Mr. Joseph Alfred Wheeler — 1944-2019

Published 6:00 pm Friday, March 29, 2019

ABANDA  — Joseph Alfred Wheeler, 74, passed away on March 26, 2019, at the East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika.

Joe was born on April 29, 1944, in Cortland, New York, son of the late Charles and Eva Wyman Kolodzeksi. He served in the Army’s 69th Chemical Corps from 1965 to 1967, reaching the rank of sergeant.

Following his service, Joe worked as 0ffice manager at Grady’s Tire & Auto in Opelika before going into business for himself. He retired after more than 30 years as a long-distance truck driver, during which time he was known by his handle “Pollock,” as Joe was proud of his Polish heritage.

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Joe loved his family, always pushing them to do their best.  He enjoyed a lively debate, and although he was raised in the Catholic faith, in later years he found a home and special church family at Abanda Methodist Church.

Joe is survived by his wife of 52 years, Bettye Stephens Wheeler, son Stephen Wheeler (wife Holly), daughter April Wheeler Richardson (fiancée W. LeRoy Smith), four grandchildren (Elizabeth Cassandra Wheeler, Kaylor Chase Richardson, Jacey Nicole Wheeler, Eva Brooke Richardson), three brothers, Carlos Young, Leo Young, Gary Young and a sister, Lucille Wheeler Harris.

He was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers, Jimmy Young, Richard Young, Charles Young and Donald Wheeler, and two sisters, Patricia Wheeler DeGiglio, Margaret Young.      

Visitation will be held at Abanda Methodist Church on Sunday, March 31 at 1 p.m. CDT, with a memorial service following at 2 p.m. CDT.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Abanda Methodist Church or Randolph County Animal Shelter.

Jeff Jones Funeral Home in LaFayette is handling the arrangements.