Dan Ray Giles

May 24, 1949 ~ October 14, 2023 (age 74) 74 Years Old


Longtime Roanoke Custom Jeweler, Dan Ray Giles, 74, of Roanoke passed away Saturday, October 14, 2023, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was the son of the late James Raymond Giles and Jacqueline Petty Smith. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his second wife, Geraldine Ripley Giles and a brother, Richard Petty.

At age 29 Dan began a 45 year career in the jewelry industry. After building his first bench, Dan started his education with a blow torch and library books. His natural talent quickly helped establish him as a metalsmith, selling his jewelry to the Leatherhaus, LaDeDa, and other local stores. Not too long after this, Dan showed some of his work to Mr. Fred AmRhein of AmRhein Jewelers and was immediately hired as an apprentice bench jeweler. 

5 years later Dan was the proud owner of Giles Jewelry and Antiques on Campbell Ave in Roanoke, creating quite a devoted customer base. His attention to detail caught the attention of an executive with Home Shopping Network (HSN) and Dan was wooed away to oversee quality control over all the jewelry sold through HSN.

Quickly outgrowing the first warehouse on Williamson Rd, Dan moved the business to a warehouse on Hollins Rd, where all the HSN jewelry was shipped for inspection and forwarded on to the main HSN warehouse. Employing anywhere from 5 to 15 people, Dan not only oversaw the daily quality control of the HSN jewelry but still maintained his jewelry bench for quick repairs as well as his own custom pieces.

Upon "retiring" in 2017, Dan continued to keep a 7am to 4pm daily bench schedule, producing some of his finest work during the next few years.

Dan had quite a loyal following of customers. He would often say "it's not so much about the money, but about the joy." He loved seeing the smiles on customers' faces when they picked out a piece of jewelry, or picked up their commissioned piece, or picked up a piece Dan repaired for them. He had the same attention to detail no matter what he was working on, taking great pride in his work.

An avid fisherman, Dan had the same attention to detail. It was said that if you were new to fishing, go out with Dan Giles. He would make sure you caught a fish, whether at Smith Mountain Lake, the Chesapeake Bay, or Lake Anna. Dan fished them all and knew the "secret spots".

As cancer took over this year, Dan took joy in the simple pleasures of life. He still put up his bird feeders and houses, immensely enjoyed the time spent with friends and family, and was still at his bench until May. But most of all, he grew even closer to Jesus, his Lord and Savior, placing complete trust in His perfect will.

Surviving are his beloved fiancé Robin; children, James Giles (Jill), Jacqueline Chavis, Jannette Hypes; step daughters, Velvet Arrington (Stephen), April Gayler (Sam), Holly Deng (Josh), Melissa Fisher (Eric); brothers, Timothy Petty, Gary Petty; sister, Sharon Archer (Gary); sister-in-law, Bonnie Petty; 15 grandchildren; numerous beloved aunts, a multitude of cousins, nieces and nephews, a host of dear friends, and countless grateful "Friends of Bill".

Services will be held at 2pm Nov 3, 2023 at Bonsack Baptist Church, 4845 Cloverdale Rd, Roanoke, VA 24019. A Celebration of His Life will be held immediately afterwards in the Fellowship Hall. 

If you are blessed to own a piece or two of Dan Giles jewelry, the family hopes you would wear them to the Celebration in honor of Dan so that his artistry through the years can be recognized and enjoyed by others.

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