Francis Shirlene ‘Sherry’ Wheeler May 28, 1929 – Jan. 12, 2016
If you see a pink flamingo, you might think of Sherry Wheeler. She once said she hated the lawn ornament kind, so her family and friends lovingly gave her lots of flamingos.
Sherry departed this life Jan. 12, 2016, and has been reunited with her sweetheart. The last few years were harder for Mom, but she did what she always told us to do – be a good actress! She kept a smile on her face and joy in her heart for those she loved.
Sherry was mom to five, grandma to 24 and great-grandma to 44. She collected friends like some people collect seashells. If you are reading this, she probably made you laugh. Remember her for that.
She was born Francis Shirlene Poulson in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, to James Shirley and Crystal Meyrick Poulson on May 28, 1929. She had one younger brother, Douglas James, who she once tried to sell for a dime. The family moved to Springville when she was young and she lived there most of her life.
She married Richard J. Wheeler on Oct. 1, 1947, in the Salt Lake Temple after he swept her off her feet. A blonde bombshell, she’d had other beaus, but our dad was it for her. They were together for 53 years in life; they are together now for eternity. True sweethearts, he left an “I love you more than” note for her every day for years. They rejoiced at the births of children and grandchildren and commiserated at trials that would have broken the best.
Mom created fun. She also created the shoulder shuffle, the best pranks, the scariest witch’s cackle, the most memorable family reunion skits and the best “grandma’s fish pond.”
She taught us to love GORGEOUS sunsets, roses, sweet pickles, chocolate chip cookies (she hid them in the dryer), fudge and marble cake. She inspired fun, craziness and laughter.
Mom worked at the Springville Public Library for 23 years. Her grandkids lovingly referred to her as a “barbarian.” She did something unique there – she made people feel loved and welcomed.
For her 75th birthday, her family invited people from every corner of her life – church, Jaycees, library, Fait Bien, nertzers, her kid’s friends, neighbors and anyone who loved her. More than 150 people came, all dressed in pink as requested.
For years, her family teased they were going to have the Springville High School marching band play for her on her birthday, and on her 80th birthday that happened. She laughed and clapped in astonishment.
On her 85th, she had a private performance from her favorite pianist, James O’Neil Miner, that thrilled her.
She loved the gospel and being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She held many callings and loved going to the temple.
She is survived by her children: Brett and Gayle Wheeler of Duvall, Wash.; Paul and Kathy Wheeler of South Jordan, Utah; Jan Gray of Springville; Kelly and Rachel Wheeler of Decatur, Ark.; Riley and Kaye Wheeler Nelson of Provo; 23 grandchildren and spouses; 44 great-grandchildren; niece Heidi Poulson of Frederick, Maryland; brother-in-law Kent Wheeler (Annadale) of Mapleton and their family and aunt JoEll Swenson of Spanish Fork and her family. Her husband and granddaughter Stacie Mae Gray preceded her in death.
Many thanks to the wonderful caregivers who lived with Mom these past six years and Melanie Neel who Mom loved dearly. Special gratitude for the Paul and Kaylene Ashton family and each person who touched her life. Her love extended to so many. Final thanks to the staff of Our House in Provo and Tender Care Hospice who truly tenderly cared for her this past year.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the LDS Church missionary fund. She helped every grandchild who served a mission. Her funeral was held Tuesday, Jan. 19, in the Springville Stake Center. Burial was in the Springville Evergreen Cemetery. Condolences may be given at www.wheelermortuaries.com. This obituary was approved by Sherry.