Thomas Rodney Wiles was born October 16, 1950 in Alliance Nebraska to lona Leona Marie (Holzberger) and William Thomas Wiles.
Tom grew up and lived in Gordon Nebraska nearly his entire life. As a kid, his family lived on Elm Street in an apartment behind his parents’ Beauty Shop. In 1955, Bill and Iona moved their two children, Tom and Terrie, to a small acreage on the edge of town...always referred to as “the hill.” Life “up on the hill” was busy with work but also allowed for plenty of good times with the neighbor kids ...from ice skating on the pond (which they used irrigation pipes to flood themselves) to jeep rides in the snowy pasture, life on the hill was quite the adventure. And there was never a shortage of animals around the acreage either.
Tom developed a love for animals, farming and business at an early age. 4-H was a big part of his adolescent years - Tom showed horses, lambs, pigs and market steers. He also participated in Sheridan County rodeo on his favorite horse, Cracker Jack. As Tom and Terrie grew older, more and more of their time was consumed by work. It was no secret that work was a way of life for the Wiles Family...Tom worked in the family greenhouse business, raised livestock, and worked on his Grandparents’ and Uncle George‘s farm north of Gordon, all starting at an early age. He was even kind enough to teach his little sister Terrie how to drive. Little did she know at the time that she would be repaying him by working around the different farms he contributed to.
Tom graduated from Gordon High School in 1969 and upon graduation he attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. In 1974, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science. After graduation he returned home to work the Holzberger Farm with his Uncle George and soon after would also join forces with his cousin Milbert Holzberger to help with his farming as well. Farming was truly a passion of Tom’s, something he thoroughly enjoyed throughout his entire life.
On March 6, 1982 Tom, at age 32, was married to Shirley Hinn. Through this union Tom acquired his only daughter Selena and over the next several years Tom and Shirley proceeded to have four more children. All boys, they were named Tommy, Tolynn, Tanner and Taybor. Shortly before the birth of Tanner, the couple and their then three children moved up the hill to the house that Tom had spent most of his childhood growing up in.
Over the years, Tom always managed to keep a hand in the farming business to some extent. In the early 1990’s, Tom also took on the role as manager at Hinn’s Clothing Center. He managed the store for the next 20 years and developed a number of great relationships with his clients, a large portion of which reside on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. About six months ago Tom started a new business venture, Dollar City, in Rushville.
Despite Tom’s incredible work ethic, he always made time to support his children in their many activities. As much as Tom loved his work, his wife and children were his biggest love of all. Tom coached all of the kids in baseball, attended all of their wrestling meets and softball tournaments, and he never missed any of their sporting events throughout high school. The family also spent earlier years camping at the lake and piling in the conversion van for trips to Denver to watch their beloved Broncos or Rockies or to go to Elitch Gardens or Water World.
In the late 90’s the family started taking an annual trip to New Smyrna Beach, Florida. More than anything, Tom loved being with his family and he became the best husband and father that anyone can ask for. His greatest joy was his children. That is, until his grandchildren came along. Tom and Shirley made many trips to anywhere and everywhere to support their grandchildren in everything they participated in.
Tom was kind at heart and always had the time to talk with anyone and ask how you were doing. He genuinely cared and touched many people’s lives.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Iona Wiles, his father in law Charles Hinn, Uncle George and Aunt Irene and several other Aunts and Uncles.
Tom is survived by his wife Shirley and their five children: Selena and her husband Josh, Tommy, Tolynn and his wife Melissa, Tanner and Taybor; his grandchildren Braxton, Ava, Cass, and Leah Wiles and Micah Hotz; his sister Terrie and her husband Dex; his mother in law Margie Hinn, and in laws Ginny and Jerry Kearns, Nancy and Bill Hotz and Chuck and Janet Hinn as well as a number of nieces and nephews.