June 20, 1923-Sept. 4, 2004

MILTON-FREEWATER - A graveside funeral service for Betty M. Wheeler will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Milton-Freewater Cemetery.

Mrs. Wheeler, 81, of La Grande, formerly of Milton-Freewater and Pendleton, died Saturday, Sept. 4, 2004, at Rosetta Senior Living in La Grande.

She was born June 20, 1923, on the family homestead at Powwatka Ridge, 22 miles Northeast of Wallowa, to Newton V. and Mary Wisdom Downs. The family lived on the homestead until her father, Newton, was killed in a logging accident, then moved to Lostine where they lived for a short time. Later they moved to Milton-Freewater where Mrs. Wheeler graduated from McLoughlin Union High School.

In 1946, she married Chet Lindstrom. The couple were parents of a son. Robert. They were later divorced.

On Sept. 15, 1951, she married Donald H. Wheeler at the First Christian Church in Milton-Freewater. In 1952, the family moved to Pendleton. Mrs. Wheeler was employed at various establishments in the Pendleton area. She had worked as a waitress, in banks and as a manager at Sears and Montgomery Ward, until her retirement in 1983.

In 1985, she and her husband moved to Ogden, Utah, where they lived until 2001.

Mrs. Wheeler had been in declining health for the past six years. Mr. Wheeler preceded her in death on May 6, 2004.

She enjoyed watching people, shopping, dancing, volunteering as a voter register, and Glenn Miller music.

Survivors include her son, Robert Lindstrom and daughter-in-law, Dona, of North Plains; a sister Wythle Downs of Pendleton, nieces and nephews. Mrs. Wheeler was preceded in death by her husband, by her parents, by brothers, Ronald Downs and James Downs and by sisters Bertha Ruiz and Alta Yarnell

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society through Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home, 902 S. Main, Milton-Freewater, OR 97862.

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