Earl “Ron” Laron Wheeler passed away peacefully on November 3, 2019. Ron is predeceased by his parents, Bonnie and Arnold Wheeler; brother, Darwin Wheeler; and grandson, Colton Clapp.
Ron is survived by his brother, Arnie Wheeler; sister, Sharol Burnam; loving wife of 29 years, Chris; daughters, Maren (Scott) Watkins, Debi (Ken) Stewart, Cheryl (Don) Bird, Shelley (Jay) Hoggan, Karen (J2) Brown, Konnie (Lyle) Herman, and Ronda Stewart; twenty-one grand-children, twenty-nine great-grandchildren, lots of nieces, nephews, and many close friends. Ron lived a life of adventure. He and Chris travelled to Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Alaska, plenty of destinations in Canada, and went on several cruises.
Ron’s life began on January 26, 1939, in Trenton, Utah. He was the second of four children. Ron’s dad worked for the Union Pacific Railroad and was transferred to Ogden, Utah in 1944. Ron graduated from Ben Lomand High School in 1956 and shortly thereafter enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He completed basic training in San Diego, California, then served at the Tacoma Naval Station, Long Beach, California, and was eventually assigned duty abroad on the USS Obrien DD 725 A Destroyer in the US West PAC fleet. Ron was honorably discharged from the military in 1960.
After leaving the service, Ron returned to Ogden where he started work as a carpenter helper. Ron married Lynda in 1960 and their daughter, Maren, was born later the same year. The family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah when he initially accepted a job at the Imco Corporation but then switched over to the Utah Power and Light Company. In 1963, Ron moved back to Ogden to complete his apprenticeship to be a journeyman lineman. Ron proudly worked as a lineman for the Utah Power and Light until he retired in 1990, after 27 years of service.
In 1988, Ron asked Chris to dance at a church event, and they were married two years later on April 21, 1990. When he married Chris, his family grew by six more daughters, and several grandchildren. They all affectionately called him, “Gramps,” and he taught them about fishing, hunting, camping, singing and the importance of home and truck maintenance. He also enjoyed skiing, spending time at Island Park, and watching movies in his den.
Most of all, Ron was a songbird. He never turned down the opportunity to sing or play guitar. He loved to sing with LaRae, his sister-in-law, his church choir group, and the barbershop quartet. When he wasn’t singing, you could find him dancing, and we hope that is what he’s doing now.
You did well Gramps. We love you.
A funeral will be held at 12:00 p.m. Saturday, November 9, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 3721 Shadow Mountain Trail Road, Idaho Falls. A viewing will be held Friday from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Wood Funeral Home at 273 N Ridge Avenue, Idaho Falls, and Saturday from 10:30-11:45 a.m. at the church.
Immediately following the funeral, his grandchildren will take him on one last trip in his beloved pick-up to Taylor Cemetery where he will be buried. There, Military Rites will be performed by the Veterans Memorial Team and the Idaho Honor Guard.
The family would like to express their sincerest gratitude for the kindness of the 5th floor nurses and doctors at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in Ron’s name to the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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