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Renate Wheelock

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CAMBRIDGE, N.Y., -- Renate Wheelock, 65, died on Jan. 2, 2007, after a valiant battle against cancer. She was a loving wife, devoted mother, dedicated teacher, and longtime resident of Cambridge,

She is survived by her husband of 43 years, Alan Wheelock; her mother Erna Stehle of Williamstown, Mass.; her daughter, Jennifer Wheelock Centola and son-in-law Christopher and grandsons Garrick and Jordon, all of Rochester; her son, Jared Wheelock and daughter-in-law Bridget and grandson, Dylan, all of Sherman Oaks, Calif; and Warren Wheelock and Connie Campbell, brother-law and sister-in-law of Kansas City, Mo.

Renate was born in Manhattan on Dec. 2, 1941, the daughter of Alfons and Erna Englehadt Stehle. She attended Midwood High School, Brooklyn and Hunter College in Manhattan, where she earned a bachelor and master of arts degrees. She graduated cum laude.

Mrs. Wheelock devoted her entire professional life to teaching social studies in Manhattan and Queens, but mainly in Bennington’s Mount Anthony Union High School, where she taught AP history and was core leader of the Humanities Department. Granted a sabbatical by the Mount Anthony School Board, she went to China with her husband, where she taught American history to college juniors at Qufu Teachers University, Shandong, P. R. China from 1993 through 1994.

Renate was a member of Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society; a recipient of the Thomas Hunter Award for outstanding work in history; a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship finalist; a White House Commission Presidential Scholars Distinguished Teacher; a Vermont Teacher of the Year finalist; a UVM award recipient for promoting Asian studies in Vermont and a Christa McCauliffe Fellow--on which occasion was presented to President Clinton.

Mrs. Wheelock and her husband wrote the teacher’s guide to an Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary, “Revolutionary Roads: Building the Interstates.” In addition, the two served as researchers on a New York State Department of Transportation documentary “The Natural Corridor.”

Renate sat on many boards, including a Castleton State College “No Child Left Behind” Teaching American History Grant; Board of Trustees of Park-McCullough House in North Bennington; the board of Hubbard Hall Projects in Cambridge; New England School and Colleges Evaluation Teams; the Governor’s Conference on Vermont Traditions; State Chair, Research Committee, Delta Kappa Gamma and U.S. Institutes on Peace for high school teachers.

Renate was an avid traveler, whose desire for roads less traveled led her to many, at the time, untouristed places: Sicily, Inner Mongolia, Tibet and China. She loved China, her students and colleagues there, and visited them in later years. “China is my spiritual home,” Renate once said.

Friends and colleagues are invited to call on Friday, Jan. 5, 2007, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Ackley & Ross Funeral Home, 73 West Main Street, Cambridge.

A memorial service, conducted by Father Paul Baker, will be held on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007, at 2 p.m. at Hubbard Hall, 25 East Main St., Cambridge.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 1311 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains, NY 10605. www.lis.org
Published in Bennington Banner from Jan. 3 to Jan. 4, 2007
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