POWER Myron "Tony" Wheeler, 69, of Power, a retired farmer and U.S. Air Force North Africa veteran, died of natural causes Tuesday, Jan. 22, at his home near Power.
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A memorial service is 2 p.m. Saturday at Hillcrest Lawn Memorial Chapel with military honors. A reception will follow at Schnider Funeral Home. Cremation has taken place under the direction of Schnider Funeral Home.
Myron A. "Tony" Wheeler was born Feb. 1, 1943, in Bozeman, to Myron and Olive (Sallee) Wheeler. He was raised in Manhattan. He graduated from Montana State University in Bozeman with a degree in fish and wildlife management. He financed his education through the ROTC program and working for the Fish and Game. Tony was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant upon graduation. He served as a supply officer at Travis AFB in California and in North Africa.
Tony met Wilma Grossman while in college and they were married in 1966. They were blessed to celebrate 46 years of marriage last year.
Tony loved the outdoors and his love for his wife prompted him to return to Power to learn how to farm after the death of her father. He stayed on the farm for 45 years, learning to farm and ranch. He retired after breaking his leg during calving a few years ago.
Tony served on the school board in Power and was a Teton County Commissioner for one term during the "snow years" of the '70s. He met people through the NFO, the Toy Club and the Weapons Collectors Club. He enjoyed the toy shows, antique shows, swap meets and especially auctions. Tony loved to go to auctions, looking for Montana history of any kind, and for bargains. He loved to haggle and to trade and especially to visit with everyone. He was always searching, whether for a Montana book or for archeological artifacts. He participated in a number of "digs" throughout Montana.
He knew people all over the state. Tony will be best remembered as the "real" Santa at the mall for the last 16 years. He loved making the children and their parents happy. He had a way of talking to the children that thrilled them and emphasized that they should give to others.
Tony is survived by his wife, Wilma (Grossman) Wheeler of Power; daughter Michelle (Curtis) Christianson of Helena; grandson Cord Christianson; brother Terry (Sandy) Wheeler of Kalispell; Terry's daughter, Kaylene Hinderliter and her son, Paul of Shoreline, Wash.; aunt Mary Sallee of Stockton, Mo.; numerous cousins; and nieces and a nephew on his wife's side.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Myron and Olive (Sallee) Wheeler.
Memorials in Tony's name may be sent to the Rescue Mission, 326 2nd Ave. So., Great Falls, MT 59405 or to a
Condolences may be posted online at www.schniderfuneralhome.com and/or www.gftribune.com/obituaries.
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Jan. 30, 2013