Cover photo for Rose Ellen Wheeler's Obituary
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1933 Rose 2024

Rose Ellen Wheeler

December 20, 1933 — May 4, 2024

Balaton

Service Recording:  https://youtu.be/7XP5Klk_xUU


A memorial service for Rose Ellen Wheeler will take place on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, at United Methodist Church in Balaton, MN beginning at 10:30 a.m. A public visitation will be held on Monday, May 13, 2024, at the Horvath Remembrance Center in Balaton, MN from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. with a prayer service beginning at 6:30 p.m. Visitation will continue Tuesday morning at church beginning at 9:30 a.m. Burial will take place at Lakeside Cemetery in Balaton, MN following the memorial service. Upon conclusion of the graveside service, there will be a luncheon held at the Balaton Community Center.

Rose Ellen (Bundy) Wheeler was born on December 20th, 1933, in Oelwein, IA to Temppie Merrill (McCann) and Alpha Bundy. The young Bundy Family moved to a farm east of Spirit Lake, IA. Rose attended primary school at North Superior Consolidated, she graduated in 1951 from Spirit Lake High School.

Following Graduation Rose worked as a grocery store clerk. In the fall of 1951, she met a tall, handsome man in a white sailor suit, the love of her life Donald Wheeler. Don was home on leave and needed to return to his base. The couple wrote letters back and forth until one day a letter she received was accompanied by an engagement ring. Don returned home for a brief leave and the two were wed on October 30, 1952.

Shortly after being hitched the couple was sent to the Coronado Navy Base in San Diego, CA. Don was shipped out and Rose returned to Spirit Lake staying with her in-laws while working at the grocery store.

When the two were permanently reunited they started their life in Spirit Lake until 1972 when they purchased a farm west of Balaton, MN. Their family had grown to include 6 children. Rose embraced her new community through being an active member in many organizations: Extension Club, Neighborhood Club, Lyon County Library Board, Balaton Women of Today, United Methodist Women, a founding member of Yankton Country School, American Legion Auxiliary, DFL, and Farmers Union, to name a few.

Rose was a social butterfly who could spark up a conversation with anyone about anything. She showed genuine care and compassion every day. Whether it be volunteering at Prairie River Home Care and Compassionate Care or supporting her friends and family in any way she knew how. Rose showed genuine care each day of her life.

When she was not baking wacky cake, cooking a meal from scratch, mending a garment, tending to her giant garden, or baking enough bread to produce biceps that would put most men to shame. She loved attending auctions, rummage sales, or visiting thrift stores.

Rose adopted a slower-paced life in her later years which she enjoyed. reading, crosswords, and Sudoku puzzles, journaling, watching Saturday night Fun Time Polka, bird watching, and the annual treat of baking and decorating dozens of Santa Claus cookies every holiday season with the help of family members, just as her mother-in-law did.

Rose passed on May 4th, 2024 at 90 years old in her home surrounded by loved ones listening as they attempted to solve a crossword puzzle that she could have breezed through all on her own.

She is survived by her children Dona (Denny) Onken, Diane Carl, Duane Wheeler, Danial (Carol) Wheeler, Denise (Darrell) Crumrine, Debra (Mike) Bleyenberg; grandchildren Jason (Christy) Onken, Andy (Jean) Onken, Adam Onken, Angie Biegler, Ashlee Carl, Katie and Jeremy Wheeler, Emily, Ellie and Kalvin Crumrine, Bobby, Jake, and Kelly Bleyenberg; great-grandchildren Jadon, Evan, Kaylin and Levi Onken, Micah, Zach, Nate, Gabe, Ezzie, Jonah and  Isaac Onken, Paislee Onken, Sidney Swanson, Wyatt Biegler, Lexi Wallenberg, Lily and Carly Paige; great-great-granddaughter Ivey Jo Mitzel.

At the gates, Rose was greeted by her parents, siblings, many friends, family, and of course, that fantastic man in the white sailor suit, she called her husband for 71 years, Don.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rose Ellen Wheeler, please visit our flower store.

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