Warwick native Alton W. Wiley Sr., 91, passed away peacefully on February 17th in Naples, FL. The son of the late William and Olive (Thomas) Wiley, he graduated from Aldrich High School and earned his Bachelors of Business Administration degree in 1951 from URI where he starred in track and won a number of New England and Conference sprint titles, establishing records that held at the university for more than ten years. He earned his law degree from Boston University in 1956. His legal career began with his appointment as Rhode Island’s first African American Assistant United States. District Attorney, which then led to an appointment as Assistant Legal Counsel for the Department of Employment Security; and a stint as Assistant Public Defender; and a member of the Governor’s Legislative Council. In 1980, former Governor J. Joseph Garrahy appointed him as the first African-American District Court Judge and in 1991, then Governor Bruce Sundlun appointed him as the first African-American Superior Court Judge.
Judge Wiley was a former URI Vice President of Student Affairs and past president of the Alumni Association. He was a member of the URI Athletic and College of Business Administration Hall of Fames. He was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from URI in 1983 and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Bryant University in 1971.
Judge Wiley was active in numerous community activities including the boards of the Urban League of Rhode Island, the Narragansett Council of Boy Scouts of America, and Chairman of the Legal Redress Committee of the Providence Branch of the NAACP.
In his leisure time he could be found on the golf course playing a game he loved, or spending time with family and friends making everyone laugh with is uncanny wit.
Judge Wiley is survived by his long time partner Mary Ann Conlan of Naples FL, sons Alton W. Wiley, Jr. Esq, of North Providence, Dr. Deane Wiley (Alesia) of Las Vegas, Nevada, daughter, Jacqueline Wiley of Bradenton, Florida, and cherished granddaughter Haven Wiley. He also leaves his siblings Lucille Davis of Darien, IL, Edwin Wiley (Peg) of Catonsville, MD and Beverly Wiley of Foster, RI and several nieces and nephews. He will also be dearly missed by Mary Ann’s sons Michael and Jim Conlan and her grandson Tyler. He was predeceased by his brother Dr. George Wiley and sister Shirley Green.
Due to COVID concerns a celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Donations in his memory can be made to the George Wiley Center 32 East Av, Pawtucket, RI 02860.