John Vernon Wiles, 82, insurance salesman

April 23, 2003

John Vernon Wiles, a retired insurance salesman and longtime Lutherville resident, died of respiratory failure Sunday at Manor Care Ruxton. He was 82.

Mr. Wiles was born in Baltimore, raised in Parkville, and graduated in 1937 from Towson High School. He worked as an advertising salesman for the old Baltimore News-Post and as an aircraft inspector at the Glenn L. Martin Co. before joining the Army Air Forces in 1943.

Though trained as a co-pilot, the war ended before he could fly in combat. He was discharged in 1945 with the rank of captain.

He worked for more than 30 years as the Maryland representative of the Washington-based General Service Life Insurance Co., which sold policies to military personnel assigned to bases in the state. He retired in the mid-1980s.

In 1941, Mr. Wiles married Helen E. Terry, who died in 1997.

The couple were members of Trinity Assembly of God Church in Lutherville.

Their son, John L. Wiles II, died in a 1971 traffic accident, and a year later, their daughter, Gail E. Littlejohn, died of cancer.

"It was his faith and courage that got him through. His involvement in the church saved his emotional life. That's the story of his life," said John P. Littlejohn, his son-in-law who lives in Silver Spring.

One of the highlights of his life was visiting the Holy Land.

Mr. Wiles enjoyed spending time with his grandson and great-grandchildren, family members said.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.

Mr. Wiles is survived by a brother, Robert A. Wiles of Parkville; a grandson; and three great-grandchildren.

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