Wiley Burge Wisdom III, a loving, kind, patient, thoughtful man, age 63, of Pelham NY, peacefully passed away on February 23, 2020, at his home, after struggling from symptoms related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
He was born on May 17, 1956 to Colonel Wiley B. Wisdom Jr. and Phyllis (Thompson) Wisdom in Fort Belvoir, VA. As the son of an Army Colonel, Wiley and the family moved around the country, living on military bases, including McDill Air Force Base in Florida, The Presidio of San Francisco, Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska and Ft. Benning, Georgia. The family settled in Columbus, GA where he graduated from Columbus High School, and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia in 1974.
Upon graduation, Wiley's acting career began as a traveling actor with the Alpha Omega Players and other small traveling acting groups. Eventually he moved to New York City and worked as a waiter at the Riviera Cafe while pursuing acting work. Throughout his acting career, he had several speaking roles and appeared in background scenes in soap operas, film and television. On the television show "Law and Order", Wiley had several speaking roles, appeared frequently as a background actor, in addition to being the primary stand-in for Sam Waterston.
Wiley met his wife, Marta-Elena, on the film set of "It Could Happen to You" when he was the stand-in for Nicholas Cage and Marta-Elena played a background court room reporter. It was love at first sight and before long, they would marry on August 31st, 1996. The couple was blessed with two wonderful boys, Larkin and Julian, and moved to Pelham, NY to raise their family.
Wiley had a passion for reading books, photography, painting, music and gardening. He shared his love of bike riding, camping and hiking with his sons. He taught his oldest son, Larkin, how to play chess and shared his reading and math interests with him. Wiley was in the Boys Scouts of America and achieved the rank of First Class which inspired his youngest son, Julian, to join Cub Scouts where he eventually achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. In recent years, Wiley volunteered at the Wartburg, a retirement and assisted living facility in Mt. Vernon, NY, where he pushed wheelchair-bound residents to Sunday service.
Wiley is survived by his wife, Marta-Elena (Garcia) Wisdom, and their sons, Larkin and Julian, his sister, Barbara (Wisdom) Jones and husband Steve Jones, nieces Stephanie Jones, Kimberly (Jones) Cross and husband Clay Cross and their sons Carson and Riley, his brother, William David Wisdom and wife Silvana Wisdom, niece Madison Wisdom, mother-in-law Maria Masterson and her husband Robert Masterson, sister-in-law Diana Garcia, nieces Lindsey and Lauren, sister-in-law Michelle Smith, nephew Shane, nieces Jaime and Kaitlyn, sister-in-law Sandra Garcia and husband Jeff Wise, nephews Remment and Sebastian.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a charitable donation to:
ALS Association Greater New York Chapter: http://als-ny.org/index.php?page=about_us
Doctors Without Borders: https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/?ref=donate-header
American Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/
An Episcopalian service will be held on Saturday March 7, 2020 at 12:00 PM
Reception to follow at the same location 12:30-4:00 PM
Pelham Funeral Home
64 Lincoln Avenue
Pelham, New York 10803