CAPE VINCENT, NY — Our dad died Dec. 7, 2022. He was not perfect for all, but he was perfect for us. He was tough and gentle, proud and honest, loving and hard, and he was all of these things at once. He was a hard worker but knew when it was time to relax and have a beer, or maybe a Beam.
Someone once said, “no one is perfect.” Dad looked at me and said, “apparently that guy doesn’t have grandkids.” As good a father as he was, he was put on this earth to be a Papa. It is the job that he loved most and was best at. He never missed a softball, basketball, baseball, or hockey game. “If you raise your kids right, you get to spoil your grandkids.” He did plenty of that. From giving them a lamb at Easter, just because he thought it was funny, to giving a cat to his favorite granddaughter without asking his favorite son. He recently took one of his grandsons hunting and he got his first buck with Papa whispering instructions into his ear. There was always fishing and hunting time and he passed that love on down.
Even though everyone considered him a ‘tough guy’, the tears of pride came quick when he sees his grandkids after a long absence or in telling a story about how one of them played the night before. Although he is gone and has left a gaping hole in our lives, he lives on in our hearts, and in the eyes of his Dylan, Derek, Delaney, Colton, Ray, Ty, and big Vic.
He was married to our mother Vickie, for a long time, she died ten years ago. They raised Tucker(Gayle), Jennifer(Todd), and Emily(Geoff) in the Cape and instilled in us a love of family over all else. Although they were not together they were best of friends and raised us right. Dad lived with his longtime girlfriend Christine Massey and dragged her to more games than anyone can count.
His parents, Harold and Doris Wiley, are heartbroken as well as his siblings Mike, John, Danny, and Mary Ann. He is a son of Cape Vincent and his presence will be sorely missed. That slap on the back when he sees you at the legion is something that was his signature, there are many backs that will never be the same.
Dad worked at the City of Watertown Fire Department for 40 years. He made some of his best friends there and was always there for the parties to tell the old stories, ‘he was a classic’ he would say of the old timers that he admired. Our Dad is a classic. Our dad was perfect for us.
Arrangements are with Cleveland Funeral Home, Cape Vincent.
Calling hours will be 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, December 13, at Cleveland Funeral Home, Cape Vincent. A funeral Mass will be said 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, at St. Vincent of Paul Church, Cape Vincent.