In 1976, he came to Hawai'i to play in the Honolulu Symphony and later became percussionist, staff arranger, and emcee for the Royal Hawaiian Band, where he played for 35 years. He played percussion in musicals for many Hawai'i theaters and taught percussion and directed Variety Shows at Punahou School. He played in many smaller groups, including his own Taco Willie and the Refried Beans.
He loved concert band and symphonic pops music, and became a proponent of the light-hearted compositions of Leroy Anderson, the composer of "Sleigh Ride". Bill's own arrangements and compositions reflect a similar humorous touch. His quick wit, warmth, and self-effacing humor were legendary. He could mimic just about anyone with pinpoint accuracy, focusing on our foibles and making us laugh both with him and at ourselves. He never lost the child within himself, and found humor in life that the rest of us overlooked.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Barbara Clemens, his sister, Lynn Wiley (Daniel) Fleming, his brother Michael (Helen) Wiley and seven nieces and nephews and their children. He was predeceased by his parents and his oldest brother, Thomas Wiley (Mary).
A Private Ash Scattering was held in Maine, and others will be held later in Annapolis and Honolulu. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bill's memory to the SPCA of Anne Arundel County,
1815 Bay Ridge Ave., Annapolis, MD 21403, www.aacspca.org,
or to the Friends of the Royal Hawaiian Band,
P.O. Box 1894,Honolulu, HI 96805, http://www.royalhawaiianband.com/.