Rev. Philip Eugene Wheaton
Born in Minneapolis, MN, May 21, 1925, died Silver Spring, MD, May 9, 2020. Phil served as a pilot in the US Navy during World War II and subsequently graduated from the University of Minnesota in engineering. He was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1952 at the Virginia Theological Seminary. He and his wife Phyllis were then assigned to serve in the Dominican Republic where, among many community activities, he founded two churches and schools in underserved communities. These programs continue to thrive today. His experience living under the brutal Trujillo dictatorship galvanized his commitment, guided by the teachings of Jesus and the Prophets, to the poor of Latin America and the Caribbean. In 1964, he and his family moved to Brockport New York where he served as the rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church until 1968. He then moved to Washington, DC where he founded EPICA, an ecumenical program supporting human rights under the auspices of the National Council of Churches Department of Latin America. He married his second wife Sue Knickerbocker Wheaton in 1975. They and their two children moved to Takoma Park, MD in 1982. He continued to be involved with Latin American human rights movements overseas as well as at the national and local levels in the US. Beginning in the early 1990s he and Sue undertook the support of projects in the small village of Jiñoquao in Nicaragua to which he became deeply devoted and continued to visit into his early 90s. He is survived by his wife Sue; his sister Mary Gage; his children Lisa, Michael, Ann, Sandra, Rebecca, David and Poppy. He leaves behind many beloved grandchildren, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. He will be sorely missed. A streamed memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 23, 2020. For donations, please direct funds to: La Clinical Del Pueblo in Washington, DC (www.lcdp.org
) or The Jubilee House in Managua, Nicaragua (www.jhc-cdca.org
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Published by The Washington Post on May 17, 2020.