Handmade - HOMAGE TO WAYNE WILEY - Glass Brass Rosary - OOAK

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Handmade - HOMAGE TO WAYNE WILEY - Glass Brass Rosary - OOAK


This special rosary to honor Wayne Wiley, was created with bright yellow glass beads. The beads are the color of the car he and David Kleptz raced in the cross-country Great American Antique Car Race, sponsored by Interstate Batteries.

The brass colored connectors represent the antique components of the cars involved in the Great American Race.

The centerpiece of the rosary was created from a brass stamped filigree and an antique car stamp-booking stamped element. Gilders Paste was used on the new stamping to age it and to finish with a bit of a worn look, a light sandpaper was used to breakdown the look of a perfect new piece.

The crucifix was created with a brass stamped filigree, decorative cross. The piece was antiqued and an appropriate sized corpus was added to create a custom crucifix.

The connectors from the centerpiece are wire-wrapped with brass-colored copper wire.

A rolled coin was added to the piece as a medal. These pieces were handed out to onlookers across the country as David and Wayne traversed the county from sea to shining sea.

Inspiration/Story Behind This Product

This rosary was created to honor Wayne Wiley, born 1945. Wayne is my late husband and he left a lasting impression on me--of his 'love of life' and 'grace in death.' He died of cancer (Lymphoma) in 1990. In his all too short life he touched many people. Wayne was the father of four children (2 biological & 2 adopted). Additionally, he was a foster parent for many more children and an unofficial father for many of his students. His parents were very proud of their much-loved son. One particular foster child's extended family would come to have a very special place in his life during the five years he fought cancer.

Wayne was a friend to many, as demonstrated by the standing-room-only crowd that filled our home on his last birthday. I put out the word that we were going to have a little get-together for his birthday. Much to my surprise and the surprise of others--over 100 people showed up to wish him well. What a wonderful tribute to the friend he was to others. At his funeral visitation, the line of people waiting to speak to me at the casket was out-the-door and around the funeral home. The drive from our parish church to the cemetery was so long that extra police were called in to secure the intersections through which we passed. I will never forget the Indiana and Michigan Utility workers who stopped work, removed their hard hats, and stood at attention as the funeral motorcade passed. It was a moment that was important to our children, his parents, and to me.

For more than twenty years, Wayne was a teacher in the South Bend, Indiana Community School System. He loved teaching and he loved his students. Every year his High School Automotive Class built a race car from the ground up. Wayne paid for all the materials. Some parts were donated by local businesses. Some parts were salvaged from wrecked cars. Some parts were machined from steel bar stock. Some parts were purchased. Wayne's only rule for purchased parts was--"no part could be purchased that cost more than $5.00." Yep, $5.00. And, year after year, he was able to keep to that rule and provide his automotive students the experience of a lifetime. Those students who worked on the car were granted the option (with parental permission) to drive the race car in S.C.C.A. Solo II's the Spring and Summer following the year in which it was built. Many students received permission from their parents and learned the fun, the thrill, the concentration, and the attention to detail required to successfully participate in Sports Car Club of America racing events.

The cafeteria ladies at LaSalle High School loved Wayne, too. He was nice to them, got to know their families, fixed their cars, and looked out for their children in school. Of course, the last item was really no different than anyone else's kids--his looked out for all the kids and took a personal interest in their success. One particular cafeteria lady always had a breakfast snack (fresh baked and hot chocolate chip cookies & milk) for him ready each and every morning. Darlene Banasiewicz not only did a fantastic job in the kitchen of the LaSalle cafeteria, she also baked and decorated birthday cakes on the side. One year for our daughter Olivia's 6th Birthday--Wayne had Mrs. Banasiewi make her famous single serving "doll cakes." Each cake had a beautiful ruffle skirt of cake and icing in pastel colors. In the top of the ruffle skirt was placed a beautiful, long-haired , Barbie-type doll with a matching top made of the same icing as the skirt. Olivia loved the individual cakes, Olivia's little friends loved the individual cakes. Olivia's grandparents loved the individual cakes. Everyone loved the little cakes and Wayne loved Mrs. Banasiewicz's very special work on behalf of his little girl. Over the years, the Banasiewicz's became very special friends.

There were many other close friends from Wayne's life at LaSalle High School. Many were adult employees, but most were students and families. I'll never forget when we had a faculty party at our home and some of Wayne's Kids (his high school students) showed up and rang the doorbell. They were not aware that we were having a faculty party and just happened to stop by to see Wayne. A wife of one of the faculty members said, "I don't believe that you allow students to know where you live, let alone inviting them into your home, and to be around your children. I would NEVER allow student's into my home." Wayne's response was, "We do not ALLOW students to know where we live--we tell them where we live and encourage them to be part of our family and to visit us for any reason." The wife of his fellow faculty member was just appalled that we had close personal relationships with his students. We were appalled that she was appalled. If students needed to talk or hear adult perspectives on their life experiences -- they knew that they could come and talk with either one or both of us to get an honest response and non-judgmental responses. One of Wayne's former students was even the person named in our Last Will and Testaments to serve as guardian if the two of us died prior to children attaining adulthood. So, you see, it was a very close relationship we formed with most of Wayne's students.

