Wiley Robert Deal, 90, passed Tuesday, Jan, 8, 2019, at his independent cottage at The Terrace at Grove Park, Dothan, Ala.
Bob was born in Dothan on March 27, 1928, the son of Wiley Rufus Deal and Carrie Belle Lewis Deal. He grew up in the family home on West Crawford Street in downtown Dothan. During his childhood, he was proud of the fact that he always had a job that included handing out circulars at the first Peanut Festival, making ice cream at the Supreme Ice Cream Co., and selling men’s clothing. He attended Dothan High School for one semester, then completed high school at Marion Military Institute, Marion, Ala., in June 1946.
In September 1946, after one semester at the University of Alabama, Bob enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He completed his World War II service as a Private First Class, and was honorably discharged in March 1948. Bob continued his education at the University as a member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps. In March 1950, one semester short of graduation, Bob was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, and recalled to active duty during the Korean Conflict. Honorably discharged from active duty to the U.S. Air Force Reserve in Okinawa in September 1952, Bob again returned to Alabama. Shortly after his return, he married Betty Jane Banks of Albany, Ga., Sept. 28, 1952. Finally, on his third attempt at the University, Bob was awarded a Bachelor of Science in industrial relations in January 1953.
In 1956, after working for several years at the BF Goodrich tire factory in Tuscaloosa, Bob and his young family moved to Brunswick, Ga., to start his career in human relations with the Solvay Process Division of the Allied Chemical Corp. From August 1965 to January 1967, Allied Chemical moved his family to their plant in Baton Rouge, La., arriving just in time to survive the eye of Hurricane Betsy. After Allied Chemical sold their chlorine production plants, he continued with Linden Chemicals & Plastics in Brunswick and Linden, N.J. After retirement, he continued working as a human relations consultant in Brunswick.
Bob continued his military service as a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve and Georgia Air National Guard. In April 1978, he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, after serving his country in uniform for more than 39 years.
Bob was an active member of the First United Methodist Church, Brunswick, Ga. Other endeavors included membership in the Optimist Club, leadership with the Boy Scouts of America, golf, tennis, boating and fishing, and travel. He always treasured the fact that his generation was the last where he had the option to work outside the home and could leave the management of the household and raising of his four children to the able hands of Betty, his wife of 56 years, who passed in January 2009. In 2016, he returned to Dothan after 60 years in Brunswick. He lived independently at The Terrace at Grove Park.
Bob is survived by his four children, Capt. Wiley Robert Deal Jr., USN(Ret) (Capt. Carolyn Deal, USN(Ret), James Banks Deal Esq. (Tanya), Richard Lewis Deal (Ginny), and Dr. Claire Elizabeth Deal, Ph.D. (Bev); six grandchildren, Capt. James Banks Deal Jr., MC, USA, Christopher Michael Deal (Ashley Kemp), Richard Andrew Deal, Christopher Gallen Deal (Maria), Brian Robert Deal (Jenn) and Caroline Kathleen Deal; two great-grandchildren, Lila Michele Kemp Deal and Davis Robert Deal.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Wiley Rufus Deal and Carrie Belle Lewis Deal; his wife, Betty Jane Banks Deal; and his sister, Carolyn Elizabeth Sprayberry (Hamp).
Military honors will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, at Sunset Memorial Park followed by graveside services in Dothan City Cemetery with Rev. Charles Goldsmith officiating and Robert Byrd directing.
In lieu of flowers, Bob requested memorials be made to Kindred Hospice, Dothan, Ala. or a charity of your choice.