James Edwin Wheeler, 81, of Conneautville passed away Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, at UPMC Hamot. He was born in Linesville on July 22, 1932, to the late Park Wheeler and Carrie Jenkins Wheeler Eldridge. He married Susan Allen Wheeler; she survives.
He was a graduate of the University of Illinois where he earned a degree in engineering. He was one of a team that helped develop the formulary that allowed scent to be added to plastic flowers. He worked for Telepost as a truck driver and then in shipping. He retired at 62 and began driving bus for Rolling Fields Elder Care Community until his health prevented him from driving any longer.
Jim was a very active man belonging to several community organizations, including Conneautville Masonic Western Crawford Lodge 258, Conneautville and Springboro Volunteer fire departments and the American Legion post 615. He was a former member of the Consistory, Scottish Rite, Conneaut Valley Lions Club, Conneautville Fire Police where he was former captain, Rundelltown Grange, Linesville Veterans of Foreign Wars, Borough Counsel, County Borough Association and drove Conneautville ambulance for many years. Jim was a sergeant in the Erie Crawford State Police Company 38 until it was disbanded by the state of Pennsylvania. He enjoyed coordinating events such as the MS 100 bike-a-thon where Conneautville was one stop for the many bikers on their 100-mile ride. He also owned show horses that he competed with at the Circle B. He loved power sports of all kinds, boats, snowmobiles and his motorcycle. He enjoyed traveling.
Jim served our great country in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict.
In addition to his wife, Susan, he is survived by nine children, Mark (Paula) Wheeler of Seattle, Wash., Joe Wheeler of Meadville, Ken (Lisa of Slippery Rock) Wheeler of Linesville, Kathy Wheeler of Meadville, Nora Wheeler of Meadville, Caroline (Rob Weber) Lynn of Erie, Sharon Scranton of Erie, Karen Baur of Conneautville and Tim (Laura Buckle) Scranton Jr. of Linesville; two sisters, Marge (Don) Butler of Waterford and Martha (David Simons) Wheeler of Linesville; two brothers, Tom (Barb) Wheeler of Missouri and Steve (Debbie) Wheeler of Medina, Ohio; a sister-in-law, Pam Wheeler of Meadville; 12 grandchildren and a great-grandchild; and several nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Floyd and Paul; and a son-in-law, Bruce Baur.
Arrangements have been entrusted to White-Cool Funeral Home, with Funeral Director Gina M. McCauley, 1405 Main St., Conneautville.
Friends and family will be received Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home, with a Masonic service at 6:30 p.m. The funeral service will be held Friday at 3 p.m., with Pastor Loren Little officiating. Interment will be private.