Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend

WILLIAMS, Wiley Alvin.

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For 95 years there has been a sweet, sweet spirit in our lives until he did what he had always promised. On Wednesday, April 14, 2021, Wiley Alvin flew away with the angels to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and you can be assured that he sang all the way home to glory! Wiley was born in Nash County, N.C. on January 19, 1926. He was predecease­d by his father, Elbert K. Williams; and mother, Lillie Williams Massey; and three brothers, Kelly Williams, Cameron Williams, Milton Williams; and sister, Libby W. Camelio. He is survived by his brothers, Paul (Betty Lou) of Raleigh, N.C., and Curtis (Johnnie Mae) of Youngsvill­e, N.C. He is also survived by his cousin and caregiver, Harold Bryant; and close family friend, Helen Tarantino; along with a host of relatives and friends. In 1945 at the age of 19, Wiley was drafted in the U.S Army Infantry, the primary land combat force of the Army. He served in Austria and Germany. In 1951, Wiley came to Richmond, Va., to find employment. Wiley subsequent­ly worked at Copley’s Auto Service and as a furniture maker at David M. Lea & Company. He also worked as a salesman at Rockingham Clothing and Muse Buick. Wiley loved church music, even though he couldn’t always remember the lyrics. Toward the end of this life, when he didn’t chat much, just the sight of his pastor at the door of his hospital room would cause Wiley to break into the melodious strains of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" with gusto! He also loved going to The Chicken House in the summer for a rollicking gospel music jam. He was always up for crooning barbershop music with the Virginians. And then there was Elvis Presley! Wiley Williams loved impersonat­ing "the king of rock ’n’ roll" right down to the wig and costumes. When the piano started playing, Wiley was all "shook" up and so were his audiences! And then there was the beach. The Outer Banks of North Carolina were almost heaven for all of us who spent time at "Uncle Wiley’s Sand Box" in Southern Shores. And what was so magnificen­t about it? All and everything we did together was play! We cooked, ate, told stories, read books, watched special movies, went to church and vacation Bible school and played in the ocean. And one little boy grew up in Uncle Wiley’s sandbox learning about how the little deer loved the salt lick in the woods, how to overcome his fear of the ocean waves as they crashed on the shore, and how to take a lovely nap in the hammock under the house. Wiley loved his little baby birds in the spring and the faces of the little children who sat enraptured by the Bible stories he told them at church - they could hardly wait to get the sticks of gum he had wrapped in Bible verses for each of them. Even as the years went by, Wiley made it a habit to stay in touch with his young ones as they grew up. None of them will ever forget Wiley’s example of sweetness, joy, humor, generosity, kindness and faithfulne­ss to God, his family and his friends. All of us who have known and loved him will miss him. Visitation will be held on Sunday, April 18, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Bliley’s - Central, 3801 Augusta Ave., Richmond, Va. The funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, April 19, at Hunton Baptist Church, 11660 Greenwood Road, Glen Allen, Va. If you attend, please wear a mask. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributi­ons may be made to Hunton Baptist Church.

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