Samuel Shannon Wiley, Jr. ’61

Samuel Shannon Wiley, Jr. of Durham, North Carolina died Friday, March 21, 2014. He was born November 26, 1939 in Thomasville, North Carolina. The son of Isabelle Maitland Wiley and The Reverend Samuel S. Willey, he grew up in the congregations of the Presbyterian Churches in North Carolina and Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, where his father was minister.

Sam was retired after 39 years from the N.C. Department of Commerce Division of Employment Security and returned several times as an Employment Consultant. “Sam Wiley was a very gentle man who provided friendship and comfort to those around him. He had a great sense ofhumor and an impeccable work ethic. He was a dedicated public servant and will be greatly missed by his friends and coworkers”, said Debra Mascaro, a supervisor.

Sam was extremely close to the church, Westminster Presbyterian in Durham in particular, and considered the congregation there among his fondest friends. Using his gifts of kindness and compassion, he was trained as a Stephen Minister, listening and offering care to others. He drove the church bus as a part of Westminster’s ministry  with the Interfaith Hospitality Network, also serving as an overnight host of homeless families.

Educated at The McCallie School in Chattanooga Tennessee, he was a 1961 graduate of Davidson College, and a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. He served his country in the United States Navy, having been on the Enterprise VIII on its first trip around the world. He enjoyed going to the ships reunions. Shan enjoyed the classes he took at Duke University at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and was particularly interested in history. He was a student of the Second World War in which his father served as a Navy Chaplain. He traveled in connection with these interests.

He was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Raleigh and while living and working in Rocky Mount was a member of and served as President of the Lion’s Club in which he participated in the eye donor program. Shan, as his family called him, considered his friends at church and at work as family including John Mahoney and Doug Strader and his long-time family friend, Jane Graper. His family is grateful to these special people in his life.

He is survived by Cousins, Rosalie Laughlin and her husband, John Laughlin of Salisbury, Sherburne Laughlin and her husband Brad Shingleton of Bethesda, Md., John Chappell Laughlin and his wife Gail of Charlotte, and William Laughlin and his wife, Paula of Waxhaw.

A memorial service will be held Monday, April 7 at 2:00PM at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3639 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, N.C. 27707. Memorials may be sent to Westminster Presbyterian Church if the donor so chooses.

Howerton & Bryan Funeral Home is serving the family. Online condolences may be submitted to, select obituaries.