Frank T. Wheeler Jr., 67, of Cassadaga, N.Y., passed away Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, at home with his family by his side, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
He was born on July 24, 1946, to Frank and Ella (Luce) Wheeler of Stockton, N.Y. In 1971, Frank was drafted into the U.S. Army, stationed at Ft. Dix, N.J., and received an honor-able discharge in 1972.
Frank graduated from Cassadaga Valley High School in 1967. That same year he began a dedicated 45-year career with Al Storer and Sons Excavating in Stockton, N.Y., working as a heavy equipment operator and mechanic. Frank was an expert dozer operator, and was known for his skill. He took pride in his work and was meticulous in completing each job to perfection.
Frank T. Wheeler Jr.
Frank was an avid NASCAR fan and followed his beloved drivers Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Sundays were sacred race days in the Wheeler household and the Daytona 500 was an official holiday. His hobby was using his mechanical skills to tinker in his basement with his Cub Cadet lawn mowers, his VW bug, and the dune buggy he built from scratch. Frank was a collector of all things Snap-On, Craftsman and power tools. In his earlier years, Frank was an avid snowmobiler, riding his Ski-Doo throughout Chautauqua County. In their semi-retirement Frank and Marge looked forward to their yearly summer trips to Colorado driving across the country and enjoying the western landscape and the occasional casino.
Frank is survived by his devoted wife, Marge (Galley) Wheeler of 42 years; three daughters: Susan (John) Freebery of Clearwater, Fla., Brenda Lopp Courson of Denver, Colo., and Karen (Mike) Brahler of North Canton, Ohio; three grandchildren: Nichole (Menash) Petscher, Jordan (Andrea) Marsh, and Madison Brahler; and four great-grandchildren. Also surviving are his two sisters: Edie (Bill) Dorman of Stockton, N.Y., and Marilyn Ludemann of Nokomis, Fla.; two aunts: Anne (Arthur) Mingle of Gerry, N.Y., and Mary Lou (Sam) Paternosh of Falconer, N.Y.; and several cousins.
Frank is preceded in death by his parents, Frank T. and Ella Wheeler of Stockton, N.Y.: his brother in-law, Ronald Ludemann; his son-in-law, Scott Allen Courson; and several aunts and uncles.
Frank will remain in our memory as a loving, soft-spoken, kind-hearted man cherished by his family and all those who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Calling hours will be Wednesday, Feb. 19, from 4-7 p.m. The funeral service will be held Thursday, Feb. 20, at 11 a.m., both at Jordan's Funeral Home in Sinclairville, N.Y. Frank will be interred at the Cassadaga Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, Elm and Carlton streets, Buffalo, NY 14263 or online at roswellpark.org.