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Wiley Oliver Steen, Jr.

Wiley Oliver Steen, Jr. died Sunday, February 25, 2024. He was 76 years old.

Wiley was a renaissance man with wide-ranging interests. He was, at his heart, always a coach. He loved sports and the athletes who played them…from elementary school P.E. students to Division 1 college football players. He was a voracious reader and the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in his study were sagging under the weight of all the books. His workspace was littered with newspapers, hardback and paperback books, yellow legal pads and pens. He fervently followed politics and could handicap any election from dogcatcher to U.S. President. He loved making his rounds in the afternoon in his CJ5 with no top and no doors, and he kept a brush in the glove box to make sure all three of his remaining hairs were in place when he got out. He read everything he could and remembered it all.

He was passionate about classic Corvette Stingrays and cast a dapper silhouette leaning against the fender at gatherings of fellow enthusiasts in his white straw Panama hat and sunglasses.His love of Auburn football was unsurpassed and his steadfast devotion to the program made him a friend of coaches and players alike. He was an honorary pallbearer at the funeral of the great Jim Fyffe. In later years, he was always happiest watching his grandchildren, Oliver and Ellie, playing baseball or softball. His were the loudest words of encouragement in the stands and his seatmates were infected with his enthusiasm.

Wiley knew everyone. Every room he entered erupted with happy cheers, whether it was a reception for a U.S. Senator or a dice game in the back room of a honky tonk on a dirt road in his home of Wilcox County. Wiley was not a public figure, but public figures sought his counsel. He could be trusted to listen intently, provide sage advice and, most importantly, not talk about it. He could be found most Friday nights holding court at a center table at Jubilee Seafood with his lovely wife, Belle, and joyfully calling out to his friend Bud Skinner to “send some more oysters and that vinegar sauce!”

Wiley loved Montgomery. This and his love of sports were the catalysts that formed his career path. He retired from the City of Montgomery as its Director of Leisure Services in 2017 after 43 years. He took great pride in the construction of Gateway Park, the renovation of Cramton Bowl and the construction of the Cramton Bowl Multiplex under his leadership.

‘Woddy’, as his grandchildren called him, loved his family. He doted on Belle and could be seen smiling proudly when she walked into a room. He adored his son, Scott, and took great personal pride in all his accomplishments from childhood to his career as an architect. He loved his daughter-in-law, Heather, and was especially fond of intentionally goading her into some form of argument with a sly twinkle in his eye and a conspiratorial wink to anyone in on the scheme. His grandchildren, Oliver and Ellie, were his pride and joy. He dropped everything and everyone to greet them boisterously whenever they visited him.

Wiley Oliver Steen, Jr. was born July 10, 1947 in Pine Apple, Alabama.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Oliver and Caroline Steen of Pine Apple. He is survived by his wife, Edna Belle Stallworth Steen, son Wiley Scott Steen (Heather) and grandchildren Wiley Oliver Steen, III and Eloise Hudson Steen, his brother Robert Donald Steen, Senior (Sheila), his brother Timothy Heyward Steen (Cathy) and numerous nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held at Frazer Church on Wednesday, February 28 at 11 AM, followed by a memorial service at 12:30. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Wiley’s Honor to Dream Court Montgomery at , or The Miracle League of Montgomery or Respite Ministry at First United Methodist Church at 2416 West Cloverdale Park Montgomery, AL 36106.

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