Obituary for Joseph Wiley Jr.
NEW HOPE, PENNSYLVANIA - Joseph L. Wiley, Jr., “The best dressed man in New Hope”, passed away on March 7th in the Buckingham Valley Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Buckingham, PA. He was 89 years old.
Born in Philadelphia to the late Joseph L Wiley, Sr. and Marie (DeFeo) Wiley, Joe resided in Atlantic City and New York City before moving to New Hope in 1960.
Joe was very proud of his military service. He was an Army veteran and served as a Communications Officer at the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. He received the American Theater Campaign Ribbon, Battle of the Bulge Campaign Ribbon, a Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal and Army Occupation Ribbon for his valiant service.
He was a professional dancer and toured during the early 1950’s in Brigadoon for 5 years. In 1954 he went to Sweden and danced in the Swedish ballet for several years. After returning from Sweden, he continued his career dancing in New York eventually moving to New Hope where several of his friends had settled. Joe was co-owner of several businesses in New Hope, most notably the Crystal Palace. This restaurant on the river served wonderful food and was THE place to be seen. Famous stars from The Bucks County Playhouse and the Music Circus made it their business to dine there so everyone knew they were in town. Joe owned a kooky gift shop on North Main Street called Kaleidoscope and also had a permanent store at Rice’s Market in Solebury selling interesting and funny signs and novelties. After selling his store, he worked at The Broadmoor Antiques in Lambertville until his retirement a few years ago.
Joe was an avid student of the human condition. He wrote a column for The New Hope Gazette called Pandora’s Box recalling the early days in New Hope and some of his many adventures. He was witty and funny; had an interesting opinion about most things. He liked to laugh and was usually the center of attention wherever he went. He loved to travel, especially to Paris and his fabulous home reflected his experiences there. He led a life well lived and enjoyed a busy and varied social life, entertaining often and doing it extremely well.
He was the partner of the late Joe Meo and brother of the late Benjamin Wiley. He is survived by his former sister-in-law, Christine Koumides of Fort Lauderdale, FL and many dear friends.
Cremation services were private under the direction of the Varcoe-Thomas Funeral Home/Central Bucks Crematory, 344 North Main Street Doylestown, PA 18901.
Joe loved animals, adopting many over the years, each bearing the name of a character from ‘Gone With The Wind’. Any memorial gifts may be sent to the Bucks County SPCA, PO Box 277, Lahaska, PA 18931 or www.bcspca.org.
Send condolences to www.varcothomasfuneralhome.com