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Donald WheelerThe memorial service for Donald Wheeler will be on Friday, September 7, 2018 at 10:30 AM at the United Methodist Church in Balaton, with interment at Lakeside Cemetery in Balaton immediately following. A visitation will take place on Thursday, September 6, 2018 at the Life Remembrance Center in Balaton from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM with a prayer service at 7 PM. In addition, visitation will be one hour prior to the memorial service at the Church on Friday September 7. Lunch will be served at the Balaton Community Center following the interment. Donald Wayne Wheeler was born on March 6, 1931 in Spirit Lake, Iowa, the son of Homer and Mary (Kelly) Wheeler. Donald attended school in Excelsior and Milford, Iowa. At the age of 20 he enlisted in the United States Navy and served his country from March of 1951 to March of 1955 as a machinist on the repair ship USS Satyr ARL 23. On October 30, 1952 at the United Methodist Church in Spirit Lake, Iowa, Donald married the love of his life, Rose Bundy. After being honorably discharged from the Navy with a Machinery Repairman 2, he returned to Spirit Lake and farmed with his brother-in-law. Donald worked for a short time in town at the Mobile Station/Nash Dealer, but his heart was in farming and that is where he returned. Donald and Rose were blessed with six children, Dona, Diane, Duane, Danial, Denise and Debra. In 1972, the family moved to Balaton. When he was not busy tending to his fields and animals including long horn cattle, Donald could be found working on machinery. He took pride in his equipment, no matter the age. In his retirement years he spent time restoring a 1931 Case Tractor. He also enjoyed reading, playing his guitar and writing songs, dancing and neighborhood parties, watching old western movies and Popeye cartoons, woodworking, planting a huge garden to provide for his family, crosswords and Cryptoquip. Through the years Donald was an active member of the National Farmers Organization, Farmerâs Union, and the DFL. Donald served on the FHA Board, was elected to the Balaton School Board and involved in the Balaton American Legion. Donald was innovative in agriculture, being one of the first to do rotational grazing, ridge-till and worked on the reduction of chemicals used in the industry in conjunction with the Lamberton Experiment Station. He and his son Duane farmed together for 30 years and were a skilled repair and fabricating team. Donald enjoyed visiting with friends and strangers and shared a vast number of stories about his family history. He was calm, honest and enjoyed the simple life. Donald was tough on himself but very loving to his family and always willing to help someone in need as he knew they would return the favor when need be. This patient man will be dearly missed by those around him. Donald passed away Saturday, August 18, 2018, at home after a brief battle with cancer at the age of 87. He is preceded in death by his parents; sister, Pat Wheeler and brother-in-law, Elmer Hanson. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Rose; his children and their families, Dona (Denny) Onken of Brewster, Jason (Christy) Onken and their children, Jadon, Evan, Kaylin, Levi; Andy (Jean) Onken and their children, Micah, Zach, Nate, Gabe, Ezzie, Jonah, Adam (Melanie) Onken their daughter, Paislee; Diane Carl of Slayton, Angie Biegler and her children, Sidney and Wyatt, Ashlee Paige and her children, Lexi, Lily and Carly, Duane Wheeler of Balaton, Dan (Carol) Wheeler of Pemberton, Katie and Jeremy Wheeler; Denise (Darrell) Crumrine of Balaton, Emily, Ellie and Kalvin Crumrine, Deb (Mike) Bleyenberg of Lake Wilson, Bobby, Jake and Kelly Bleyenberg; his sister Barbara Hanson of Spirit Lake, IA, many nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends. Thursday, September 06, 2018 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM Thursday, September 06, 2018 7:00 PM Friday, September 07, 2018 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM Friday, September 07, 2018 10:30 AM Friday, September 07, 2018
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