John Arnold Wheeler, 89, of Ririe, passed away peacefully Monday, Dec. 24, 2012, at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center following a vehicle accident Dec. 13, 2012.
John was born Aug. 9, 1923, in Ririe, Idaho, to Ruth Clifford and Arnold Lavender Wheeler. He was the second child in a family of four and learned how to work hard as a young boy. His mother passed away when he was only 6 years old. His father did his best to raise him, his brother and two sisters; however, John spent a lot of time with various aunts and uncles. He attended Ririe High School.
During World War II, he served for two years in the U.S. Navy as a diesel mechanic, mostly aboard the USS LST898.
As a teen, he started working for farmers in the Ririe, Poplar and Antelope areas and continued farming after obtaining his own land. He also operated a cattle range in the Bone/Gray's Lake area for many years.
On Oct. 1, 1940, he married Voris Marie Perry in Ririe. They were later sealed together in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple. They lived most of their married life in the Ririe area where they raised their three children. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather.
He served on the board of directors of the Ririe Farmer's Co-op, the Ririe-Shelton Cemetery, and in 1968 he was named Man of the Year by the Ririe Chamber of Commerce.
As an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, John served in many capacities, including home teacher, counselor in the bishopric, and various positions in the Sunday school and Priesthood organizations. He was also a temple worker. He was loved and respected by all those who knew him for his honest work ethic and willingness to help others.
He is survived by a son, Keith (Jill) Wheeler of Ririe, and a daughter, Kay (Billy) Arnold of Camden, Tenn. He also has 12 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
John was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Timothy John Wheeler; his brother, Kenneth Wheeler; and sisters, Ruth Schow and Wanda McMurtrey.
Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29, at the Ririe LDS Stake Center. The family will receive friends from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday and from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Saturday prior to services, both at the Ririe LDS Stake Center. Burial will be in Ririe-Shelton Cemetery under the care of Eckersell Memorial Chapel in Rigby.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.eckersellfuneralhome.com.