shirley wheeler pic

Shirley Mae Wheeler

Shirley Mae Wheeler was born in Long Pine, Nebraska on November 22, 1929 to James L. and Alice E. (Abrams) Wheeler.

At age 4 they moved to a farm in Rock county.  She attended Glenwood school for grades 1 thru 5.  The family moved back to Long Pine in 1940 after a fire destroyed their home.  There she attended school until she graduated as salutatorian in 1947.

She moved to Denver, Colorado in 1948 and found employment at the U. S. National bank.  In 1950 to 1952 she was employed by First National Bank in Lincoln, Nebraska.

She became pen pals with Lloyd A Strack, a sailor stationed in Guam; and when he returned on leave, they were married in Lakewood, Colorado.  To this union were born 4 children. The family eventually expanded to contain 11  grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.

The family moved to Stockton, California in 1958. During her life there she worked for Union Safe Bank for two years and then was employed for 28 years at St. Joseph’s Hospital, retiring in 1994.During this time she attended night classes at San Joaquin Delta College earning a degree in Anthropology and graduating with honors.

She and her daughter Lia formed a company where for ten years they crafted various items for the International Order of the Rainbow Girls organization.  Since then she has been engaged in making little quilts for the children at Shriners Hospital in Sacramento, Calilfornia, eventually reaching the total of 500.  She also became a Field Investigator for the MUFON organization.

She was a member of The Order of the Eastern Star, Lodi Chapter #150 where she presided as Worthy Matron twice and served as the star points Esther, Martha and Electa, and as Associate Conductress.

During her retirement she also found time to pursue her passion for writing, eventually completing five novels and a biography of her beloved brother-in-law, Clement Ashbaugh.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Willard and James, Sister Carmen, Kathleen, Barbara, and Annette.  She is survived by brothers David and Larry Wheeler and Sister Alice Furgurson; her children, Lloyd Anthony (Laura) Strack, Lia (Will) McVicker, Celeste (Mark) McCaslin and Sean Strack; her grandchildren and great grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

Services will be held at Donahue Funeral Home on January 3, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. Interment will be following the conclusion of the service at Lodi Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations may be made In her memory to one of the following charities of her heart: St. Jude, Shriners  Hospital, Wounded Warrior Project or American Cancer Society.

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