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In Memory of Ronald G. Wheeler


April 5, 1937 - April 19, 2022

Ronald G. Wheeler, 85, Hillsdale, passed away peacefully Tuesday, April 19, 2022, at his home.

Ron was born April 5, 1937, the youngest of 11 children to Blaine and Ann (Larson) Wheeler at Barron. He grew up on a farm in the Pine Creek area near Dallas and Sand Creek. He learned to do farm work with draft horses. The love of horses he gained as a child has been passed down another three generations. His passion for farming was unwavering. He once led a cow up the courthouse steps, just to prove he could – at least that’s what he told us.

He graduated from Chetek High School. There, he was named prom king, with Lois Hewitt as his queen. On May 24, 1958, Ron and Lois were married. Their family quickly grew with four children, and they later embraced a fifth child as their own.

He worked at Barron Electric for more than 30 years but was a farmer at heart. Ron and Lois milked dairy cows for years and there were always at least a few horses on his farm. He loved many dogs throughout his life and a few barn cats even made their way into his heart.

His children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were by far his greatest joy in life. He loved them fiercely and was tremendously proud of their accomplishments. He enjoyed attending their sporting events and watching them show their fair animals.

Grandpa Wheeler was known to give plenty of advice about how he thought things should be done. Often that advice was heeded, but never did any of the girls cut their horses’ tails short so they could run faster! In his retirement years, Ron enjoyed spending winters in Texas and attending horse races in Arkansas. When he couldn’t be at the track in person, he learned to find the odds online and watched races from the comfort of his living room. He also looked forward to his daily trips to town for breakfast with the locals. Years ago, Rose’s Cafe named an entree for him; “The Hillsdale Special” was a peanut butter and onion sandwich.

Even late in life, Ron talked about his time playing sports. He spoke fondly of playing catcher for a fast pitch softball team, boxing and playing high school football. While playing football, a misplaced leg pad led to a broken femur; he was always reminding young players to tape their pads in place.

Ron was more than a fan of Wisconsin teams; he was one of their best armchair coaches. He religiously watched the Packers and Brewers, even through the rough stretches. Badger football and basketball games were not to be missed.

He was an avid hunter. Bear, bobcat, deer, mule deer and turkeys were favorites. He shared his love of the hunt with his sons and grandchildren. He enjoyed fishing, too. Grandpa and Grandma provided many a fish fry. Surviving, in addition to his wife of nearly 64 years, are children, Rhonda (Terry) Olson of Hillsdale, Julie Cole of Hillsdale, Mary Beth Wheeler of Scottsbluff, Neb., Blaine (Amy) of Chetek and Steve (Kim) Ness of Barron; 11 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law Audrey (Frank) Unterschuetz and Betty Wheeler; and a brother-in-law Greg (Kathy) Hewitt.

Ron was preceded in death by his parents; five brothers; five sisters and a son-in-law, Brook Bowhay.

A celebration of life will be held 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 3, at Rausch Steel Funeral Home in Barron. A short service will be held at 6:45 p.m. with his nephew, Danny Wheeler officiating.

Arrangements are being handled by Rausch and Steel Funeral Home in Barron.

Last Update: Apr 26, 2022 2:02 pm CDT

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