Walter Lewis Wheeler, 96, of Cedar Rapids, passed away suddenly Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, in his home. Celebration of life services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 7, at Brosh Chapel and The Avacentre in Cedar Rapids, located at 2121 Bowling St. SW. Burial will be Saturday in Bethel Baptist Cemetery, near Taylorville, Ill. Visitation will be one hour before services Friday at Brosh Chapel.
Walter was born March 24, 1920, in Boone County, Ill., the son of Walton Ames and Floreita Nina (Dygert) Wheeler. He served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II. Walt received a bachelor's degree in agriculture education from the University of Illinois in 1943 and a master's in agriculture economics in 1956. Walter was united in marriage to Mary "Rachel" Greffe on Aug. 9, 1943, in Glendale, Calif. He taught agriculture for four years, then worked for 40 years for Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Co. as a farm loan examiner, retiring in 1990.
Walt was a member of Calvin Sinclair Presbyterian Church, where he served as elder, Sunday school teacher, church maintenance and clerk of session for over 30 years. He considered it a privilege and a joy to work in and support the church in response and thanksgiving for God's gift of His Son. The important things in Walt's life were his family, his work in helping farm families gain ownership of their land and managing his own land.
Walt is survived by his wife, Rachel; children, James W. (Erlinda) Wheeler of West Chester, Pa., John W. (Constance) Wheeler of Davenport, Margaret A. (Chu) Om of Hobe Sound, Fla., Mary E. (Thomas) Binder of Marion and Barbara C. (Lincoln) Wainright of Rochester, N.Y.; 14 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson; and his sister, Nellie Crull of Stratford, Wis.
Walt was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Francis and Floyd Wheeler; and sisters, Janet, Hazel, Grace, Florence and Mary.
Memorials may be directed to Calvin Sinclair Presbyterian Church or to the National Federation of the Blind in his name.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.broshchapel.com.