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Mary Lily Flagler Lewis (Molly) Wiley

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Mrs. James L. Wiley, the former Mary Lily Flagler Lewis of Richmond, Virginia, and Delray Beach, Florida, died peacefully at her Richmond residence on May 28, 2010. She had recently celebrated her 90th birthday.

Molly, as she was affectionately called, was the daughter of the late Lawrence Lewis and Louise Wise Lewis Francis. She was born in Saint Augustine, Florida, and grew up in Kirkside, the mansion built by Henry Flagler.

Her mother was the niece of the late Mary Lily Kenan Flagler who married Henry M. Flagler in 1901. Louise Francis inherited Kirkside and another Flagler mansion named Whitehall, now the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum located in Palm Beach.

Mrs. Wiley is survived by two sons Lewis Pollard of Warrenton, Virginia, and Nelson Pollard of Saint Augustine, Florida, and six grandchildren, from her marriage to the late Fred Pollard of Richmond, Virginia. Her husband, James L. Wiley, predeceased her, and she leaves two stepsons and a step daughter from that marriage. For many years, Mrs. Wiley and her husband owned and operated Gordonsdale Farm in The Plains, Virginia, which is now owned by her stepson Lewis Wiley.

Molly Wiley was a generous philanthropist during her life. She and her late brother Lawrence Lewis, Jr., deeded the home of their grandmother, Jessie Kenan Wise, to the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 1968; in 1994, Wise House became the headquarters of the UNCW Alumni Association. Mrs. Wiley and Mr. Lewis also established Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida.

During the last ten years of her life, she was a Trustee of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. During this time, the Trust made several significant gifts to UNCW including the establishment of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professorship in Marine Science and the renovation of both Wise House and Kenan House, official residence of the university's Chancellor.

A graveside service will be held on June 11 in Middleburg, VA, for Mrs. Wiley.

Online condolences at

Published in the Wilmington Star-News on June 3, 2010
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