April 16, 1923-May 6, 2004

PENDLETON - A celebration of life gathering for Donald H. "Don" Wheeler will be held between 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 15, at the Pendleton Elks Lodge. Disposition was by cremation. A private family service will be held later.

Mr. Wheeler, 81, of Pendleton, died Thursday, May 6, 2004, at Oregon Health and Science University Hospital in Portland of complications from pneumonia. His son and daughter-in-law were with him.

Mr. Wheeler was born April 16, 1923, on the family farm known as the "Home Place," approximately four miles west of Freewater in the Pleasantview area. He grew up in the area and graduated from McLoughlin High School in 1941. He was awarded an athletic scholarship to play football at Oregon State, but enlisted in the army instead, it was his theory it was safer in combat that playing football.

He served in the South Pacific as a combat medic and was an island hopper for 43 months. He was wounded twice and was recipient of the Purple Heart and a Silver Star for his efforts.

After his discharge, he married Evelyn Edwards, the couple were parents of a daughter, Jeanne. They later divorced and in September 1951, he married Betty Lindstrom.

He was employed in food processing, particularly cold storage management. He worked at various area canneries and retired in 1995 at Odgen, Utah.

He was devoted to caring for his wife.

Survivors include his sister, Opal Miller of Sandpoint, Idaho; brothers, Ivan of Milton-Freewater, and Chris of Salem; his wife of 52 years, Betty Wheeler; son, Robert Lindstrom and daughter-in-law, Dona of North Plains, Ore.; his daughter, Jeanne Krinsky of Corona Del Mar, Calif., and grandsons, Matthew and Stephen. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles Oscar and Virgi Wheeler, by his brother, Charles "Chuck" Wheeler, and nephews, Loren Wheeler and Timothy Thompson.

Memorial contributions may be made to Pendleton Fire and Ambulance Service, 911 S.W. Court Ave., Pendleton, OR 97801.

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