On Wednesday, December 7, 2022, Dennis Wayne Wiley of Buchanan, loving husband, father, grandfather, and brother, passed away at age 77 after a three and half year long battle with cancer. He was born on October 2, 1945, son to the late, B.R. Wiley and Mary Wiley, and primarily grew up in Eagle Rock.
A lifelong resident of Botetourt County, Dennis was an accomplished athlete. He played basketball, football and ran track at Lord Botetourt High School, where he set scoring records in basketball and was a member of state championship track teams in addition he was named an Honorable Mention Prep All-American in 1963. He was inducted into the Lord Botetourt High School Athletic Hall of Fame and was named one of the top 50 players in the first 50 years of Lord Botetourt Football. He would later go on to play under Legendary Coach Hank Norton at Ferrum where he helped them win their first National Championship in 1965. While at Ferrum he started on a defensive squad that allowed only 19 points for the entire season, culminating in a 10-0 undefeated championship season. Dennis would later finish his football career at the University of Richmond where he primarily played offense and became the team’s leading receiver in his first year and would receive his Bachelors in Business Administration from Richmond in 1968.
After his athletic career was over, Dennis started a career with Texaco that would eventually result in him owning several gasoline service stations throughout Roanoke and Botetourt. He would later transition to a career as owner of Blue Ridge T’s and later Blue Ridge Sportswear which provided custom printed and embroidered garments to businesses, sports teams, and organizations throughout the Roanoke Valley. Dennis had a work ethic that was unparalleled and he could almost always be found at his shop in Daleville working to make sure his customer’s orders were delivered on time. He was beloved by many that worked for him over the years in his various businesses and there are countless stories of how well he treated everyone that ever had the pleasure of working for him.
When not hard at work, Dennis loved to play golf and was a fixture at Botetourt Country Club for many years where he made a lot of great memories and friendships. Despite not taking up golf until after college, he would find success in the sport and at one time held a course record 63 at Botetourt. Many of his favorite memories with friends came from his time playing golf. In addition to his love of golf, was his love of University of Virginia athletics. He was a diehard UVA fan and didn’t miss a football or basketball game that was televised. He passed this love of UVA to many of his children and grandchildren even if a few of them would later become Hokies, he forgave them and he loved them just the same. The last UVA basketball game he was able to attend in person before his cancer diagnosis was at the Final Four in Minneapolis where he saw Virginia win their first National Championship in basketball. He was able to share that memory with his son and grandson, to whom he passed down the love of UVA sports.
Above all, Dennis was a loving husband, father, brother, and grandfather. He had a special bond with all 3 of his children, Mary, Kara, and Derek.
He is remembered most fondly for his over-protective nature as he never wanted to see any of his children or grandchildren get hurt or injured and always made sure some of his parting words before any of us would leave were always, ”be careful and watch out for the deer.” In his final years his children took the lessons of caring that he has passed down to them and did their best to make sure that he was cared for as they all steadfastly supported him during his battle with cancer.
He loved his grandchildren and great-grandchildren more than anything in this world and we are certain that his long and arduous 3.5 year battle against cholangiocarcinoma was so that he could spend as much time as possible seeing them grow up and get to know them as best he could in the time he had with them. He loved beyond measure his 6 grandchildren, Amy Silcox Marsh (Brian), Ben Silcox (Lauren), Ryan Wiley, Declan Wiley, Emma Christie, and newest addition, Lilly Lavinder, who was just born in September, but who will learn about her grandfather through the many stories she will be told over the years. Additionally, he had 4 beautiful great-grandchildren that he loved very much, including his buddies, Benjamin and Brooks Silcox, and his girls, Emory and Mattie Marsh. He tried his best to be at every ball game, dance recital, school play that he could as he was the biggest supporter of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and will forever be remembered as the best granddaddy that ever lived.
He is survived by his wife Kathy Austin Wiley; two daughters, Mary Paderick (Chad), Kara Wiley and her fiancé Larry Lavinder, and his son, Derek Wiley (Christina). He is also survived by his always faithful and loving brothers Charles Wiley (Cindy), and Robert Wiley (Barbara). In addition, Dennis had many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and business partners and associates throughout that are countless in number but who all will remember him fondly.
Dennis Wayne Wiley was a special man, who left behind an amazing legacy and a family who will carry on his kind hearted nature and diligent work ethic for generations to come. He was a fighter from the moment he was born as the youngest of 3 brothers, and that toughness carried him to success on the ballfield and in the business world and finally it helped him wage a courageous battle against a terminal cancer that saw him live a full life without slowing down for 3.5 years despite countless surgeries and procedures that for many would have been too much. However, he was willing to endure the discomfort and continue to fight if it guaranteed another month, another week, or another day to spend with those he loved. We will forever be eternally grateful for how hard he fought and the lessons in toughness we all learned by watching his battle.
We would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Vivek Kesar in the Gastroenterology Department at Carilion for his steadfast efforts in working to treat and prolong Dennis’s time with all of us. Additionally, we would like to thank the angels with Good Samaritan Hospice who cared for him during these last few months and especially to Sarah Quinlin who cared for Dad as if he were her own father.
Friends are invited to visit the family for a celebration of life at Rader Funeral Home, 630 Roanoke Road, Daleville from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, December 14. A private service for family will be held at a later date.
Online condolences may be made to Dennis’s family at www.rader-funeralhome.com/tributes/Dennis-Wiley.