THOMAS EARL WHEAT, Ed.D., 76, a native of the Fort Wayne area, passed away Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, in Venice, Fla. Born May 28, 1936, at home in Allen County, Ind., he was the son of John Wilbur and Helen (Bookout) Wheat. He married Suzanne Louise Morris on Dec. 21, 1963, at Hoagland Methodist Church, Hoagland, Ind.; she preceded him in death on Nov. 20, 2001. Wheat attended local public schools, and earned his B.S. and M.Ed. from the University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne. After teaching at Southwick Elementary School, he was awarded a Doctorate of Education from Ball State University in 1970. In June of that year, he started his academic career as a professor in the College of Education at Northern Illinois University, where he served until his retirement in 1994. He was the fifth director of NIU's Literacy Clinic and active in professional societies, including the International Reading Association. He is survived by three sons, J. Marc (Marie) Wheat of Arlington, Va., Christopher A. (Kristi) Wheat of Venice, Fla. and Thomas J. (Shirley) Wheat of Irvine, Calif.; seven grandchildren, Winston and Allie, both of Florida, William, Jacob and Lauren, all of California, and Benjamin and Laura Elizabeth, both of Virginia;; two beloved sisters, Dorothy Christman Rioux of Fort Wayne and Ruth Shifferly of Decatur; and many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Germanna Foundation, PO Box 279, Locust Grove, VA 22508-0279, Tel. (540) 423-1700.

Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers on Feb. 13, 2013