Obituary for Joseph Wiley Jr.
Joseph Burton Wiley, Jr. died at the age of 97 at Pine Run – The Garden, Doylestown, PA on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 after a brief illness.
Born in Morristown, NJ on July 28, 1919, Joe was the son of Joseph Burton Wiley and Katharine Pellett. He was predeceased by his sister Margaret and his brothers, Andrew, Jackson, and Steven. His wife, Karla Hummel Wiley died in 2003. Joseph lived most of his life at his home on River Road, Bedminster, NJ.
He was a “gentleman’s gentleman,” fastidious but open to everyone he met, quick of wit and full of charm. He delighted in children and taught Sunday School for decades at St. John’s on the Mountain, Bernardsville, NJ.
A mechanical engineer, he graduated from MIT in 1940. He pursued all activities with an engineer’s mentality tempered by an acute aesthetic sense.
After college, he worked for Wright Aeronautical in Paterson, N.J. where he designed and tested gears, oil pumps and superchargers for the radial aircraft engines used during World War II. Work was round the clock, noisy in the test shed, and messy when an engine blew apart. Young engineers studied the failures to refine their design. In 1946, he worked for the M W Kellogg Co. in Jersey City, NJ, in the Special Projects Department where he pioneered design of gas turbine propeller driven aircraft engines. In 1952, he worked for his father-in -law’s company, Hummel Chemical and with his brothers-in-law designed and built a new lanolin manufacturing plant in Newark.
In 1959, with a partner, he founded Fluid Dynamics, a designer and manufacturer of high performance equipment including components for the Saturn series liquid fuel rockets. After selling the company in 1968, he became a manufacturer’s representative for products used in the aerospace field.
With the advent of the environmental field, his son persuaded him to become a civil engineer. In 1982 he started an enjoyable career with Kupper Associates of Piscataway, NJ a civil and sanitary engineering firm. He served as that firm’s consultant to the Green Brook Flood Control Commission. Later, he became the Commission’s first Executive Director and continued in that role until age 85. He successfully lobbied in Congress on behalf of the Commission to obtain construction funding to build a massive flood control project, still being completed years later.
In the late 1950’s he got involved with the newly formed Tewksbury Foot Bassetts quickly assuming the role of Hunt Secretary. For many years, he served as Field Master, a perfect role for introducing young and old to the sport. He is still listed as Honorary Joint Master of the beloved pack of hounds.
He is survived by his son, Joseph B. Wiley III and wife Phoebe Wheeler, who live in Sergeantsville, NJ.; his granddaughter Helena and husband Christopher Von Rueden of Farmville, VA; his grandson, Joseph B. Wiley IV and wife Patricia Quinn of Bedminster; and great grandchildren, Lucia, Benjamin, Susanna, and Alexandra.
A memorial service will be held at St. John on the Mountain, 379 Mt. Harmony Road, Bernardsville, NJ 07924 on Saturday, April 29,2017 at 11:00 am.
Private interment will be held in Hardyston Cemetery, Hamburg, NJ.