Raymond Croasdale Wheeler Jr.
Raymond Croasdale Wheeler, Jr., 96, passed away on September 26, 2020.
He was born in Los Angeles, California, on September 19, 1924, to Marion Thorn Wheeler and Raymond C. Wheeler. The Wheelers moved to Glendale, California, where Ray graduated from Herbert Hoover High School in 1942.
Ray attended Stanford University where he joined the U.S. Naval Reserve. In 1943, he was sent by the Navy to the California Institute of Technology where he became a Company and Battalion Commander, graduating in 1945 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He transferred to the U.S. Naval Reserve Midshipman's School in Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, graduating in November 1945 as an Ensign, serving aboard the USS General LeRoy Eltinge. He was honorably discharged as Lt. Junior Grade in June 1946.
Ray joined General Petroleum in Los Angeles as a Commercial Salesman in 1946. He became Industrial District Sales Manager for Mobil Oil Corporation, West Coast Division. Ray married JoAnne "Jonnie" Baker of Glendale on January 25, 1950, and they began raising their three daughters in La Cañada, California. In 1964, after being transferred to Mobil in New York City to head the Industrial Product Planning Group, he moved his family to New Canaan, Connecticut. He retired from Mobil as Manager of Technical Service, International Marketing in 1984.
Ray enjoyed an active retirement, volunteering at the New Canaan Nature Center, New Canaan Historical Society, and St. Mark's Church, where he served as Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee as well as Co-Chairman of the May Fair for several years. In 1999, he was voted Volunteer of the Year by the Stamford Advocate (Leader of the Community Award). In 2003, he was elected into the International Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame as a member of the 1944 Caltech football team. In addition, Ray served on the New Canaan YMCA Board of Directors for 6 years. He was Past President of the Senior Men's Club of New Canaan, Past President of the Mobil Connecticut Nutmeg Annuitants Club, and served on the New Canaan Town Emergency Commission.
Ray's favorite hobby was using his extensive tool collection for what he called "maintenance and repair." He built everything from furniture and bookcases to a beautiful porch and deck. He loved a project and could always be found puttering in his shop. Ray and Jonnie loved to travel and enjoyed many cruises to countries around the world.
Ray was predeceased by his brother Robert and son-in-law Rod Lyons. He is survived by Jonnie, his wife of 70 years, daughters Lynn Lyons of White Plains, Sharon Wheeler (Tony Napoli) of Santa Maria, CA, Anne Newman (Rick) of Redding, CT, and granddaughter Kate Leffingwell (Fiancé James Fields) of New York City. He is also survived by his sister Virginia Riddle of Brookfield, WI, 5 nephews and a niece.
Instead of flowers, the family welcomes memorial donations to St. Mark's Church or the New Canaan Historical Society. For online condolences please visit www.hoytfuneralhome.com