Phyllis Irene (Thompson) Wiley was received into Heaven by her loving Savior Jesus Christ on Friday, Oct. 9. She was born in Jewett, Ohio, on June 27, 1934, to her parents James and Twyla (McAfee) Thompson, who preceded her in death.
She married William D. Wiley on Aug. 25, 1956, after she graduated from The Ohio State University with a Home Economics degree. Phyllis made her decision to follow Jesus at a revival when she was in high school, and in 1964, “Aunt Phyllis” and “Uncle Bill” (affectionately called by camp friends) started a small Christian farm camp called Marmon Valley Farm in Zanesfield, and in 1972 began Faith Ranch Camp near Jewett. They both enjoyed teaching young people new things, and many young people learned how to cook and bake with Phyllis. In fact, she was still sharing her cooking skills (pie crust and homemade soups) with her caregivers this past year.
Phyllis enjoyed traveling to camp conferences with the American Camping Association and Christian Camping & Conference Association. Her son Winston would drive her to many festivals where she enjoyed making rag rugs to sell and in recent years still enjoyed a favorite pastime of cutting jeans for rag rugs. Even though she owned over 300 cookbooks, she always was anxious to try new recipes and exchange them with family and friends.
If you saw Phyllis in public, she was probably wearing a HAT! Phyllis was well known for her large collection of beautiful hats, and she enjoyed sharing them for ladies’ retreats and special events.
Phyllis’ husband Bill preceded her in death in 2015. She is survived by three children: Winston Wiley of Jewett, Jane (Steve) Olsen and Matthew (Kathy) Wiley, both of Zanesfield; seven grandchildren (six married) and six great-grandchildren; two brothers, McKinney (Barbara) Thompson, and Terry (Carol) Thompson; and many family members residing in Jewett.
The family wishes to thank the many caregivers who loved Phyllis and cared for her these past several years. And on Friday when Phyllis transitioned into Heaven, there were several wonderful friends and caregivers by her side. The legacy of people coming to know and experience Jesus through farm life, horseback riding, and enjoying flipping flapjacks in Aunt Phyllis’ dining hall will continue.
Memorial services will be held at the family’s convenience and announced when the schedule is determined.
The family is asking that any memorial gifts be made to the Marmon Valley Ministries camper scholarship fund, to help young people attend the camp Phyllis loved and worked so hard to develop. Memorial contributions can be mailed to Marmon Valley Ministries, 7754 State Route 292 South, Zanesfield, OH 43360.