DR. EDWARD MARTIN WHEELER - SHELBURNE - Dr. Edward Wheeler died at Wake Robin Retirement Community on June 25, 2012, at the age of 95. He was born on Dec. 30, 1916, the son of Dr. John Wheeler, a renowned eye surgeon, and Julia Smith Wheeler of Burlington. Ed received his undergraduate education at Deerfield Academy and Williams College, from which he graduated in 1938. He was trained as an orthopedic surgeon at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and did residencies at the Bronx Veterans Hospital and the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. In 1941, in the throes of World War II, Ed married Deborah Lois Davenport of Forest Hills, N.Y. He served as a medic in the US Army and was part of the D-Day invasion. He treated wounded soldiers behind the front lines as the US Army fought its way across Europe. Between 1950 - 1975, the Wheeler family - Ed, Deborah, and their three children, David, Patsy and Tim, who survive their father - lived in Chappaqua, N.Y., while Ed maintained a medical practice as a member of the Mount Kisco Medical Group. He also did volunteer work as a visiting surgeon at Grasslands Hospital and Sing Sing Prison. He and Deborah later moved to Middle Haddam, Conn., where he worked on the staff of Middletown (CT) Memorial Hospital. Ed had deep Yankee roots. The Smith family has long been active in the economic and social life of Burlington. The H.O. Wheeler School, now the Integrated Arts Academy of Burlington, was named after his maternal grandfather. His mother was a founder of the Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties (VNA), a nonprofit home health care agency. Although Ed was born in New York state, part of him always wanted to return to Vermont. Every summer he brought his family to their log house, Sprucewood, on Stevensville Road, Underhill Center, in the shadow of Mt. Mansfield. It was a great source of satisfaction to Ed when, in 1993, he and Deborah were able to move to Wake Robin Retirement Community in Shelburne, where they lived happily for the last 19 years. Ed was affectionately known for originating the Wake Robin Sugar Shack and maple sugaring operation and the annual Pancake Breakfast for Wake Robin residents and staff featuring homemade maple syrup. In 2011, Ed and Deborah, his devoted partner and helpmate, who also survives him, celebrated their seventieth year of marriage. Although Ed Wheeler will be sorely missed by his family and his many friends, he leaves us the memory of his sweet, happy grin and the example of his indomitable personal integrity that he practiced quietly and steadily throughout all the many years of his life. There will be a Circle of Remembrance for Dr. Edward Wheeler in the Wake Robin Community Center on Friday, June 29, 2012, at 2 p.m. Cremation and burial arrangements will be made by Corbin and Palmer Funeral Home of Shelburne. Memorial donations in the name of Dr. Edward Wheeler may be made to the VNA. Donate by mail to Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties, 1110 Prim Road, Colchester, VT 05446 or at their website: https://www.vnacares.org/donate/remembering-honoring-loved-ones.
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Published in The Burlington Free Press on June 29, 2012