Richard "Dick" Gage Wheeler Sr., 82, died unexpectedly May 7, 2020, at Saint Marys Hospital, Rochester.
Dick was born Dec. 21, 1937, to John and Ruth Wheeler in Carlsbad, N.M. He attended school in Carlsbad until his family moved to Winona, Minn., in 1947. He continued his education in Winona and graduated from high school in 1955.
Dick proudly served in the U.S. Air Force for four years and was stationed in France and Germany.
He married Pearl Koutsky in 1956. They divorced in 1966.
On April 16, 1988, he married Nancy Workman in Rochester, and they recently celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary.
Dick spent a 31-year career working at IBM in Rochester. In retirement, he worked for five years at the Rochester Post Bulletin.
One of Dick's most endearing traits was the all-embracing hugs he gave to those he held dear to his heart. Those who received them will always think of Dick and the love he shared through his warm hugs.
His recent interests included needlepoint, computer work, and genealogy. He also enjoyed The Life Program in Rochester and taking bus trips to The Cities to attend musicals. Earlier in life, he enjoyed motorcycling, snowmobiling, reading, camping, fishing and farming with The Mechanical History Round Table. He also enjoyed some fun times "playing" at The Extreme Sandbox.
He had a great love for dogs, especially poodles. Killer and Corky were "best buddies" of Dick's and while being raised by him, each one knew he had a special spot in Dick's big chair to enjoy his loving strokes.
Dick is survived by his wife, Nancy; his children, Richard Jr. (Cheryl), Wabasha, Robert (Kelly), Inverness, Fla., and Marta (Larry) Telkamp, Britton, S.D.; his grandchildren, Kimberly Wheeler and Katherine Telkamp; and his sister, Susan (Larry) Miner, Winona. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents, John Sr. and Ruth Wheeler; brother and sister-in-law, John II and Mary Wheeler; and sister, Dorothy Wheeler.
Dick donated his body to Mayo Clinic for anatomical study. Burial will take place at the Military Cemetery in Preston at a later date. Memorials may be directed to the family or the donor's choice.