William R Wiley Jr
William R Wiley Jr

William R. Wiley Jr., a retired personnel-purchasing manager and a decorated World War II veteran, died Tuesday from pneumonia at Gilchrist Center Towson. The longtime Timonium resident was 99.

William Richard Wiley Jr., the son of William R. Wiley, director of the German Orphan Home, and his wife, Maude Beach Smith Wiley, a teacher, was born in Baltimore and raised in Catonsville at the German Orphan Home. He was a 1937 graduate of Catonsville High School.


He was a 1941 graduate of Western Maryland College, now McDaniel College, from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and was a member of the ROTC.

After graduating from college, he entered the Army and served with the Third Armored Division from 1941 to 1945, supervising repairs of half-tracks and Jeeps.

For his service during the Battle of the Bulge, he was decorated with the Bronze Star, and at the time of his discharge in 1945, he had attained the rank of major.

Shortly before he was deployed, Mr. Wiley meet and fell in love with the former Jeanne Love, whom he courted by letter while deployed in the European Theater, and married within a month after returning to Baltimore.

She died in 2007.

In 1947, he went to work for the Container Corp. of America, where rose to become personnel and purchasing manager, and at night studied at the University of Baltimore, from which he earned a law degree.

After retiring in 1984, Mr. Wiley served as a Baltimore County volunteer math tutor helping General Education Diploma candidates.

While living in Anne Arundel County, Mr. Wiley and his wife were active members of Harundale Presbyterian Church, and after moving to Timonium in 1963 joined Havenwood Presbyterian Church.

“He was matter of fact and without guile,” a son, Donald S. Wiley of Severn,wrote in a biographical profile of his father. “Once when asked to name the worst job he ever had, upon reflection answered, ‘I guess being shot at.’ He was also a man who could have an opinion but reserve comment, a rare quality these days.”

Mr. Wiley was an inveterate fan of Big Band music and enjoyed playing bridge.

He also was an accomplished woodworker who liked making bookshelves, decorative boxes, trivets and chessboards. “His dovetailing and inlay work were meticulous,” his son wrote. “He also refinished furniture and repaired the caning on chairs.”

Funeral services will he held at 11 a.m. Monday at his church, 100 E. Ridgely Road, Lutherville.

In addition to his son, he is survived by another son, Douglas S. Wiley of Timonium; a daughter, Alison Joan Wiley of Timonium; and four grandchildren.