1922 – 2003

PORTLAND – Grace Elizabeth Wiley died Dec. 13, at St. Joseph’s Manor, after a lengthy illness.

Born in Danvers, Mass., March 22, 1922, the daughter of Patrick and Alice Kellett Tierney, she moved with her parents and her sister, Patricia, to South Paris in 1937, where she graduated from South Paris High School in 1939. She participated in basketball and volleyball and graduated fifth in her class of over 60.

On April 28, 1943, she married Harold T. Wiley, then of Norway and now of Falmouth Foreside, who survives her. She was extremely supportive of her husband, Harold, whose career as a professional golfer and later as an automobile dealer often entailed relocating and adapting to new environments. Her support of her husband’s active life in these varied careers was a trademark of her love and devotion to her role as a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and always a supporter of her family and friends.

During her husband’s career as a golf pro at Norway Country Club in the 1950s, she managed the clubhouse, overseeing the kitchen and dining room. Her hard work and managerial skills contributed to the great success of what was truly a husband-wife team in both careers. She was best known for her home-baked pies, elegant baked stuffed shrimp and a yet-to-be-imitated secret string bean recipe; her cooking there is still remembered by long-term members of Norway Country Club.

One of Mrs. Wiley’s favorite pastimes was playing golf. She was a member of the Portland Country Club for over 30 years and served on the handicap committee. She also enjoyed candlepin bowling and acquired a very competitive level of skill. She was an active reader, a passion that she drummed into her son from his birth, with a keen intellect and an interest in a variety of subjects. Her favorite categories of reading included history, especially of the Civil War era, but she also loved British mysteries, cookbooks and Irish fiction. Her Irish heritage was very important to her; she maintained close ties with her cousins in Ireland throughout her life, writing regularly, visiting when she could and bringing them to Maine for visits.

She received numerous citations for outstanding leadership for improving community life in Norway, where the family resided until 1967. While there, she was a volunteer for the Veteran’s Administration, an enthusiastic member of the Browning Reading Club and a director of the Norway Memorial Library.

When her husband purchased Couri Pontiac Inc., later Wiley Pontiac, in Portland, she left her much loved home in Norway and moved to Cumberland Foreside, where she made a new circle of devoted friends.

Mrs. Wiley was an avid lover of cats, stray or otherwise, providing loving homes over the years to, among others: Boy Kitty, Walter, Sophie, Alfred, Susie and Sam. It was fascinating to hear her discuss the various personalities of her cats, each with their carefully chosen names, all true members of the family.

Mrs. Wiley was always gracious, charming and gentle, characteristics that touched everyone with whom she had contact. According to her daughter-in-law of 35 years, Elizabeth Otterson Wiley, she always saw the goodness in people, convinced that God loved everybody. It was a devotion she followed as an active parish member at St. Catherine’s in Norway and then Holy Martyrs in Falmouth, for a combined total of over 60 years.

She will be deeply missed by her large circle of family and friends; she has left an indelible imprint of love and tolerance that will surely serve to remind us of this gentle lady’s legacy.

Survivors include her husband of 63 years, Harold T. Wiley of Falmouth; her son, Peter and daughter-in-law, Elizabeth, her granddaughter, Martha Wiley and great-granddaughter, Gracie Wiley; her sister and closest friend, Patricia Abbott of South Paris; her brother-in-law, Harry Wiley and his wife, Mary Lou of Scarborough; her brother-in-law, Myron and her sister-in-law, Gerry, also of South Paris; and her sister-in-law, Ethel Wiley of Waterford; as well as many nieces and nephews.

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