MIDDLETON—Wiley Vernon Utterback, age 61, of Middleton, passed away on Saturday, March 3, 2018, at his home after a short but fierce battle with lung cancer. He was born on Feb. 6, 1957, in Sacramento, Calif., the son of Wiley and Ellen (Delmenico) Utterback.
Wiley was united in marriage to Margaret “Maggie” McKee Utterback on July 9, 1988. He loved his “bride,” Maggie, with a passion. He always said that his best achievement was his children. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy, retiring after 21 years of service. Wiley graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1979, and became a nuclear power surface warfare officer. He later pursued a civilian career as a project engineer, and finally chose his favorite vocation: a Special Needs Job Coach. Wiley loved and embraced his students with profound respect and guidance; where others saw limitations, he saw possibilities.
Wiley was a member of Sugar River United Methodist Church. He appreciated his time outdoors: gardening, taking a brisk bike ride, and chatting with neighbors as he sat and relaxed. Wiley and “Team Woody” ventured on many week-long bike excursions throughout the Midwest. Wiley was enthusiastic about learning, and particularly loved all things science and space. He was always sought after as a great substitute teacher.
Wiley had a sentimental soul and unwavering compassion; his heart made room for every family member, friend, and stranger. He loved a good martini, hunting for a new beer, and crafting the perfect Bloody Mary. His easygoing essence and wicked sense of humor made conversation effortless. He enjoyed his fishing (and had a new found love of ice fishing) and was an esteemed sports fan, especially the Badgers and Packers football. His trademark phrase at football games was “never leave early”—he didn’t want to miss anything. Wiley loved to cook and was a talented experimenter, including his signature turducken, and his unmatchable salsa that he made every summer.
Wiley is survived by his loving wife, Maggie; daughter, Katie; son, David; brothers, Dwayne (Nina) Utterback and Rusty (Debbie) Utterback; father, Wiley L. Utterback; father-in-law, Harris (Mary) McKee; sister-in-law, Laura (Thomas Denio) McKee; former wife, Jennifer Beeman; and many nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends. He was preceded in death by his mother, Ellen J. Utterback; and son, Andrew Utterback.
Visitation will be held at GUNDERSON WEST FUNERAL & CREMATION CARE, 7435 University Ave., Middleton, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Friday, March 9, 2018, and also on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at SUGAR RIVER UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 415 W. Verona Ave., Verona, from 1 p.m. until funeral services at 2 p.m. with Pastor Gary Holmes presiding. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Gilda’s Club, Sugar River United Methodist Church, any charity benefiting special needs children, or other charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.
Funeral & Cremation Care
7435 University Ave.