Bedford Taylor County, Iowa
Thursday, November 24, 2004, Page 9
ORVIS WILBUR WHEELER
Memorial services for Orvis WHEELER, age 88 of Bedford, who died Sunday, November 14, 2004 at the Bedford
Nursing & Rehab Center were held Thursday, November 18, 2004 at 11:00 a.m. at the Ritchie Funeral Home in
Bedford with Father Tom Coenen officiating. Interment of cremated remains was held at the Fairview Cemetery
in Bedford with military rites accorded by the John F. Hardin American Legion Post No 164. Memorials can be
directed to Hospice of Central Iowa or to the Bedford Nursing & Rehab Center. Arrangements were entrusted to
the Ritchie Funeral Home of Bedford.
Orvis Wilbur WHEELER was born October 16, 1916, in Maloy, Iowa the son
of Wesley Glen WHEELER and Inez Leona (JOHNSON) WHEELER. He grew up in Taylor County where he attended school
at Gay Center and Mount Pleasant Country Schools. He then attended the Blockton High School where he
graduated with the Class of 1935. Orvis was 11 years old when his father died, and being the only male in
the family, this left him with "adult responsibilities" at a very young age. After graduating from high
school, he drove a truck and worked for the CCC on various projects in southwest Iowa. On September 21, 1940,
he was united in marriage to Marjorie MULLEN in Maryville, Missouri. Two sons were born to this union, both
dying shortly after birth. Orvis joined the United States Navy in 1942, serving his country during World War
II in the Pacific Theater. During this time, Marjorie moved to California to be with Orvis when he came
ashore. While living in California, a daughter Barbara was born. After his discharge in 1945, the family
returned to Iowa, purchasing a farm south of Bedford. Two more children, Carolyn and Eldon were born to
complete their family. Orvis also worked for Cudahy's Packing in the late 1940's and early 1950's.
Orvis was passionate about farming. He enjoyed tilling the soil and tending to livestock. Becoming a man at
such a young age, and his military service, made Orvis a "no nonsense man" when it came to discipline and
commitment. He was very patriotic and proud of his military service. In later years, he became
with his shipmates, attending his Ship Reunions around the United States. He and Marjorie enjoyed traveling,
taking vacations around the United States as well as trips to Hawaii, Ireland and Europe. His family was
most important to him and he was active in supporting them and their activities. His pride and joy were his
grandkids and great-grandkids. When the couple retired from farming in 1975 moving to Bedford, they became
members of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Orvis was also an active and lifetime member of the John F. Hardin
American Legion Post No. 164, the VFW, a past Chairman of the Taylor County ASCS, and a past President of
the School Board for Ross Center Country School. As his health started to decline, Orvis entered the Bedford
Nursing & Rehab Center where he resided at the time of his death.
Left to cherish his memory are his three children, Barbara GADDIS and husband Gene of Des Moines; Carolyn
BROWN and husband Leo of Bedford; and Eldon WHEELER of San Antonio, Texas; twin sisters, Irma HILL of
Naples, Florida; and Iva HENNING of Fremont, Nebraska; grandchildren Michael GADDIS and wife Trish of Des
Moines; Lori ANDERSON and husband Tim of Des Moines; Brenda McMILLIN and husband Garvin of Bedford; Randy
BROWN and Todd BROWN, both of Bedford and Todd's fiancee', Jennifer BUSCH, of Toledo; Jeremy WHEELER and
wife Linda of Gravity; great-grandchildren Aron and Cody ANDERSON of Des Moines; Kerri and Kaitlyn McMILLIN
of Bedford; Tiana, Kelsey, Audrey and Devon WHEELER of Gravity; step-great-grandchildren Nicole and Benjamin
HELMTS of Des Moines and Josh McMILLIN of Clarinda; a brother-in-law Kenneth MULLEN of San Clemente,
California; along with a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Preceding Orvis in death were his parents Wesley and Inez; his stepfather, Phil DELLES; his loving wife
Marjorie on December 24, 2002; two sons at infancy; and a sister, Gwelda COOPER.
May God grant comfort and strength to those who mourn his passing.
To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.
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