Wesley P. Sly, 96, passed away on February 3, 2020 at the Chautauqua Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Dunkirk, NY.
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He was born in East Aurora, NY on March 7, 1923, son of the late Raymond and Rachel Sly. A graduate of East Aurora High School, Wes admitted to being a ‘fair’ student but excelled as a halfback in football and as a sprinter on the track team.
Wes served as a pilot in the Army Air Force in WWII, flying the famed P-47 Thunderbolt. Stationed in Guam and the Philippines, he often told friends and relatives that the Axis nations surrendered “because they heard he was coming.” He was a member of the Jamestown, NY American Legion. Wes enjoyed, among other things, finding treasures at yard sales, watching football, spending time at his cottage on Chautauqua Lake, visits with family and friends, and FaceTime chats with family.
On August 22, 1944 he married Shirley Irene Ricketson. They remained residents of Fredonia until Shirley’s death in 1998.
Wes graduated in 1952 from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY with a degree in Physical Therapy. Post-graduate work included a doctorate degree in Mechanotherapy. He continued to practice as a Physical Therapist in the Western New York area for over 50 years.
Wes was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley Ricketson Sly and his partner, Sandra Woodard of Jamestown, NY.
Survivors include his children: Wes Sly, Jr. (Dianne) of Lake Elmo, MN; Betsy Sly of Fredonia; Susan Sly Kourelis (Colin) of Dunkirk; and Michael Sly (Sue) of Plano, TX. He is also survived by his sister, Ruth West of Phoenix, AZ; four grandchildren: Katy and Taylor Sly (Children of Wes and Dianne), Chris (Lisa) and Matt Sly (Children of Michael and Sue) and many nieces and nephews.
Wes enjoyed life and he will be missed by many.
The family is planning a celebration of Wes’s life for later in the year.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care, Lakewood, NY, or to the Presbyterian Church in Fredonia, NY. On-line condolences may be made at larsontimkofuneralhome.com. Arrangements by David J. Dengler, LARSON-TIMKO Funeral Home.