Obituary of The Rev. William Ramsey Wheeler
Boonville – The Rev. William Ramsey Wheeler, 86, husband of Darlene, passed away on Thursday, March 14, 2019, at Sunset Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Boonville, while surrounded by the loving care of his wife and family.
Affectionately known as ‘Father Bill’ by his parishioners, he was born in Utica, NY, on March 29, 1932, son of Everett J. Wheeler, Sr., and Marjorie Spice Wheeler. Growing up in Utica, he graduated from Utica Free Academy, with the Class of 1950. While in high school, Bill excelled in playing basketball, baseball and especially in track and field events, which he won several trophies for. After high school, he continued his education attending Utica College of Syracuse University, graduating with a Bachelor degree in Chemistry. He enjoyed participating on the college basketball team.
From August, 1955, until his honorable discharge in August, 1957, Mr. Wheeler served his country in the US Army working with guided missiles in Mundeline, IL.
On November 23, 1957, William was united in marriage to Darlene Benson, at Grace Episcopal Church, Utica.
For many years, Bill was employed by the Alcoa Corporation in its plastic production products division, in Richmond, IN. He then accepted a position as Production Superintendent -Plastics, with HC Products Co., Princeville, IL. While employed in Princeville, the Wheelers lived in Dunlap, IL. Over the course of his long career in plastics building products, Mr. Wheeler received two Alcoa Technical Award patents. While residing in Richmond, IN, Mr. Wheeler was a member and President of the National Jaycees (1966-67), and while living in Peoria, IL, he was President of the Plastics and Vinyl Siding Institute. He and his wife enjoyed both domestic and international travel.
For many years Bill and Darlene were very active in their support of Christian outreach, particularly the Cursillo Movement - a Christian-based weekend retreat.
Along with his wife, Darlene and his family, Mr. Wheeler’s Episcopal faith was a center point of his life. While living in Dunlap, Mr. Wheeler was ordained a deacon of the Episcopal Church, at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Peoria, IL, (1986) and served as a deacon for twenty-one years, concluding his diaconate service at Trinity Episcopal Church, Lowville, NY.
In the early 1990’s Bill retired and relocated to the Wheeler family homestead near Boonville. For a time after that, he was employed as a consultant for the plastics industry, at Woodbridge, NJ.
Also following his retirement, deacon Wheeler, continued his religious studies and was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church, by the Most Reverend William Love, Bishop of the Albany Diocese of Episcopal Churches, at Grace Episcopal Church, Mohawk, NY. (2007) Thereafter, for several years Rev. Wheeler served as priest at Trinity Episcopal Church, Lowville; St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Constableville; St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Port Leyden, and Grace Episcopal Church, Mohawk.
In addition to his wife of sixty-one years, Reverend Wheeler is survived by his son, David Wheeler, a daughter and son-in-law, Pamela Wheeler Morris (Daniel), two grandchildren, Danielle and Jacob Morris, one great granddaughter Addison; two sisters: Marjorie Larlee and Ellen Wheeler, one brother Jon Wheeler, and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his siblings: Everett, Nancy Gay, Robert, and Richard.
Bill’s family wishes to extend a note of sincere thanks and appreciation to the staff at Sunset Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Boonville, for all their kind and compassionate care they gave to Bill.
A Requiem Eucharist will be celbrated on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at 12 noon at Trinity Episcopal Church, Schuyler St., Boonville. Interment will be in the Spring at the Boonville Cemetery. Calling hours will be at the church on Saturday from 11 A.M until the service, followed by luncheon in the Parish Hall. Memorial contributions may be made to Sunset Nursing & Rehabilitation Center Resident Activities Fund, 232 Academy St., Boonville, NY 13309 or to Trinity Episcopal Church, P.O. Box #151 Boonville, NY 13309; Grace Episcopal Church, Utica; or Grace Episcopal Church, Mohawk.
Fr. Bill’s arrangements are in care of Trainor Funeral Home, Inc. 143 Schuyler St. Boonville.
For an online message of sympathy, please go to www.trainorfuneralhome.com.