Any number of times over his last five years, the doctor's told me that Wayne would probably not live through the night. They did not know Wayne. He and I discussed that we wanted our last words to each other to be "I love you." Because of the many ominous warnings, we never left each other's side without kissing each other and saying "I love you." One of the last days Wayne was able to go to LaSalle High School to teach, he stopped at the front door, turned and looked at me and with tenderness said, "All these years I have been teaching my students how to live. This year, I am teaching them how to die." With that, he bent over and kissed me, said "I love you," he heard the same from me, then turned, went out the door and with the help got into the car of a former student (Terry) who came everyday to drive him to LaSalle so that he could continue teaching. Within a couple of weeks, he was no longer strong enough to go to LaSalle and teach.

About that time or perhaps a bit earlier, enter a wonderful lady (Dee Dee) from Hospice of Cass County. She was our lifeline, our connection to sanity, our honest and trusted friend, and our truth-teller. No matter how difficult the information -- she told us the truth and helped us continue to live with the cancer through the most difficult times. In a speech for a Cass County Hospice fundraiser, I said, "The real power of Hospice is not teaching you to die. Dying comes naturally. We are all dying of a terminal disease--LIFE. The power of Hospice is in teaching you how to live with cancer. Hospice teaches you how to go on and how not curl up on the sofa waiting to die."
Dee Dee took such excellent care of us. She made sure that Wayne had someone to share his deepest thoughts, concerns, and fears. She made sure that I had someone to share my deepest thoughts, concerns, and fears. She talked with the children and helped them with homework, getting them to the dentist when Wayne had to go to Chemo at the same time. She filled the gap between what I could do and what I needed to do. She always had a smile on her face. She loved to hear our stories about former foster children. In particular, she loved hearing about one boy who was emotionally disturbed and was self-abusive. Eric would cut himself, pound his fists into the Oak tree in our backyard until his knuckles were bloody, and jab pencil lead into his arms and legs. If Eric became angry--he hurt himself and not others.

One evening Dee Dee was sitting in our living room and suddenly said, "I have to tell you guys something." She seemed so serious we were immediately concerned. Wayne and I asked "What?" almost in unison. Then, Dee Dee said, "You know from the moment I came here--I thought God sent me. You two even said I was a Godsend. You don't know how true those words are. You remember the times you've told me about Eric?" We both nodded. Dee Dee continued, "Well, Eric is my nephew."

We were both shocked at this revelation. Dee Dee told us, "So, it was meant to be. You took care of my nephew when I was so worried about him and his condition. Now, I am taking care of you. It seems that God put us in each other's lives."

Indeed, God does work in mysteries ways.

Materials Used

Beads = Bright yellow glass; Centerpiece = Brass stamping, stamped filigree, Gilders Paste, and other aging materials; Crucifix = Stamped filigree, brass crucifix, Gilders Paste, and other aging materials; Connectors = Brass filigree pieces; etc

More Info

I hope that one of Wayne's former LaSalle High School students, Adams High School students, an S.C.C.A. member, G.A.R. Racer, or Friend will purchase this rosary to honor Wayne and his impact on his or her life.

Product Attributes

Color: Yellow

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In stock items usually ship within two business days after payment. Custom orders delivery times will be provided with the quote for the custom piece.

ORDERS $100.00 and OVER -- SHIP FREE

Most orders will fit in a standard 'small flat rate' USPS box. The shipping cost for the small flat rate is $5.85. All items that fit in the box will ship for one price ($5.85). If larger boxes are needed the pricing will be as follows.

$5.85 ..... Small Flat Rate Box [8 5/8" x 5 3/8" x 1 5/8"]
$12.50 ... Medium Flat Rate Box
[13 5/8" x 11 7/8" x 3 1/8" or 11" x 8 1/2" x 5 1/2"]
$18.50 ... Large Flat Rate Box [12" x 12" x 5 1/2"]

If you purchase multiple items email or call me so that I can combine your shipping. Please email or call me if you think your items may exceed the size of the small box.

Many of my items are one of a kind (OOAK). All OOAK items are labeled as such. Other items may be a limited edition or an open stock.

I design 'custom kreations' (jewelry and rosaries) for special events. It is very meaningful to know the person who is going to received the item and to keep that person in mind during the design and creation of the item.

In addition to the standard rosaries for First Communion and Confirmation, I create custom First Communion and Confirmation designs for individual children and adults.

Rosaries make an excellent present for weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays. Given the interests and preferred colors & stones of an individual, a custom rosary can be created that speaks to the receiver of the gift.

Brides often wish to have custom jewelry for themselves. Additionally, the bride may wish to have matching jewelry for the bride's maids. I will discount multiple purchases of the same design.

If you don't see what you want in my studio -- just contact me. I am happy to design special pieces with you and for you. I love to create UNIQUE CUSTOM KREATIONS!


If you damage your item and still have all the unbroken pieces, I will repair your item for no charge. If beads, pendants, components are broken, you must pay for the replacement of broken items. But, I will repair the item with no charge for my labor. You must pay the shipping both directions.

If you have questions about my items, please ask. I am happy to speak to customers about my work.


creepysusie on Sep 15, 2016
5 stars

Just beautiful. Came just when I needed the symbol of Christ and hope the most. Ordering one for my mother now, too. Thank you so much.

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