Wesley J. Crile, 86, of Deland, Fla., and Marion, who was born Jan. 14, 1926, to Ford S. and Helen G. Crile, died suddenly on April 22.
He grew up the oldest of six children and graduated from Bath High School in 1944. Immediately upon his graduation, he joined the U.S. Army Corp (Air Force) where he began a love of flying that remained with him his entire life. He later earned his private pilots and logged hundreds of hours of flight time. After his discharge form the service, Wes and his new bride Donna started their family while he attended the College of Wooster where he lettered in football and earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in 1952. That year, he began a teaching and coaching career in Ohio that included stops at several high schools, Ashland College and culminated at Buckeye Valley in Delaware County.
In 1968, the family moved to Ormond Beach, Fla., where he continued to teach and coach before leaving the school system to become Volusia County’s first Parks and Recreation Director in 1973. Under his leadership, the park system was established and recreational leagues in dozens of sports were created. Upon his retirement in 1989, the Volusia County Council recognized his extraordinary service by naming its newest recreation complex in his honor. Wes also served the community as an active Red Cross volunteer and board member, including a year as chairman in 1985-1986.
Never one to shy away from challenge, he celebrated his 75th birthday by making his first parachute jump, and his 84th by breaking the 130 mph barrier at the Mario Andretti Driving School. At the time of his death, Wes was excitedly making plans to attend his 60th consecutive Indianapolis 500 in May.
He is survived by his wife, Marian; son, Larry (Linda); daughter, Sandra (Donald) Crocker; son, Daniel; brother, Gary; sisters, Carolyn Kohberger and Phylis Bortsceller; 10 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandchild.
Wes was predeceased by son, David, and brothers, Don and Jim.
A celebration of life will be held Friday, May 11, at the Scioto Township Hall in Ostrander. The open house will begin at 5:30 followed by a program at 7 p.m. Anyone wishing to share with the family and friends would be more than welcome.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Florida’s Coast to Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross, 141, White St., Daytona Beach, FL 32114.