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Obituary of Thomas Howard Wheeler
Tom Wheeler, 92, passed away peacefully on July 16, 2019, at Centralia Providence Hospital, Centralia, Wash.
Tom was born at the family’s home in Oakville, Wash. on May 1, 1927, to Howard and Ida (Joyce) Wheeler. He was one of nine children, and very spoiled by his six sisters who lovingly always called him Tommy.
Tom also met his wife, Darlene Macomber, in Oakville and, after a brief courtship, they were married on August 31, 1957. They were happily married for almost 62 years. They settled in Rochester, Wash., buying their family home in 1961. As Tom had always wished, he was able to live out his life there, spending only two days in the hospital prior to his passing.
He worked as a ranch hand in his early years and drove log trucks. He eventually secured a job at Pacific Lumber and Shipping in Rochester. Tom enjoyed his career there and worked his way up to the position of heavy equipment operator prior to his retirement. In that role, he was in charge of loading and unloading logs and poles on trucks, and loading poles on train cars for rail shipments.
Tom’s passion was gardening and he was known throughout the area for his beautiful vegetable gardens. He was truly in his happiest place kneeling down in the garden (usually with a dog by his side), pulling weeds and ensuring all of the rows were absolutely straight. He especially enjoyed sharing the amazing bounty of his harvests with friends and family. He also enjoyed family trout fishing trips, spending time in Bremerton at his sister Connie’s beach property, and watching professional sports on TV.
Survivors include his wife, Darlene of Rochester; son, Rod Wheeler of Chehalis; daughters, Lynda (Scott) Holloway of Napavine, and Anne (Mike) Petersen of Rochester; grandsons, Rodney, Bryce, Jared, Colby, Brayden, and Garrett; granddaughter, Jessica; four great granddaughters; and one great-great granddaughter.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Alice, Betty, Connie, Bonnie, Barb, and Mickie; and brothers, Loren and Dale.
A graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m., on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, at the Grand Mound Cemetery, 6300 183rd Ave. SW, Rochester, WA. Immediately after the service, a reception and time for visiting will be held at the Historic Gate City Schoolhouse, 16925 Moon Road SW, Rochester, WA 98579.To send flowers to the family of Thomas Wheeler, please visit Tribute Store