Henry Heininger Wiley of Edgartown, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and uncle, died at home on June 26. He was 89.
A graveside service will be held at 12 pm, Wednesday, July 3 in the New Westside Cemetery, Edgartown with military honors provided by the Veterans of Martha’s Vineyard. A memorial gathering will follow at the home of Charles and Christine Wiley, 29 Indian Hollow Road, West Tisbury.
Henry was born to Pauline and Thomas Wiley on January 8, 1924, joining two older sisters, Pauline (Polly) and Barbara (Bobby). He graduated from Orange County Public Schools and enrolled at Newark College of Engineering.
In November 1942, Henry volunteered for the armed forces and after completion of his first college year he began active duty at Fort Dix, N.J. He volunteered and was accepted into the U.S. Army Air Corps and began pilot training in Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi.
After the Battle of the Bulge, the Army determined there was a greater need for infantry soldiers, so Henry’s pilot training unit was disbanded and he was transferred to General Patton’s Third Army, Headquarters Company Third Battalion, 261st Infantry.
He saw action crossing the Siegfried Line, through central Germany at the Battle of Struth, and southeast to Austria. He received a Letter of Commendation for volunteering to rescue wounded soldiers under fire at the Battle of Aabach on the Danube River near Regensberg, Germany. In December 2007 he received a Bronze Star for this act of bravery. He was honorably discharged in June of 1946.
Upon his return to civilian life, Henry continued his education, graduating from Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a BA, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, with an LL.B. He was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in 1951.
On June 25, 1949, he married Jane Carolyn Whiting, of Orange, N.J., a recent graduate of Pembroke College, and they settled in Toms River, New Jersey, where he became a partner in the law firm Berry, Whitson, and Berry. He served as president of the Ocean County Bar Association from 1967–1968. In 1968 New Jersey Governor Hughes appointed Henry a judge of the Ocean County Court and he served on this court until 1978.
In 1978, he was appointed to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, where he served until 1988. One of his most notable opinions was a ruling allowing a terminally ill patient to request withdrawal of life support. This opinion was upheld by the New Jersey Supreme Court and was later cited by the U.S. Supreme Court. Among other accomplishments, Judge Wiley ruled on prison reform and in favor of a comprehensive wetlands policy for the state of New Jersey. He retired from the Chancery Court of New Jersey in 1988, and moved from Toms River, N.J., to Edgartown in 1998.
Jane and Henry were married for 64 years. Together they raised five children, Bruce, Barbara, David, Thomas, and Charles Wiley in the New Jersey countryside. Henry renovated and added to a mid-19th century farmstead, cultivated a large garden, and contributed to his community, including serving as president of the Tom’s River Kiwanis Club. He spent vacations returning to the Vineyard where his grandfather had a cottage since 1917. In addition to his delight in the large family gatherings here, he enjoyed carpentry, music, history, lively discussions, horses, and many overindulged dogs.
Throughout his life, Henry set an indelible example of honesty, integrity, generosity, compassion, hard work, and deliberation for his colleagues and family.
Henry is survived by his wife, Jane, sons Bruce (Julien), David (Trish), Thomas (Laura) and Charles (Christine) and daughter, Barbara (Mike), 12 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren; also brother-in-law James Morley, nephews Tom and John Morley, Peter and Thomas Clark, and nieces Carol Morley and Sue Blackerby, as well as their spouses.
Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 1748, Vineyard Haven, MA, 02568 or the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association, Trinity Park, Oak Bluffs, MA, 02557.
The family of Henry Wiley wishes to thank Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard and Henry’s private caregivers for their dedication and support. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs, MA.
Please visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com to sign the guest book or information.