Tributes paid to ex-council chief Ron Wheeler
RON Wheeler, the former Tewkesbury Borough Council chief executive, has died at the age of 79.
Mr Wheeler, who was chief executive officer and borough secretary from 1974 to 1996, had been ill for a number of years but died peacefully at his home in Shurdington, near Cheltenham , on September 19.
He started his local government career with Stratford-on-avon, Evesham and Cheltenham rural district councils before the formation of Tewkesbury Borough Council in 1974. According to his family, Mr Wheeler, one of the youngest chief executives in the country, threw himself into the post with the tireless passion, integrity and commitment for which he became known during his 20 years at the helm.
He is survived by his wife Lorna and his children Sharon, Jonathan and Stuart, plus five grandchildren.
His family said public service underpinned his core values, as did being a ‘people person’. In their tribute to Mr Wheeler, his family said he embraced retirement with similar enthusiasm.
He was aware during his working life, when he had arranged for overseas students from the British Council to visit Winchcombe Pottery on their rest days, of how influential the pottery had been yet how poorly documented this had been - so he made this his initial project. His nationally acclaimed book, Winchcombe Pottery – The Cardew Finch Tradition, was published in conjunction with Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum in 1998. Stimulating trips abroad to China, Hong Kong, Egypt and many places in Europe, arranged by the tireless Douglas and Jenny Ogle on behalf of the Friends, were highlights. Mr Wheeler was a keen sportsman and had schoolboy trials for Aston Villa, as well as playing a handful of games for Moseley Rugby Club. He represented several Cheltenham sides at cricket, including Hatherley and Reddings, and Marle Hill.