Cover photo for Helen Wheeler's Obituary
Helen Wheeler Profile Photo

Helen Wheeler

February 18, 1920 — December 26, 2012

Helen Wheeler

Funeral Service for Helen Wheeler, age 92, of Wheaton, Minnesota will be held Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 11:00 A.M. at St. John Lutheran Church in Wheaton, Minnesota with Pastor Michael Breach officiating. Pallbearers will be Ron Conroy, Tom Conroy, John Conroy, Mike Conroy, David Ranney Sr., and Gene Lundquist. Honorary Pallbearers will be Debbie Mohn, Harriet Schmitz, Marieta Maudal, Pearl Terhaar, Lenore Muellenbach, Betty Lundquist, Genny Goodnough and Evie Davison. Interment will be in Wildwood Cemetery, Wheaton. Visitation will be held Friday evening, December 28th from 5:30 until 7:00 P.M. at the Ranney-Bainbridge Funeral Home in Wheaton. Visitation will continue Saturday morning one hour prior to service time at the church. Helen was born in Lakefield, Minnesota on February 18, 1920 the daughter of Elizabeth and Richard Suker. She attended Lakefield High School and graduated in 1938. That fall she enrolled at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. While at Gustavus she met her future husband, Bob Wheeler Jr. from Wheaton. He was very smitten by her and knew he wanted to marry her. Unfortunately WWII was looming in the future and he enlisted in the Army Air Corp in January of 1940. She continued her education and graduated from Gustavus in 1942. She accepted a teaching position in Eaton Rapids, Michigan and taught there for two years. She and Bob corresponded all the while he was gone. After his service discharge they were married in Lakefield on October 24, 1945. Her wedding dress was made from the parachute that saved Bobs life when he had to bail out of a B-29 going over China. Her dress is now in the Wheaton museum. In 1946 they moved to Wheaton and took ownership of the family Texaco Station. Helen taught business classes in 1946 and 1947. She then became a stay at home mom after her daughter was born, but continued to do substitute teaching. Her community activities included memberships in the Study Club, Naomi Circle at St. John Church, American Legion Auxiliary and the local chapter of P.E.O. Her birthday club called Decade was her most endearing of best friends and gave her years of joy. During the 60s and 70s she gave up teaching to become a social worker with Traverse County social services. This new job gave her much satisfaction to help families in need. This also meant she didnt make her famous chocolate cookies as often, to the dismay of Sandy, Bob and Kathie. After her and Bobs retirement they did a lot of traveling. They made three trips to Europe, one of which was with their good friends Harriet and Arliss Schmitz. Helen enjoyed the cruises they went on, especially the cruise to Alaska. She said the crew was so good looking All Italians . They bought an R.V. Camper and traveled all over the state, but she finally said shed had enough of roughing it , so the camper was parked. In the winter of 1987 they drove to southern California to Carlsbad. They vacationed there for the next sixteen winters. Helen made so many new friends and really loved it there. Her daughter lived close by and they spent many fun days together. Helen passed away on December 26, 2012 at the Traverse Care Center in Wheaton. She will be dearly missed by family and friends. The good old back porch at the house will never be the same. Helen is survived by one daughter Kathie (Dan) Conroy of Naples, Florida; one granddaughter Tori (Michael) Showalter of Minnetonka, Minnesota; and two great-granddaughters Sophia and Nichole. Helen was preceded in death by her husband, parents, and one brother Donald Suker.
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