John Howard Wiley, a longtime resident of Evanston, died Dec. 16, 2007, at his home. He was 78.
Born March 14, 1929, in Albion, Mich., he received a bachelor of science in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1955.
Mr. Wiley was employed briefly by the A.C. Nielsen Co. before he joined Leo Burnett Co. in 1956, where he worked in the research department. He was named an account executive in the client-service department in 1958 and was transferred to the Toronto, Canada, office in 1962 as an account supervisor.
He returned to Chicago in 1964 as a brand supervisor at Leo Burnett and was appointed an account supervisor in 1967. He was elected a vice president in 1969 and appointed a management director in 1972.
In 1973, he was promoted to senior vice president at the company, and in 1978 he became a plans-board chairman and elected to the board of directors. He chose early retirement in 1982 and served as an executive consultant until his final retirement in May of 1987.
According to his colleagues, Mr. Wiley was known for his ability to simplify complicated issues during his career. He was very well liked and respected by both his colleagues and clients, even when there wasn't agreement on an issue, they said.
Mr. Wiley's best friend and former Leo Burnett executive, David L. Smith, said, in a statement, "John was a guy's guy. For 60 years, he laughed at every joke I told, no matter how feeble. Now that's a best friend."
Mr. Wiley was a big supporter of The Off The Street Club in Chicago, as well as lifelong Green Bay Packer fan. He also enjoyed fishing, golfing, playing Scrabble and solving crossword puzzles.
Survivors include his wife, Sally; his children, Samantha Wiley and Mackenzie Wiley, both of Evanston, Maxwell Wiley of New York, N.Y., Jean Miller of Shaker Heights, Ohio, John Wiley of Palo Alto, Calif., and Anne Good of Mountain View, Calf; six grandchildren; and one cousin.
A celebration of Mr. Wiley's life is tentatively planned for mid-March.
Memorial contributions may be made to the John Wiley Memorial Fund to benefit the Leo Burnett Learning Center at the Off The Street Club, 25 N. Karlov Ave., Chicago IL 60624.
Arrangements were handled by the Neptune Society in Des Plaines.