James Ross Wiley
May 20, 1946 - May 11, 2001
Jim & Lu Wiley with James Dague, May 1999
Jim & Lu Wiley, May 1999
Jim & Lu Wiley, June 2000
Obituary, Akron Beacon Journal - May 13, 2001
(Submitted by Dave Burley.)
James R. Wiley, 54, beloved husband and father, passed away at home May 11, 2001, after a brave battle with a cancerous brain tumor.
He was born and educated in Akron. He obtained his masters degree from the University of Akron and was employed for 34 years in the administrative offices of the Akron Board of Education in the Architects Office and later as the Energy Manager.
He was an avid writer with published works and was a member of the Akron Canton Writers Guild. He won many awards for his writings and was the recipient of the Norma Sigler Atkins Rowlands Memorial Award for outstanding contribution to the craft and profession of writing in September 1999. His genealogical book, on his branch of the Wiley family, can be found in various libraries throughout the country, as well as the Mormon Genealogical Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also was a member of the Marshall County West Virginia Genealogy Group. He was an active member of the Mt. Akra lodge 680 Freemasons of Ohio.
He was a loving and sensitive man with a warm heart, a quick wit, and an encouraging word for whomever he met. He loved nature and gardening as revealed in his many bonsai trees and was a former member of the Cleveland Bonsai Club. He enjoyed listening to music, fishing, playing poker with his buddies, but most of all he enjoyed spending time at home with his family and pets.
He will be sadly missed by his loving wife, Lucella; sons, Tim (Kate) & Andrew; sisters, Sue Poling and Kay Deselem; many nieces and nephews.
At his request, cremation has taken place. Mt. Akra Lodge will conduct services 7 p.m. TUESDAY followed by a memorial service, Dr. Mark T. Ruppert officiating, at the Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel, 85 N. Miller Rd. There are no calling hours. Private interment at Rose Hill Burial Park. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made in his name to the American Brain Tumor Association, 2720 River road, Des Plaines, IL 60018-4117. (Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel, 330-867-4141.)
The Hills Beckon My Soul
by Mark I (B. Carlisle Bowling)
One by one ancestors stood with outstretched hand
Greeting my spiritual essence, passing in review--
Loving glances of welcome outpour through
Tired and toil worn faces from Mountaineer Land.
I greet each one as a wonderful find
From a dark and dusty courthouse record book
That has given me such a familiar name--
And now--A face--An ancestor--A mind.
I drift through endless time and space
My soul listening to the soundless and magnetic call
Of the beloved Marshall County Mountains
Knowing full well only God's brush painted this place.
Kith and kin through centuries past
Walked -- Lived -- Loved -- Fought -- and Died
And placed below the sod for eternal rest
Knowing God hath shared with them and us--his BEST!
Bones upon bones in a neat little row
Laid to rest with sounds of love where
Two dirt roads converge in a cemetery long forgotten
Though the memories live on in stone and hearts that I know.
A man full of wit and humors
And a heart of pure gold
Loved his family deeply--sons and mate
Shared his zest of life with all us "graveyard troopers!"
Though Time ravaged his hair
He never met an enemy, a friend always there--
Tender smiles, always giving, always sharing
The teacher never left--has just retired from here to there.
As we sit and reflect on the life
Of our friend, fellow genealogist, witty MC--
We remember with love and respect and admiration
That he will always be with us--no sadness or strife.
When the full moon shines through the crystals of frost
On the bare branches of the Marshall County trees--
And your Scottish heritage heart is attuned to times long forgotten
And if you listen carefully, oh so carefully, you can hear the ancestors call--
"Join us! Well done our good and faithful genealogist--
You have shared our souls with many--
Our hard times, our trials, our sadness, our tribulations--
COME HOME and Rest In Peace."
Jim Wiley, our friend, our compatriot, our humorist--
Answered--and we shall be forever thankful
That HE passed our way
And touched our hearts, minds and indeed, even our souls.!
In Loving Memory of James Ross Wiley
May 20, 1946--May 11, 2001
Jim Wiley speaking at Virtual Genealogy Society Dinner
June 17, 2000
A Message To WVMARSHA From Jim Wiley
After a trip east and south (into West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and back through West By God) I got home to a couple hundred e-mails, including one from a lister her about searching for a cemetery in the back roads of the Mountain State. I know she meant no slur (I really mean that) but I have to add a note about my own experiences on those back roads.
Thirty-some years ago, I took my new wife and baby son "back down home" to West Virginia, to show her where my daddy was from, to give her some idea of what she'd married into, though it was too late to back out, what with the little one in her lap and all. I had vague recollections of where my dad had taken me on a few trips before he'd died, and how to get there. But we made it, back to where he was born, where his father and mother and baby sister were buried on a hilltop where two dirt roads converged. There, too, was the home of my third grade teacher, and a few cousins. Why is it, you get to such a place, and though you were born and raised some hours and miles away, it "feels" like home? Could it be the people, the generations of experience mingled with the dust and mud and trees and fields?
I showed my wife, "There's the house where my dad and I stayed the night when we visited, a cousin of some sort. Really nice folks! That was the 'switchboard room' there at the corner of the house, when they brought telephones into the area." Those cousins directed us to other friends and cousins, folks who were first cousins of my dad, and who would remember all the old folks and all the old stories. Uncle Arch lived just a few miles off, not more than fifteen minutes away, they said, and told us how to get there. Well, in the hills, if you don't know the area, no way it's fifteen minutes away, not the way I drive those mountain roads.
We stopped at a gas station/grocery store on a mountain top, where the screen door slammed and kept the flies outside, where two good ol' boys were drinking long-necked Stroh's out front. "Arch Wiley? Hell, yes we know him! He was the mailman for thirty years! Not more than fifteen minutes down this here road. You take this here road about a mile (it was always "about a mile") and take the first right, andů) We kept doing that, taking the first right, and asking folks where Arch Wiley's house was. After an hour, we stopped at a house "up on stilts" in a creek valley and asked again for Arch Wiley's house. The folks (the whole family) who came out on the porch said it was just down the road. The "big white house just down the road."
Right. We'd been doing that for an hour. But, sure enough, about a mile farther on, there was a modest, two-story white frame house, with morning glories and honeysuckle climbing up the porch bannisters, and the sweetest lady in the world who greeted us. We had found my dad's cousins. They told us it was a wonder that the folks down the road had told us the truth. Just the week before the sheriff had stopped by their house in pursuit of someone, that the folks in the house on stilts had told them that the folks the sheriff was after had just gone down the road, raising dust and going like a bat outta hell. Hadn't been anyone down that road all week except us.
We had the most pleasant visit with my dad's cousins, so long and enjoyable that we forgot the time. They gave us supper and milk for our baby's bottle, and just before dark we had to leave, to find our way back to Wheeling and then back home. But we left with memories and names and locations of other cousins, and my wife's most striking memory of the trip was how wonderful the people - everyone - were to us.
Thirty years, and many more trips later, and our memories and experiences remain much the same, only better. The landscape is one God took His good time making, and the people much the same. That's the only place on the earth I can imagine where we'd stand on a hill at sunset, and as we watched the colors changes from green to blazing oranges and reds, hear a lone bagpiper on a hill a mile off playing, for no one but himself and God, and the sounds of "Amazing Grace" and "Scotland the Brave" would float over on the breezes to us.
Anyplace you want to get to in West Virginia will take some time, but if you take the time, it's worth it. And if you pull over and park your car and talk to the folks, you'll meet kinfolk, or people who know your kin, and you'll be better for it. At least, that's been my experience.
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James Wiley, AKA: firstname.lastname@example.org