Paul Wheeler

Paul WheelerOn May 12, 2020, retired Ridgecrest Police Captain Paul Wheeler, amazing husband, dad, brother and papa passed away at age 66.

Paul was born April 22, 1954, in Trona to Donald and Margaret Wheeler. Paul and his three brothers — Donald, Mark and Jon — grew up at China Lake and then moved to a 30-acre farm in Inyokern.

As a child Paul was active in the Cub Scouts and loved hunting, fishing and camping. After graduating from Burroughs High School in 1972, Paul went to work in the concrete construction field.

In 1976 Paul decided to go out on his own and start his own business, Wheeler Concrete Construction, which he successfully ran until 1994.

During that time Paul decided to follow his dream of being a police officer and serving the community he loved. He volunteered with the Ridgecrest Police Department until he was accepted into the San Bernardino County Police Academy. He graduated from the academy in 1994 and was hired on full-time by the Ridgecrest Police Department as a patrol officer shortly thereafter.

During his tenure with the Ridgecrest Police Department, Paul moved swiftly through the ranks as a detective, lieutenant and lastly captain due to his dedication, integrity and strong work ethic.

In 2014 Paul retired to spend time with his greatest joys: his wife Kindi and his family.

Paul had a passion for life, family and unselfishly serving others. Some of Paul’s hobbies were spending time with his family especially his grandchildren, building and maintaining koi ponds, taking care of his many animals, spending time with friends, helping his Police Department family, cooking, fishing of all kinds, camping, gardening, watching Angels’ baseball, IndyCar racing, racing off-road vehicles, restoring old Volkswagens and being a “rockhound.”

Paul absolutely loved the rock grinding machine he was given by the Police Department at the time of his retirement. He used it until the day he died and created the most beautiful spheres with it.

Besides being a terrific husband, father and papa, Paul was known throughout the community and anywhere he went for his compassion and generosity. Many will forever be changed by his witness of constant giving, love and kindness. Paul will forever be remembered by all who knew and loved him.

Paul was preceded in death by his father Donald Wheeler, his mother Margaret Wheeler and his brother Donald Wheeler.

Paul is survived by his loving wife Kindi; his children, Casey Wheeler and her partner Kathy Kirkpatrick, Robin Dunlap and her husband Chris Calvi, Kenneth Dunlap and his wife Amber Dunlap and Willie Dunlap; his grandchildren James Higgen, Shelby Higgen, Jaycie Calvi, Brooklyn Calvi, Jakob Calvi, Garrett Calvi, Kaitlyn Morrow and Austin Morrow; his brothers, Jon Wheeler and his wife Theresa and Mark Wheeler and his wife Marcann; his sister in-law Cindy Nokes; his extended Police Department family; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.

At Paul’s request, there will be no funeral, but we will have a police procession and a celebration of life at a later time (after the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order lifts).

In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made in his name to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

— Submitted by the family of Paul Wheeler

Story First Published: 2020-05-22