 65 years with her husband. Her childhood goal was to be a teacher and a teacher she was. She taught for nearly 60 years with an interest from which she never retired.

Nell graduated from Mount Carmel High School in 1950. After spending two years with her husband who was on active duty in the U. S. Army, she and her husband started their preparation for being teachers at Northern Illinois University. She graduated with a bachelor of science degree in education with a double major in mathematics and English. Following her undergraduate degree, she completed a master of science in education degree in English from Eastern Illinois University. These two degrees were followed by an Ed. D. from the University of Illinois with a major in English. Her teaching work resulted in a total of 57 years with a passion for teaching at Charleston High School in Charleston. It could easily be said that Nell was a teacher of teachers because of her love of her students and fellow teachers.

Nell was devoted to her husband of 65 years. He was her life, and she was so proud of him. They led a storybook life and had many great adventures, including a visit to China where her husband was a visiting professor at Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi’an, PRC.

Nell’s passion was teaching. She taught for nearly 60 years. When students entered her classroom, they entered her world. They became a part of her. She had a smile for every one of them. Her smile was contagious with an enthusiasm that had no bounds. She gave selflessly and generously to her students and her community. Her work with the CHS Press is one example. Nell was also a Table Leader for Advanced Placement Reading for Education Testing Services. She and Bob attended many events, took pictures, wrote articles, and gave free copies of pictures to everyone. They were active in the community and worked tirelessly to make this world a better place. She was an inspiration and truly touched the lives of her students. Upon entering the hospital, she began receiving cards and letters from students and friends that spanned her entire teaching career with all stating how she made a difference in their lives and their love for her. She was one of a kind.

Left to remember a wonderful life with her husband Robert were nieces Conni (Jim) Harness, Debbie (Mark) Kupetz, Stefani (Guermantes) Lailari, nephew Ron Tennis, nephew Daniel (Dana) Nacht, cousin Norman Withrow, cousin Duncan Withrow, many great nieces and great nephews, as well as her many students and friends over the past years.

Funeral services are at 2 p.m. Saturday at Short-Cunningham Funeral Home, 527 N Mulberry Street, Mt. Carmel, with burial in Bethel Cemetery at a later date. Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. until the time of the service.

Expressions of sympathy can be made in Nell’s memory to the Bellmont Christian Church or the Bellmont United Methodist Church. Envelopes will be available at Short-Cunningham Funeral Home.

Condolences may be made online at

Short-Cunningham Funeral Home is honored to serve Nell’s family.

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