March 8, 1940 - January 8, 2022
Dr. Aimee Wiest, who passed away on Saturday, January 8, 2022, was the epitome of unconditional love and kindness. Dr. Wiest left an indelible impact on everyone she met. Those fortunate to have known her experienced the light that she left on the world through her love and acceptance of everyone that she encountered. To quote one of the many who are grieving her death, “Softly shining light, gentle yet powerful presence and keen ability to understand any situation. What a wonderful teacher. What a wonderful friend.” What a wonderful individual. Dr. Wiest found purpose and goodness in everyone, whether it be the challenging student, the incarcerated individual, or her academic peers. She gave them equal respect because of their shared humanity. She emanated a positivity and optimism that allowed all who met her to believe in their own potential. Aimee’s generosity was boundless. She contributed to every organization that cared about the survival of all of God’s creatures. Dr. Wiest, the oldest of two daughters, was born to Harry and Faith Wiest on March 8, 1940. She graduated from William Penn High School in York, Pa. She earned a BA degree from Grove City College, PA, a master’s degree from Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD, and her PHD in English Literature and African American Studies from the University of MD. Dr. Wiest taught English at Severna Park High School in MD. After a 35-year career as a high school teacher, she worked as an adjunct Professor of African American Literature at the University of MD, Notre Dame University in Baltimore, and Delaware State University in Dover and Georgetown. She continued her studies at the University of Nairobi because she always sought full knowledge and understanding of all cultures. For that reason, Dr. Wiest travelled around the world more for insight than pleasure, though she enjoyed every country that she visited. To simply say that she was an educator would diminish what she brought to the classroom. Many students recall how her lessons were infused with the essence of who she was, words, music, social justice, spirituality, and poetry. Many of her past students, in reflecting on her teaching, noted how well prepared she always was, her full knowledge of the subject and how she radiated an absolute love of sharing all her knowledge. Others affirmed that Dr. Wiest gave them the love of learning and, like her, have become eternal searchers for truth and knowledge. Dr. Wiest was born a musician. The first indication of her musical talent was at age two years, and she continued to entertain many people throughout her life. Though never having studied or trained to play the piano, she played professionally whenever the opportunity arose. She played for the various churches she attended, at private house parties, weddings, public events. However, her greatest joy was playing in restaurants and bars where she always succeeded in getting diners and guests to sing along while she played. For many years, she was the musical entertainment at Nordstrom Department Store in the Annapolis Mall, where the many students she taught would gather around the piano to sing and entertain the customers. There was no limit to her musical preference; she liked it all, from Jazz, to Rap, to Blues, to Gospel, to Opera. Dr. Wiest was active in several community groups. She belonged to four book groups including the St. Peter’s Church book group, the Wolfe Pointe book group, the Natural Selections book group, and the Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice Book Club, which she founded and led for several years. She helped to produce and participated in the Black Poetry Events held by SDARJ. Dr. Wiest was a teacher of Black Literature, Poetry and History at the Osher Program in Lewes, DE. She responded positively to every request for teaching or entertaining, believing that one is obligated to share their knowledge and talents with others. Dr. Wiest is survived by her spouse and partner of 45 years, Charlotte King of Lewes, DE.; a stepdaughter, Rachel King of Chicago, IL; a sister, Sally Bergeron of Phoenix, AZ; two nieces Alice Gregg and Sidney Besania; one nephew, Lieutenant Colonel U.S. Army Phillip Bergeron; and seven great nieces and nephews. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, March 19, 2022 at 11:00 AM at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 2nd & Market Streets, Lewes, DE. All are invited to attend the celebration of life via livestream by visiting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7M8wmF8CXLQ In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make donations in Dr. Wiest’s name to one of the following organizations: Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice: Scholarship Funds, Middle School Student Recognition Awards, Para-Professional Financial Assistance Program and financial assistance support for incarcerated individuals completing higher education programs, www.sdarj.org, Pathway to Success, www.pathways-2-success.org, Richard Allen School, www.richardallenschoolgeorgetown.com, First State Community Action Agency, www.firststatecaa.org for the Freedom School. Please sign the virtual guestbook located on the tribute page.
Dr. Aimee Wiest, who passed away on Saturday, January 8, 2022, was the epitome of unconditional love and kindness. Dr. Wiest left an indelible impact on everyone she met. Those fortunate to have known her experienced the light that she left... View Obituary & Service Information
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