Wesley Vincent Gales, 84, of Sturgeon Bay, passed away on April 19 with family at his side.
He was born August 26, 1930, in Milwaukee, the son of the late Thomas and Hazel Gales. After graduating from high school, Wesley served his country in the United States Army as a paratrooper. Upon the completion of his service, he drove a bus for the Milwaukee County Transit System. During this time, he also attended night school in Milwaukee and earned a degree in court reporting.
On April 7, 1956, Wesley married Elizabeth (Betty) Katherine Schweiss, and just days before his death, they celebrated their 59th anniversary.
Wesley’s career as a court reporter started in Kenosha County, where he worked as the official reporter for the Hon. Harold Bode. While in Kenosha, he became an integral part of Gateway Technical College’s court reporting program. He taught English on a part-time basis and also wrote a court reporting training manual for Gateway’s students.
During this time, he was also very active in the Wisconsin Court Reporters Association (WCRA) and the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). He served on WCRA’s board of directors and served a term as president of the association. He was also on the editorial staff of NCRA’s magazine, which published several of his articles.
One of Wesley’s great passions in life was helping student and working reporters further their careers. He accomplished this by becoming skilled in writing speed tests that were used by NCRA in its certification process.
In the 1980s, NCRA recognized Wesley for his contributions to the profession and named him a Fellow, one of its highest honors.
In 1980 Wesley was hired by the late Hon. Edwin C. Stephan as his official reporter, and the family moved to Sturgeon Bay. After Judge Stephan’s retirement, Wesley became the official reporter for the Hon. John D. Koehn.
Wesley retired from court reporting in 1992, but in his heart he still wanted to be involved in helping student reporters. To this end, he started his own business, Gales Dictation. He published several volumes of tests and other dictation that schools across the nation purchased.
Outside of work, Wesley excelled in chess. In his younger days, he would travel to the Milwaukee Chess Club for friendly competition and tournaments. Later he became involved in postal chess and held a master ranking. Years after the onset of Alzheimer’s, he won a postal tournament and placed high in other tournaments.