Raleigh Steven Wales

Aug 11, 1957 – Aug 16, 2016


Raleigh Wales was well liked by his Federal Way Washington neighbors and many friends throughout Seattle. His passion, later in life, was to help others overcome personal challenges and addictive behavior that he faced for many years. On January 31, 2016 Raleigh celebrated four years of clean living. On that occasion his friends wrote on his “birthday” card:

                                 “You are an inspiration to many”

                               “You are so strong and determined”

                                          “You really are a miracle”

Through his persistence and active participation in Narcotics Anonymous, Raleigh found a way to live happily without using drugs. He was particularly fond of his “home” groups, NA Soldiers, Lovin’ Spoonful and Daily Fix. Giving back what was freely given to him through his Higher Power motivated him to action in the service of others and healing relationships. In 2015 Raleigh spent his first Thanksgiving Day with family after many years of isolation. Ten days before his death he bought his train tickets to visit family again on Thanksgiving Day 2016. He was proud and grateful for his change in perspective and life that welcomed him home again.

                                                  Recent Awards

Recovery Café – Access to Recovery Program with King County

Seattle VA ATC certificates – Jan. 31, 2016; May 16, 2016;                                          April 2, 2015

Raleigh Wales served in the United States Army and was assigned to Company B, First Battalion, Fourth Infantry, Third Infantry Division. He held several jobs such as gunner, driver and squad leader. While serving in the Army he completed his high school education through Big Bend Community College. His Army Enlisted Evaluation Reports include comments like:

“His performance in the field as well as in garrison is good and given time he will be an outstanding soldier.”

“SP4 Wales is very knowledgeable on the TOW system and its operation. SP4 Wales is also very knowledgeable on leadership and does a very good job with his squad. SP4 Wales has worked long and hard hours striving to help his squad, section, and platoon to accomplish very essential missions. With more experience and training SP4 Wales will rank with the very best.”

Raleigh was the youngest of five children. He is survived by his sister Carol Jackson and brother Edgar Wales. Remembrances in the form of financial donations may be made to Narcotics Anonymous, Disabled American Veterans or Veterans of Foreign Wars.


Tampa, Fl
Sep 13, 2016

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Death is never welcomed, but it seems to be something we all are accustomed too. Please be assured that the bible promises that God will soon undo death (Revelation 21:3,4) and he promises in John 5:28,29 to resurrect our loved ones right here on earth. I hope these promises as well as your wonderful memories bring you comfort.

Pastor Cindy Salo
Seattle, WA
Sep 7, 2016

We at Central Lutheran Church have just discovered Raleigh's death and want to add our deepest sympathies to the family. Raleigh was active in our congregation, often serving as an usher and even providing communion bread for our table. We will miss him and his wonderful smile. I am happy to see so many people were touched by his gentle presence and his commitment to sobriety.

Pastor Cindy

Joedy Smith
Seattle , WA
Sep 5, 2016

I met Raleigh through our mutual interest in Narcotics Anonymous. I was taking hin to the bus stop after a meeting with the group. He wanted to be taken to the bus stop in downtown Seattle. Me assuming he was going a short distance asked him to allow me to take him all the way home. Little did I know and, to my surprise was the fact that he would have had to catch two buses that night and then the light rail. A very long distance for a man with a cane. I asked him why travel so far foe a meeting. His simple answer was, Joedy someone needs to open rhe doors for the person seeking a meeting. That sratement raised the bar for me. If he could go to such great lengths to make sure a door is open for another human being, then so should I. I later found out that week upon weeks were spent wirh this same tenacity and passion. What an example. I will miss his dedication and willingness. Thank you Raleigh. Love you much.

Michael ("Mike") Ullman [Sgt, Ret., USA]
Seattle, WA
Sep 2, 2016

Coming to NA Soldiers at Seattle VA was like coming home. Raleigh and Vinnie accepted me as one of their own, and we became like brothers in the months that followed. Recovery and Fellowship were Raleigh and Vincent. Sharing this life was a Blessing too soon cut short., Raleigh. You will be missed.

Ann Wales
Newport, OR
Sep 1, 2016

My favorite memories of Uncle Raleigh are walking down to the "zoo" with him near Grandpa and Granny's house in Quilcene; him telling my sisters and I to never start smoking, as he smoked a cigarette; looking into his face and seeing a kind reflection of my dad's face; receiving emails over the past few years with well wishes and happy notes--always excited to share good news; how he frequently wrote the entire content of an email message in the subject line and left the message space blank :). I love you, Uncle Raleigh.

Vincent(Vinnie) Turner
Seattle,, Wa
Aug 31, 2016

I am very proud and pleased to be a friend of Raleigh's also very blessed to have known him thru NA Soldiers. He and I cochaired the meetings and it was in this way I got to know him better. He is proof that miracles do indeed happen thru faith and belief in a Higher Power.He was real proud of his clean time and inspired me to stay the course and stay clean.I miss him more than I can adequately say in words.You are in Paradise now, my friend, and I hope to Join you one day when it is time. Your Brother In Recovery, Vinnie Turner

This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.