Don R. Wheelden

August 1, 2018

Don Ray Wheelden, 72, of Sparta, Illinois, passed away at 7:20 PM on Wednesday, August 1st, 2018 at Jefferson Barracks VA Medical Center in St. Louis, Missouri with his daughter and son-in-law by his side. Don was born on May 24th, 1946 in East St. Louis, Illinois to Mildred and Allen Wheelden. He spent his youth and young adulthood in Ontario, California where he was an athlete, writer, actor, and surfer. He lived most of his adult life in Sparta, Illinois where he loved and was loved by his family, was well known in the community, and was active in local theater. In Sparta, he met and married Joyce Gremmels and became father to Barbara Allen Wheelden. Don will be remembered for the love that he shared freely and fully with his family and friends, his genuine care for and interest in those he met, the joy he took in life’s simple pleasures, and his smile, which warmed the hearts of all who had the pleasure to witness it, even in his final days. Don was preceded in death by his parents, Mildred and Allen Wheelden, and his wife, Joyce Wheelden. He is survived by two sisters, Karen and Janelle Wheelden, a brother, Michael Wheelden, and his daughter and son-in-law Barbara and Ryan Semar. He will be missed deeply and loved forever.  According to Don’s wishes, no formal visitation or funeral service will be held. A gathering and meal to celebrate his life will be planned and announced at a future date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The St. Louis VA Medical Center Hospice Fund. Donations can be made online (<>) by choosing E-Donate, St. Louis VA Medical Center, and program for donation: Hospice Fund. Or, checks with memo: Hospice Fund (GPF 8110) can be mailed to: VA St. Louis Health Care System, Voluntary Service (135/JB), #1 Jefferson Barracks Drive, Saint Louis, MO 63125
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