Margaret Wheeler, a longtime resident of Inyokern, entered into life on Aug. 14, 1926, and, guided by angels, went home to be with the Lord on Oct. 17, 2013. Margaret passed away peacefully at her residence in Rosemead with members of her family by her side.
Margaret’s funeral service will be held Monday, Oct. 28, at 9 a.m. at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Ridgecrest. A reception to celebrate her life will be held in the reception hall at St. Ann’s, directly following the graveside service.
Margaret had a very full and blessed life. A proud native of Ohio, she was born and raised in Greer. After graduating from high school, Margaret worked as a riveter at the Flexi Plant during World War II. Some of her fondest memories were of watching and waving to the soldiers as they’d come through town on the train.
Little did she know one of those soldiers would soon come a calling. One afternoon while working with her mother in the kitchen, a good lookin’ man, named Don Wheeler, came to her door and asked her on a date. Margaret was immediately smitten with Don, and they continued dating for a couple of years. Knowing that Margaret was “the one,” Don proposed, and they married on Dec. 21, 1947, in Greer. Theirs was a match made in heaven. They were married 61 years when Don passed away in April 2009. Margaret always loved and cherished her late husband; even up until the moment she passed away. Their love will remain everlasting, and their marriage will forever be an inspiration to us all.
In 1949 Margaret and Don headed west for a new beginning and to start a family of their own. Margaret settled into family life, taking care of their home on the naval base. With their four growing boys, Margaret and Don decided to build a home of their own in Inyokern. Built on 30 acres, the home was designed to resemble a barn. On the farm, as it was commonly called, they raised cattle, chickens, ducks, geese and fish. During the school year, Margaret would have classrooms full of children come to the farm on field trips, just to see all of the animals. All year long she sold fresh-laid eggs to the locals. This was Margaret and Don’s way of life—kind and humble country folk. Their home was open to anyone.
Margaret was a loving and devoted mother to sons Donald, Paul, Mark and Jon. She taught all of her sons how to cook, spending countless hours with them in the kitchen. Margaret was also a den mother for the boys’ Cub Scout Troops. She was always bragging about her two sons who were business owners and her two sons who were police captains. In her eyes, her boys could do no wrong. Besides being an outstanding mother, she was an extraordinary role model. Instilling within each son the value of love and the importance of giving their all in everything they did. Margaret was always very proud of her sons and all their accomplishments. She was the best mother any child could hope for.
Margaret was also a warmhearted, compassionate grandmother, fortunate enough to be blessed with nine grandchildren, Casey, Josh, Nate, Jessica, Christopher, Jacob, Kenneth, Robin and Michael. She was also blessed with five great-grandchildren, James, Shelby, Landon, Haydin and Reese. “Memame,” as she was affectionately known by her grandchildren, taught each of them the value and importance of family and hard work. Margaret enjoyed spending time with each of her grandchildren, teaching them how to bake cakes, all the while letting them eat the “royal icing,” tickling their backs, teaching them how to drive, always encouraging them to follow their dreams and always making sure to tell them how very proud she was of them. Memame was the most loving and special grandmother anyone could ask for. She will forever live on in the hearts of her grandchildren.
Margaret enjoyed cooking, shopping, and making candy with each of her three daughters-in-law, Kindi, Marcann and Theresa, enjoying the different characteristics of each and treating them as her own. They shared many laughs, and Margaret always had words of wisdom to share. All of her daughters-in-law very much loved, admired, and appreciated the woman she was.
Possessing a true servant’s heart, Margaret faithfully cared for family and friends through delicious cooking and baking from scratch, cake decorating, sewing and crafting. Margaret spent countless hours donating her time to various organizations throughout the Indian Wells Valley. Near and dear to heart were the American Diabetes Association, the American Cancer Society, the Pregnancy Care Center and St. Ann’s bazars and fundraisers. Later in life, Margaret relished taking care of her trusted companion Ginger (her dog), her chickens and her fish pond. She also enjoyed taking care of her farm and watching the Los Angeles Dodgers play.
For the last 40+ years, Margaret proudly supported the Ridgecrest Police Department, Sheriff’s Department, Highway Patrol, Kern County Fire Department and paramedics. She would make cakes for all of the police officers’ birthdays and would decorate them according to their different interests. Throughout the community and anywhere she went, Margaret was known for her ease in conversation with everyone. She often said she never met a stranger. Throughout her life, Margaret maintained a caring demeanor that won the trust and hearts of anyone she met. Many will forever be changed by her witness of constant nurturing, love, and kindness. Her signature gift of joy, shown through her genuine smile, constant laughter, and teasing will never be forgotten.
Margaret was a devout Catholic and an active member of St. Ann’s Catholic Church. She spent countless hours volunteering her time at both the school and church. Even until the end, her faith was the most important part of her life. We now know that Margaret knows God and is with her beloved husband and son.
Margaret will forever be remembered by all that loved and knew her. She leaves behind her sons Paul, Mark and Jon Wheeler; her daughters-in-law Kindi, Marcann and Theresa Wheeler; nine grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, her faithful canine companion Ginger and many extended family members.
In addition to her husband Don Wheeler, she was preceded in death by her beloved son, Donald T. Wheeler, and her mother Elizabeth Schaub.
Her family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the American Diabetes Association, St. Ann’s Church or the Pregnancy Care Center in Ridgecrest.
Her unconditional love and zest for life will eternally remain in our hearts. We will miss you forever, Mom, Memame and Grandma.
Submitted by the family of
Margaret WheelerStory First Published: 2013-10-23