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Kenneth Wiley

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Kenneth Wiley Obituary
Wiley, Kenneth 09/12/1929 ~ 06/04/2014 CORONADO -- Captain Kenneth R. Wiley USN retired passed away peacefully at his home in Coronado on Wednesday, June 4th 2014, at the age of 84. Ken was born September 12, 1929 in Los Angeles to Vera and Virgil Wiley where he spent his youth and graduated from Alhambra High School in 1947. He attended the University of Southern California on a Navy ROTC scholarship in addition to being very active in sports, playing fullback on the University's football team. He was also a company commander and award winning member of the Navy rifle and pistol team. Following his graduation from USC in 1952, he was commissioned as an Ensign in the US Navy. Ken set the record for fastest completion of basic flight training at Pensacola taking only 32 weeks to complete a course normally scheduled for 42 weeks. He went on to complete further training as a jet fighter pilot. Ken made deployments during the 1950's to the Mediterranean Sea flying the F2H Banshee, F9F Panther and F9 Cougar. During the 1960's, Ken deployed to the Western Pacific flying the F8 Crusader. He also served as an Air Wing Landing Signal Officer. He graduated from the U.S. Naval War College in 1964. He flew combat missions during the Vietnam War and was awarded numerous individual air medals, commendations and citations. In 1956 Ken married Toby Meggs and raised their two children Ken, Jr. and Mary Ellen for the next twenty years. In 1968 while serving as the Air Wing 12 Chief of Staff, then Commander Wiley was responsible for leading the effort in developing the syllabus for a new Air Combat Maneuvering training program. This is what would later become known as TOP GUN. In 1969, he assumed command of fighter squadron VF-126 at NAS Miramar. His squadron provided the adversary aircraft during the start up of the TOP GUN training program.He retired from the US Navy in September 1975 at the rank of Captain. After retirement from his primary career, Ken made a second career as an electrical contractor for residential home building in Coronado. In 1976 Ken met Nancy MacKinnon while serving as her ombudsman following the death of her husband who had served in the Navy. In July 1980 they married and blended their families at the residence on Alameda Blvd.Ken and Nancy enjoyed an active life of membership in the Coronado Yacht Club, frequently taking trips with their friends over the years. Ken served as Commodore of the CYC for the year of 1999-2000. From 2003 until 2013, Ken worked with the Coronado Police Department as a Senior Volunteer Patrol. In the past five or so years, Ken's days were quiet but filled with frequent excursions with his wife Nancy and activities with his family. He taught those close to him how to slow down and notice the little things in life. Ken is survived by his children Kenneth Jr. and Judy Wiley of San Diego, Mary Ellen Rogers of Coronado, his stepchildren Anna MacKinnon of Sausalito, CA, Rae and Will Roth of Coronado, CA, Ian and Dina MacKinnon of Palm City, FL, grandchildren Lauren Wiley of San Diego, Annabel and Theodore Roth of Coronado, and Keegan and Declan MacKinnon of Palm City, FL. Ken was predeceased by his wife Nancy who died October 9th 2013. A memorial service is planned at Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego, Thursday, July 17th, at 11a.m. A reception will be held following at the Coronado Yacht club from 2 to 5 p.m.

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on June 20, 2014
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