Vernon “Bill” Wiley
June 29, 1922 – January 22, 2018
Bill Wiley, 95, of Albany, passed away peacefully at his son’s house, with family and friends by his side, after a brief illness with the flu. Bill was born in Portland, Oregon, the only son of Mable Richardson. As a young boy, he lived on his family’s farm off Richardson Gap Road, Scio, then moved to Albany to attend school, graduating from Albany High School. During WWII, Bill was a B-17 pilot, stationed in England, and flew 27 missions.
Bill met his future wife, Pauline Morgan, when he was a teenager and a friend of her older brother, Harold. After the service, Bill and Pauline married on March 10, 1951, and lived in Albany where they raised their three children. Together they enjoyed camping, traveling, and many family adventures. Just two weeks shy of their 50th anniversary, Pauline preceded Bill in death in 2001.
Bill is survived by daughter Diane (Chris Paulson), Eugene; sons John (Joanna Bullock), Camas, WA and Tom (Debbie), Albany; grandchildren Nick, Chad, Rachel, Erin; and great grandchildren Hudson, Colt. Cyrena Ackerman, his beloved companion, also survives him.
After the war, Bill constructed houses, nursing homes, and commercial buildings, then beginning in the 1960’s worked for Linn Pacific and Casey Enterprises. As the foreman of large construction projects, Bill’s work took his family on journeys around the U.S. as he constructed particleboard plants in Idaho, Tennessee, Virginia, and Texas. In later years when he was 83 years young, life came full circle when Bill and Tom built the beautiful home that he lived in, right next door to the Elm Street house where he grew up.
Bill’s passion was aviation. He flew everything from crop dusters to B-17s, and for many years owned what many will remember as the red and white Navion with tip-tanks. He enjoyed hunting, making annual trips to Plush to join family deer hunting and he also made many elk hunting trips to Hells Canyon. Bill loved to fish, and taught his sons and grandsons the art. Together they fished for salmon in Alaska, yellow fin in Mexico, and fished and crabbed out of Newport where he and Dick Larsell moor their beloved boat the Mable May.
With a positive nature and wonderful sense of humor, Bill used his inventive mind and tireless work ethic to inspire, nurture, mentor, and help his family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances. Everyone who knew Bill loved him, his indomitable spirit, and unwavering strength in every situation. While we are going to miss him tremendously, there is no doubt Bill is fully in charge and at the controls as he completes this final mission.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, February 10 at 1 pm at Albany Senior Center. Please feel free to bring a photo, story or tall tale to share! In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to SafeHaven Humane Society.