Jane Elizabeth Wiles
March 7, 1922 - June 14, 2016
Jane Elizabeth Wiles (Winterer/Wilcken), of Salem, OR passed away at her home in Portland after a brief illness June 14, 2016 at the age of 94. At the time of her death, Jane was comfortable and surrounded by her family. Jane is survived by her brother, Robert Wilcken (Carol); daughter Nancy Wiles (Bruce), sons Mark Wiles (Toshio) and David Wiles (Kim); daughter-in law Tracey Wiles; grandchildren Steele, Jacqueline and Anna along with nieces, nephews and friends. She is preceded in death by her parents, Roland and Ellen Wilcken, sister Joanne Seely, brother Steele Winterer; loving husband of 62 years, S.D Wiles and sons Steele Daniel Wiles and James Winterer Wiles.
Janie grew up in small-town South Dakota, and after completing high school in 1940, attended Ravenswood School of Nursing in Chicago from which she graduated as a Registered Nurse. In 1944, she joined the U.S. Army and was deployed by troop ship to Liverpool, England. Traveling to Southampton by train, she boarded a 2nd troop ship for the crossing of the English Channel before climbing down a rope ladder onto a LCI (Landing Craft Infantry), landing then wading ashore in the waist deep surf onto Omaha Beach, where she served with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant as a surgical nurse in a field evacuation hospital with the 190th General Hospital. Later, she was assigned to the 203rd General Hospital in Garche, France where she worked 12 hour shifts for 5 months treating a steady stream of Allied and German combat casualties arriving by ambulance on the "Red Ball Highway" from the German offensive known as the Battle of the Bulge. In May of 1945, she was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and assigned to the 194th General Hospital in Antwerp, Belgium, where she continued to serve until March, 1946 when she had accumulated enough points to come home.
Before her tour of duty in Europe, Janie was stationed at Camp Cooke in California, where she met and dated a young Army Captain named S.D. Wiles. After serving on Saipan as a dentist, S.D. was stationed in Hawaii, and he invited Janie over for a visit to see if there was still a "spark". 12 days later, they married in the chapel at St. Andrew's Cathedral in Honolulu.
S.D. and Janie settled in Salem, Oregon after the war, where S.D. set up a dental practice, and together they raised 5 kids. After the youngest had left for collage, Janie returned to Willamette University where she completed a 2 year course of study to renew her nursing license, and started working at Salem Hospital as an RN. Continuing her service to the community, Janie was an active volunteer for the Salvation Army, the Assistance League of Salem and St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
Along with caring for her family, Janie enjoyed skiing, tennis and backpacking in the Oregon wilderness with family and friends. Standouts on the dance floor, S.D. and Janie enjoyed dressing up and going out to dance at every opportunity. Always eager to expand her world view, Janie loved to travel, and would jump at the chance to visit new places as well as old favorites. Whether it be trekking in the Himalayas, dancing in the streets of Kyoto, climbing to the summit of Mt Fuji, riding the subways of NYC and Washington DC or exploring back streets in a number of European cities, Janie always wanted to get out and experience where she was. Her favorite destination over the years was Paris, where she had dear friends from her wartime service in France.
Janie loved her country, her life and friends in Salem, and most of all, being married to S.D. and being mother to their kids and the Wiles family.
A memorial for Janie will be held on Wednesday, July 20th at St. Paul's Episcopal church in Salem. Not to be missed organ music celebrating her life begins at 12:45, the service at 1:00, followed by interment at Belcrest Memorial Park. Donations appreciated to a charity of your choice.