Leslie Wayne Maley
April 6, 2023
Leslie Wayne Maley was born September 23, 1937. He passed away peacefully Friday, January 13, 2023, at Palouse Country Assisted Living, in Fairfield, Washington, after a nine-month battle with brain cancer secondary to malignant melanoma.
Wayne was born to Margaret Olive Edden, of Missoula, Montana, and Leslie William Maley, of Thornton, Washington. Wayne lived his entire life in the house where he was born and raised. Throughout this time he was a wheat and cattle rancher.
After graduating from Rosalia High School in 1956, Wayne farmed with his father and his brother Bill. That same year he married Marilyn Dollarhide, of St. John, with whom he had seven children. They divorced in 1985.
People often commented that Wayne was a man who made friends wherever he went. This was probably because he was readily interested in other people and could tell a great story. In fact, his knowledge of local lore was prodigious. To visit a pioneer cemetery with him was like taking a short course in Whitman County history. Likewise, he read widely and with an open mind about politics and other places and eras.
Although Wayne's life, like those of the rest of us, could sometimes be messy, he liked to keep the simple things in life simple. He once had a male llama and a female goat both named Alice. ("It's easier that way," he explained.) If he saw that you needed help, he gave it, right away and without being asked.
When Wayne was 12, he ran away to Hollywood, where he was discovered by a police officer after Wayne pointed to a palm tree and asked what kind of tree it was. The journey was not so much a running away as a running toward. Wayne's lifelong dream was to become a country music song writer. In the course of decades, he wrote hundreds of songs, some of which were published. None took off, but Wayne was not discouraged: He was still writing lyrics toward the end of his life.
Wayne is survived by his former wife, Marilyn; his children-Becky Clark (Bruce), Bayview, Idaho; Betty Lou Maley, Pullman; Beth Maley, Portland, Ore .; Brenda Anderson (Garry), Spokane; Joe Maley, Thornton, Wash .; Patrick Maley (Debbie), Spokane; and Jeff Maley (Stacie), Richland, Wash.-sister Susan Maley, Spokane; brother Dan Shipley, Elma, Wash .; step-sisters Sandy Ridlington, Corvallis, Ore, and Georgia Frick, Spangle, Wash .; nephews Bill and David Maley; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, stepmothers Jenny Maley and Olga Maley, brothers Bill Maley, Wally and Donny Nyberg, and granddaughter Marilyn Maley.