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Obituary: James Wheeler, Jr.

A longtime Whitefish Bay resident, Wheeler served in the Navy and ran a business with his wife Ginny. He passed away Wednesday at the age of 90.

James H. Wheeler, Jr. entered Eternal Life on January 23 at the age of 90.

Resident of Eastcastle in Milwaukee, former resident of Whitefish Bay. Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan to James and Marvel Wheeler on August 16, 1922.

Beloved husband of Virginia “Ginny” M. (nee Bade) Wheeler. Loving father of Michael (Debra McNair) Wheeler, MD. of Mequon, Dana Terracina of San Antonio, TX, Mary Catherine “Kate” (John) Mehan of Milwaukee and the late James H. Wheeler, MD., III. Cherished grandfather of James H. Wheeler, IV, Rachel Wheeler, Michael Wheeler, Thomas Wheeler, Peter Terracina, Paul Terracina, Margaret “Meg” Mehan and John A. “Jack” Mehan, Jr. Also survived by his sisters, Connie (the late Phil) Adamek of Menominee, MI, Joan (the late Earl) Delzell of Mequon and nieces & nephews.

Jim attended St. Augustine High School in Kalamazoo, MI in 1936 and graduated from Whitefish Bay High School in 1940. He attended Marquette University from 1940 through 1941 and then was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1941, graduating in 1944 as an Ensign U.S. Navy.

Jim’s career in the Navy was on destroyers in the Pacific Fleet with Admiral Halsey from 1944 through 1946 and the Atlantic Fleet on Comdeslant’s Staff through 1947. He was recalled to active duty in the U.S. Navy in 1951 during the Korean Conflict and resigned in 1953. In 1963 Jim and his wife Ginny established Essential Industries, Inc. In 1997 Jim retired as the chief executive officer but remained the chairman of the board.

Jim is a founding member of the Blue and Gold Foundation at Marquette University, the Legacy Society at Marquette University, the Alumni Association at the U.S. Naval Academy and the Legacy Society at the U.S. Naval Academy. He is a member of the Chenequa Country Club and the Town Club.

Visitation will take place at the Feerick Funeral Home on Sunday, January 27, from 4:00 until 7:00 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Monica’s Catholic Church on Monday, January 28, at 11:00 AM. Interment will be private at Holy Cross Cemetery.

Memorials in Jim’s name may be made to the Marquette University Blue and Gold Fund, P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201; the United States Naval Academy Alumni Foundation payable to USNAF, USNAF Gift Processing, 291 Wood Road, Annapolis, MD 21402 or the Arthritis Foundation of Wisconsin. 1650 S. 108th Street, West Allis, WI 53214.

(Obituary provided by Feerick Funeral Home)

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