Wallace Bartley Caley, 89, passed away July 1, 2019 at his home in Maris Grove, Glen Mills, PA, after a long illness.
Wally was born in Philadelphia in 1930. He grew up in Drexel Hill, PA, graduated from Upper Darby High School and attended Penn State Delco. He served in the US Army during the Korean War, seeing active duty as a radio operator, achieving the rank of Corporal. Afterward he met the love of his life, Mercia, and they married in 1955. Their first home was in Chester, PA and in 1968 they moved to Fairfax in Wilmington, Delaware. He was employed most of his working life at Boeing Vertol as a purchasing agent, but greatly enjoyed his part-time, post-retirement job at LL Bean. He and “Merc” moved to Maris Grove ten years ago.
Together, Wally and Merc raised two children, Cindy and Randy, amid an ever-changing menagerie of various reptiles, rabbits, monkeys, geese, cats and many beloved dogs. Wally’s love and affection extended to all the family, especially his sister, Janet, her husband, Charlie, and their three boys, Fred, Scott and Rick Whitaker.
In his later years, he delighted in the love and care of his two grandchildren, for whom he was a dependable, strong, and always willing role model, teacher and buddy. In his usual fashion, he had nicknames for all family and friends, some of which had to be sung with gusto. He insisted that the grandkids call him “Sam” and call Mercia “Omie”, after the name of a favorite restaurant on the Outer Banks. In the end, everyone knew him as Sam.
Wally loved being outdoors, and passed that love on to his nephews, children and grandchildren. He enjoyed camping and was at his happiest on the water. He loved canoeing and kayaking on the Brandywine and Susquehanna. He was an avid fisherman. Casting his surf rod into a school of bluefish was his idea of heaven, but he also enjoyed deep sea fishing, fly fishing and tying flies.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Mercia Banes Caley; his children Cindy Caley Skillman (Dave) of Wilmington, DE and Randy Caley (Nora) of Denver, Co; and two grandchildren David Everett (Lauren) of Gaithersburg MD and Genevieve Everett (Matt Cohen) of Montpelier, Vermont.
A memorial service will be held at the Maris Grove Chapel on Friday July 12, 2019 at 10:00 am. A private committal service will be held in Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 240 N. James St., Suite 100A, Newport, DE 19804.