Donald G Wheeler, 84, passed away Monday February 24th at Rush Foundation Hospital, in Meridian, Mississippi.
Don was born February 22, 1936 in Benton Harbor, Michigan to Lawrence and Golden Wheeler. Don played football during his school years in Benton Harbor Michigan, graduating in the Class of 55. He enjoyed sports, his family, playing the trombone in The Salvation Army and volunteering for many organizations. He was a life-long member of the Lions Club and up until his death continued his participation. Don had a great love for animals, especially cats.
Don started a journey helping others and his calling to the Lord shortly after graduating from High School. He met his wife and they enrolled in The Salvation Army Officers Training School, where they became officers and ordained ministers, continuing their calling together for 30 years. His work in The Salvation Army was both in the Citadel and Men’s Social Service Center, where he provided counseling, taught music, played in the brass band and helped many people. His life with The Salvation Army brought him from Michigan throughout the Midwest, into Indiana, Minnesota, Kansas and eventually to Phoenix, AZ. After leaving The Salvation Army he continued his passion of helping others by working for the Phoenix Shelter Service Centers until his retirement.
Traveling was another one of Don’s greatest joys. Every year he would load up the station wagon and hitch the Shasta Trailer, and journey across the continental US. He always took his family of five on an annual three-week vacation seeing most of the lower 48 states. Traveling led him to Meridian, Mississippi 17 years ago, where he put down roots because he loved the community and people. He continued to volunteer and was active in his Church, Poplar Springs Drive United Methodist Church, as well as Meals on Wheels and other organizations.
The family gives special thanks to, and for, the staff at Rush Foundation Hospital, ICU South as well as all his home health caregivers and special friends that helped him through the past few years.
He is survived by his wife JoAnn (Rich) of 64 years; Children: Daniel (Cindy); and daughter Vicky (Jim) Gardner; Grandchildren: Sean Wheeler, Aimee (Mike) Cousineau, Jacob (Ashley) Wheeler, Desiree and Marcus Wheeler, as well as 6 Great Grandchildren
He was preceded in death by his parents, Son Lewis Wheeler, Two Grandchildren - Cassandra and Justin; and Siblings Judy, Viola, Rueben, Joseph, and Richard.
His family would love to read any memories you can share about your experiences with Don.
Memorial Donations can be made in his name to Poplar Springs Drive United Methodist Church, 3937 Poplar Springs Drive, Meridian, MS 39305
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald Gene Wheeler, please visit our floral store.