Harry G. Wiles, II
1945 - 2010
A personal remembrance from his sister,
Jane Wiles Bennington
My younger brother, Harry Gordon Wiles, II, was born on August 29, 1945, in Boulder, Colorado, where our father, Harry G. Wiles (I), and mother, Dorothy Jane Wiles, were stationed during World War II in the U.S. Navy while Harry I was attending the Japanese language school at the University of Colorado.
After the war, Harry and Dorothy Wiles moved to St. John, Kansas, so that Harry (I) could practice law in the Stafford County seat and be close to his own parents, Samuel G. and Allie L. Wiles of Macksville.
The Wiles children—Jane (Bennington), Harry II, and Mary Lou—attended school in St. John. Jane graduated from St. John High in 1960. Harry attended St. John School through his junior high years where his favorite subjects were football, basketball, and track!
He then graduated from high school in 1963 at Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Missouri, where he held the student post of Battalion Commander. Mary Lou graduated from Topeka West High School in Topeka, in 1966, after Harry and Dorothy moved there to take part in service to the government of the State of Kansas.
Harry II graduated from the University of Kansas in Lawrence in 1967. He had served as the president of the Class of 1967. Three years later, he graduated from the University of Kansas Law School.After graduation from law school, Harry served the State of Kansas as a trial attorney and later as Assistant Attorney General.
He moved to Washington, D.C., in 1976 as a Congressional Staff member and later became Majority Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee for Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont. After a long career as a congressional consultant, he held positions as Senior Vice President of Federal Government Relations and Senior Counsel for the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America and then as Executive Director of ABL (American Beverage Licensees), always emphasizing the moral responsibilities of the industry, waging campaigns against underage drinking, and upholding responsible adult behavior in this large part of the American entertainment industry.
He served as a board member of RHI (the Responsible Hospitality Institute), RRF (the Responsible Retailing Forum) and of the Heartland Alliance of America, the Association for Rural Americans. In June of 2010, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Sky Ranch for Boys in Deadwood, South Dakota.
He was a member of the Bar Associations in the State of Kansas, the District of Columbia, and the United States Supreme Court. He was also a member of the American Legion, having served during the Vietnam Conflict. An avid supporter of the western life style and horseback riding, he was a member of two western riding organizations—Rancheros Visitadores, based in Santa Barbara, Calif.,, and El Viaje De Portola in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
Page 2 of 2 - Harry passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Wednesday, August 18, 2010, in Reston, Virginia close to his home in Great Falls, Va. He leaves behind a multitude of grieving friends and associates in addition to his bereft family members.
He is survived by his wife of twenty-five years, Cindy; his daughter, Heather Valerius and husband Troy, and four grandsons, Parker, Spencer, Cooper, and Tanner of Shawnee; his sisters Jane Wiles Bennington of St. John, and Mary Lou Wiles of Edmond, Okla.; his adopted sister, Marjorie Pittman, and her son Richard Graham of Calif.; two nieces and their families Wendy Bennington Hacker and husband Ken of St. John, and Valerie Bennington Vidmar and husband Jason of Rochester, NY and their respective children: Kendra, Derek and Mackenzie Hacker of St. John, and Zoë Vidmar of Rochester, NY.
My sister, Mary Lou, and I especially will miss his uplifting heart, his deep love for us, the fact he was our “rock” in times of personal stress and sadness, and his exceptional sense of humor and love of life.
We will hold in our hearts our admiration and respect for him and our pride that our parents raised such a son who loved his family and friends and would have always gone to any lengths to help anyone who sought his help.