James P. Wiley

1918-2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

GALESBURG - Mr. James Philip Wiley, 89, 2245 N. Seminary St., died at 12:07 a.m. Wednesday (Jan. 16, 2008) at Galesburg Cottage Hospital.

He was born to Amanda Fears Wiley and Paul Wiley on May 11, 1918 in East Nelson Township, Moultrie County, Illinois. He was educated in Julie Ann Country School and was a graduate of Sullivan High School in 1936. After two years at Eastern Illinois University, he began his career in teaching at MacDonald Country School near Arthur, where he taught a first- through eighth-grade Amish school. He then served in the Air Force during World War II. Upon his discharge from the service, he married Vera Catherine Garner on Feb. 24, 1945. Shortly thereafter, he received his bachelor's degree in education from Eastern Illinois University and his master's degree in education administration at the University of Illinois. After a brief stint teaching in Wood River, he relocated to Philo to serve as principal of Philo Grade School. Mr. Wiley would remain a part of the Unit 7 School District as a school principal, assistant superintendent and teacher until 1973, when he retired from education. Mr. Wiley began a second career as a carpenter and home builder that he continued well into his 80s.

He is survived by his daughters, Debrah (and Danny) Sloan of Windsor and Catherine (and Roy) Wiley-Parkin of Galesburg; and Debrah's daughter Marja (and Joe Wells) of Philo; and Catherine's children Catherine Parkin of San Francisco, Calif., Annie Parkin of Carbondale and Jonathan Parkin of Galesburg. Also surviving are four great-granddaughters, Sarah, Hillary, Lindsay and Samantha; and a stepgreat-grandson, Levi Cushing of Windsor. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews and an amazing group of supportive friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, a brother and his beloved wife Vera.

His life will be celebrated with a reception at Philo Presbyterian Church on 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, followed by a celebratory service in the church sanctuary at 7 p.m. The church is located at 105 E. Jefferson St., Philo. Internment will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Windsor Cemetery in Windsor, Ill., for immediate family and close friends.

The family requests all visitors joining us in celebrating his life wear red or another bright color in respect of his wishes. Memorials may be made to Philo Presbyterian Church, The Little Theater in Sullivan or the Barack Obama presidential campaign in hopes of the better future he envisioned for his beloved nation. Funeral arrangements are entrusted in Renner-Wikoff Chapel, Urbana.

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