Wesley latest contender on links in Seventh Heaven

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 9, 1999

"Papa's up there now, arranging with St. Peter for a golfing foursome to include himself, Sugar, Gilbert and Joe

that's the way he's having his Seventh Heaven, where he now resides."

The above is a paraphrase of words spoken by Cody, son of the late (John) Harold Wesley , following Harold's death last Wednesday morning.

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Harold and two of his closest friends, Joe Norman and Jim "Sugar" Ryan all expired recently of the same deadly cancer bug after suffering through lengthy, lingering torturous illnesses.

His brother Gilbert, winner of an uncounted number of golf tournaments, expired in a plane crash several years ago.

Harold was always a "most happy fellow" even when going through the rigors of extremis. His bright, jovial outlook stayed with him to the end.

He was a noble, philanthropic individual, practically adopting and caring for "Miss Connie" (Ansley) Foster for some

16 years, and Australian Mike Downey who lived with the Wesley family for several years and always felt he was at home with them even as a student at L.S.U.

He was a self-starter in the box manufacturing business, and was highly successful at his trade, piloting his own plane to fulfill many of his business appointments.

Harold was equally accomplished on the golf course, having won numerous tournaments during his playing years.

He was adept in baseball and golf during his high school days, later joining the University of Alabama golf team as a student at that institution.

He also served as a director of the Alabama Golf Association for some 35 years and as its president for the year 1972.

Harold probably counted as his shining moment his feat of sharing the course record for the lowest score with Byron Nelson at the Amarillo, Tex., golf course while serving at a nearby U.S. Air Force installation.

He is survived by his wife, Marion (Crenshaw) Johnson Wesley, Greenville; two sons and daughters-in-law, Cody (Debbie) Wesley, Greenville, and Kian (Sandra) Wesley, Birmingham; a daughter, Jason Wesley of Birmingham;

a brother, Robert "Rooster" Wesley, Monroeville; and three grandchildren, Whitman Wesley, 10, and Isabella Wesley, 7, both of Greenville, and Karmon Wesley, 4, of Birmingham.

Since Harold is the latest arrival at Seventh Heaven, we'll pick him as the number one contender of the foursome mentioned earlier.