CELEBRATION OF LIFE FOR DEACON JOHN ELLIS WILEY
John Ellis Wiley was born on February 8, 1931, to the late Robert and Della Wiley. The youngest of nine children, he was raised in, rural, Brownsville, Tennessee where he graduated from Carver High School. After this time, he was blessed with a beautiful baby girl, Minnie Ruth. John Ellis Wiley, taking advantage of the first opportunity he had to get closer to the city life, enlisted in the United States Army where he served in the 74th Engineering Combat Infantry. After having served and fought in the Korean War, he was honorably discharged in 1953.
John Ellis Wiley, always wanting more for himself, enrolled in Tennessee State A & I College (currently Tennessee State University) where he studied Business Administration. During his time at A & I college he met the love of his life, the former Marian “Peggi” Hayden and in 1955 they united in Holy Matrimony. To this union two children were born, Judith Faye and Michael.
In 1959, John Ellis Wiley began his career at Vanderbilt as a glassware washer in the Microbiology Lab where he worked with Dr. Vitor Naijar and Dr. Sidney Harshman. He later worked in the Pathology Department where he made slides of cancer patient biopsies and media to stain slides. He then moved to the Biochemistry Department, where he worked with Dr. Boing on methods to measure and detect cancer in rats. During his time with Dr. Robert Roloff of Neurology, he worked on a Muscular Dystrophy research team. John concluded the last leg of his career working with Dr. Limbird and Dr. Jack Wells in the Pharmacology Department as a research assistant. As a result of his hard work and dedication, he as well as Deaconess Wiley were given the distinct honor of being inducted as a “Hidden Figure” which highlights the accomplishments of notable individuals who advanced the mission and vision of Vanderbilt University.
John Ellis Wiley was an example of a man driven by purpose and true faith in God. He would often provide wisdom to those around him and therefore encourage them to be the best version of themselves. A leader within his church and community he worked to both embody and exemplify biblical principles and Christian manhood. Because of the indelible mark he has left on the world, his legacy will live on forever through the many stories he shared and the memories of those who had the opportunity to know him. He will be remembered as a faithful husband, loving father, doating grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend.
John Ellis Wiley was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Dora Wiley; brothers and Ben Wiley, Sr., Ernest Earl “Jake” Wiley, Brown Wiley, and Robert Wiley and sisters; Dorothy Wiley, Dora Wiley, Johnnie Peet, and Bessie Davis. He leaves to cherish his memories his loving wife, Marian “Peggi” Wiley, Devoted Children, Minnie Ruth (Douglas) Turner, Judith Faye (Kenneth) Jones, and Michael Wayne (Corsina) Wiley. Grandchildren: Gregory Mills, Juanita Taylor, Jayna (CJ) Johnson, Jon Jones, Mikaela Wiley, Great Grandchildren, Jecoliah and Jeleesia Williams, Gregory and Kaitlin Mills, Mills, MelaynaMelayna and Melahn Johnson. Great-Great Grandchildren, Jaydon Flagg, Jurni Morris, Elias Miller, Forest Morris, V, Brother-in-law, Willie D. Davis and Sister-in-law, Vera (Morris) Brown. Devoted sons in ministry Deacon Mark Moore and Pastor Darryl M. Taliaferro and a host of nieces, nephews, family and friends.