July 29, 1935 – June 2, 2016
Funeral services for Donald Eugene Wheeler were held June 8, at the First Baptist Church in Worland. Don, 80, died June 2, at the Worland Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center.
He was born July 29, 1935, in Ainsworth, Neb., the son of Cecil and Nellie Worthington Wheeler. He received the majority of his schooling in Basin. He married Velma Mills June 23, 1956. They had six children.
Don received his Bachelor of Science degree in education at Chadron State where he was the quarterback on the Chadron State football team and the catcher for the baseball team. In 1957 he began his teaching career. He taught history and also coached football, baseball and basketball. Coaching girls basketball was one of his greatest loves. He drew up many plays on his kitchen table. He touched many lives through his coaching.
Don was an avid baseball fan, especially his Yankees, thus the nickname “Yogi” for Yogi Berra, his all-time favorite baseball player. Don coached the Worland Indian baseball team and his son Dennis, which brought them a shared love of the game. He and Dennis took a baseball trip back east that was a highlight for both of them.
Don announced many Worland Warrior football games; he continued his love of sports from the stands.
He was a voracious reader, loved great music and shared a love of woodworking with his mother.
Don imparted wisdom on occasion: “Do what you do well,” “Be Kind to us,” and “Whatever.” His kids liked to think he meant, “Whatever you do, do it well, and be kind along the way.”
His wife, Velma, his parents, one son, Michael, and his sister Patricia Good, preceded Don in death.
He is survived by his five children and their spouses, Roger and Janet Wheeler McKillip, Scott and Lori Wheeler Carlson, Don and Robyn Wheeler Bryant, Milt and Miki Wheeler Avalos; son and daughter-in-law, Dennis and Melissa Wheeler; his brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Maryann Wheeler; brother-in-law Gary Good; 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Burial was in Mount View Cemetery in Basin. Memorial donations may be made to Worland Youth Baseball or the Wyoming Alzheimer’s Association in care of Bryant Funeral Home, Box 524, Worland, WY 82401.