A native of Haywood County, he was born on September 14, 1930, to Elmer Lee Harwell and Verna Alice Lewis Harwell. He was the middle child with two sisters, Mary Harwell Stephenson and Louise Harwell Richards. Wiley grew up in the Belle Eagle Community and began working on the family farm at a very young age. At 19 he went to work at Bridgewater Lumber as the Sawmill Manager. After thirty years with the sawmill, he purchased Belle Eagle Store and owned and operated it for two years. At that time, he began his career with Powell Hardwoods as the General Manager where he oversaw the crews, sawmill operations and timber purchasing. By 70, he was ready to retire from Powell Hardwoods but not ready to sit idle, so he began cruising timber independently until he was 85 years old.
Wiley accepted Christ as his Savior in his twenties and became a loyal, dedicated follower. He would generally start and end his day reading his Bible and studying his Sunday School lesson. Wiley was a member of Brownsville Baptist Church where he was an active deacon and taught the Men’s Bible Sunday School Class for over forty years until retirement.
He loved the Lord, his family, the outdoors, Crappie fishing and western movies. Wiley also enjoyed singing church hymns while cooking for his family. He especially loved to cook the Crappie he caught along with all the trimmings.
Wiley was preceded in death by his parents, both sisters, his wife, Bonnie Jean Poindexter Harwell, and one son, Jerry Harwell.
He is survived by two sons, Joe Harwell and Mark Harwell (Sylvia) and his daughter-in-law Debbie Harwell, all of Brownsville; four grandchildren, Natalie Harwell Lane (Eagle) of Brownsville, Joseph Harwell of Franklin, TN, Dan Harwell of Jackson, TN and Ashley Harwell Richardson (Brad) of Brownsville; and five great-grandchildren, Matthew Harwell and Ella Harwell of Franklin, TN, Bennett Lane, Waylon Richardson and Maci Richardson all of Brownsville.
The family would like to pay special thanks to their home care family, Loretta Reid, Valerie Chapman, Eurtropia Hawkins, Mary Hicks, Michelle Canales and Carolyn Kellum who took excellent, loving care of our Dad and Paw Paw. We forever will be thankful to them!
Serving as Pallbearers for the service are Joseph Harwell, Dan Harwell, Matthew Harwell, Eagle Lane, Brad Richardson, Wade Norris, Jim McAdams, and Allen Wright. Honorary Pallbearers will be Buddy Carlton, David McClanahan, and Bubba Hooper.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Zion Methodist Church Cemetery Fund, c/o Mary Frances Trottman, 1805 Rudolph Rd., Brownsville, TN 38012 or to Gideons International, P.O. Box 544, Brownsville, TN 38012. All arrangements and services are under the direction of the Lea & Simmons Funeral Home in Brownsville, TN.