Monday, October 04, 2004

R.I.P. Don Wheeler

I just learned that Don Wheeler, a long time beach resident and friend to countless people from all walks of life, died Sunday morning shortly after 7 a.m. following a lengthy illness.

Don was born in 1918 in Yonkers, N.Y. As a youngster he was a playmate of Joe, John, and Robert Kennedy in the Long Island area as well as in Hyannisport, Massachusetts.

He and his wife, Carleen, moved to Pensacola Beach 14 years ago. They were loyal and dedicated members of the Pensacola Beach Residents & Leaseholders Assn. They also belonged to many other island organizations. Until this year, the Wheelers were the genial hosts of the annual "Kentucky Derby Day Party" at their lovely home on the beach.

Don was a brilliant conversationalist with wide and varied cultural interests as well as an abiding love for Pensacola Beach. He possessed a wonderfully dry wit which he delighted in displaying with a mock seriousness which always was betrayed by the sparkling smile of his eyes.

In due time, a more complete biography of this most interesting and beloved beach resident will be posted at the temporarily disabled web site of Pensacola Beach Residents & Leaseholders. Don will be missed by all who knew him and our hearts go out to his wife, Carleen, and son John Robert.

FUNERAL SERVICES WILL BE HELD TUESDAY (TOMORROW) BEGINNING 11 A.M. AT ST. ANN'S CHAPEL, 100 DANIELS DRIVE, GULF BREEZE (PROPER).

A RECEPTION WILL FOLLOW IN THE CHURCH SOCIAL BUILDING. AS DON WISHED, A WAKE WITH WINE AND LAUGHS AND GOOD TIMES WILL FOLLOW AT THE WHEELERS' TEMPORARY EVACUATION RESIDENCE, 1011 E. BRAINERD, PENSACOLA.

1 comment:

Gary & Pat said...

John,

I don't know what to say. I have been praying and worrying about Carlene and Don since the hurricane. I pray now that Carlene knows Don is in a much better place. His pain is gone, hers still remains. I am very sorry Gary and I will not be able to attend to funeral - he is in Dallas and I have not been feeling very well. Please tell Carlene how much we love her and I will see her soon. Please let me know where Carlene and John are staying, I would like to call her in a day or so.

Also, please give me a call, at your convenience. We have tried to call you, but did not know your cell phone # (do you have a cell phone?) Hope you guys are doing OK. Please keep in touch.

Take care,

Pat Smith