A large crowd gathered Saturday at Centre’s Bud Peterson Field to honor the life of former coach and physical education teacher Stan Wiles, who died July 28 at age 70.
Wife Deb Wiles, pastor of Rock Island Church in Herington, led the service, calling it an honor to share in his life.
A homemade casket was built by Yvonne Burhoop and Sheri Pankratz. Carol Riffel lined the inside with Stan’s T-shirts. Lynley Remy played electronic piano.
Stan and Deb met at Centre as single teachers and were married Aug. 6, 1983.
Stan coached and taught at Centre for 28 years. He mentored students through elementary and high school.
A special group on social media was set up for former students and friends to leave comments.
“Coach Wiles left a legacy of drive, winning, caring, and doing it the right way,” one person wrote.
He coached with Bud Peterson in 1997, when Centre won a state championship.
“In 1990, he planted a seed in my class to set a goal of making it to state in football when we got to high school,” a team member remembered. “Seven years later, that goal was accomplished.”
“He taught us ‘take the time’ and ‘it’s the little things that matter most,’” another wrote.
After Stan retired from teaching, he worked at Barnes Heartland Foods in Herington. Customers remembered his friendly smile and cheerful spirit. He sometimes sang while carrying out groceries.
After the service, Marissa Makovec provided a noon meal. Burial was that afternoon at Hebron Lutheran Church near Burdick.