George Wheeler

George Wheeler, age 97, Philip, S.D., died Sunday, March 13, 2011, at the Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital in Philip.

George A. Wheeler was born December 25, 1913, in Philip, S.D., the son of Arthur and Marie (Valet) Wheeler. He grew up on a ranch/farm southeast of Philip where he attended rural school for eight years prior to graduating from Philip High School in 1932. As a young man, he farmed and ranched with his parents.

George was united in marriage to Mary Williams on April 18, 1936, in Rapid City, S.D. They made their home on a ranch near his parents for a year, then in 1937 they purchased the ranch where they continued to build and operate. George continued to operate the ranch with his son and daughter-in-law, Justin and Joyce Wheeler and their family, until he moved to the Silverleaf Assisted Living Center in 2009.

Mary Wheeler preceded George in death on December 10, 1993.

George was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Kadoka, a member of the Mt. Moriah Masonic Lodge #155 where he had held all the offices, he was a 32 degree Shriner and a member of the Yankton Consistory. He was a member of the Evergreen Chapter #9, Order of the Eastern Star of Kadoka. He served on the Selective Service Board in Jackson County for 20 years and was a 4-H leader in Jackson County for 20 years. George was a life member of the American Hereford Association, a member of the South Dakota Hereford Association as well as the Black Hills Hereford Association. He was a member of the American Quarter Horse Association for several years and had served two years as president of the Family Wagon Train.

Grateful for having shared his life are his daughter, Charmaine Stewart and her husband, Dugan, and their family, Richard and Diana Stewart of Philip, [Kellie (Mark) Halvorson, Kennebec, Beau and Jamie Stewart, Crooks, S.D., Jeb and Cassie Stewart, Mitchell, S.D.]; Tina Stewart of Dallas, Texas, and Steven Stewart of Philip; George's son and his wife, Justin and Joyce Wheeler of Philip and their family, [Joan and Jim Cantrell and their children, Ty, Tara, Morgan, all of Philip, Rachel of Wyoming and Eli of Arkansas, Jackie and Gary Hansen of Rapid City, Jena and Mike Amiotte and their children, Kreid, Justena, and Adam, all of Interior, S.D.; and Jim and Sonny Wheeler and their children, [Kyle and Cort of Philip]; one sister, Ardene O'Connell, of Dickinson N.D., and a host of other relatives and friends.

In addition to his wife, Mary, George was preceded in death by two grandsons, Vincent Thomas Stewart and Jade Arthur Wheeler; a great-granddaughter, Lexi Amiotte; his parents; two brothers, Richard Wheeler, killed in Normandy, France, during World War II, and Durward "Dud" Wheeler; and a sister, Lillian Phillips.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, March 17, at the United Church in Philip with Pastors Kathy Chesney and Gary McCubbin officiating.

Ushers are Buster Peterson and Jerry Stout. Pallbearers are Richard and Steven Stewart, Jim Cantrell, Mike Amiotte and Jim Wheeler.

Interment will be at the Masonic Cemetery in Philip.

A memorial is established.

Rush Funeral Home of Philip is in charge of the arrangements. An online guestbook is available at www.rushfuneralhome.com