Wilfred died on January 24, 2022, he was born on April 14, 1929 to Walter Sayles and Lucy Florence Pinckney Sayles in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York. Will was the second born son in the family and the second of four children, Lucy Sayles (deceased); Benjamin “Benny” Sayles (deceased); and Mary E. Sayles Macklin (deceased). Will’s father, Walter, was a lumber foreman. His mother, Lucy, was a loving wife and devout Christian who attended AME Zion Church in Cornwall where Will was baptized on April 5, 1942. Will’s parents represented the first generation of African Americans to be truly considered like free negroes, though the road was long and bumpy.
As the only African American in his class, Will completed high school at Cornwall-on-Hudson High School, graduating on June 23, 1947, with honors. He received the prestigious “Best All Around Senior Award” and “Award to the most successful senior of the school newspaper, ‘The Roving Reporter'”, huge recognitions given to an African-American man in these turbulent times. . of racial discord. Will then earned his electrical technology certification from the State University of New York Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences in White Plains, New York on August 8, 1950. Will then entered the United States Army as a private on November 30, 1950. He received the rank of corporal on January 22, 1952. After faithfully serving his country as an administrative personnel supervisor in the U.S. Army, Will began his career at IBM on January 19 1953 and retired as a financial analyst after 31 years on January 1, 1984, at the age of 54.