WAMSUTTER -- Longtime resident of Wamsutter and patron of the Desert Bar Walter Andrew Wheeler, 75, passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones and friends.
Walt was born July 22, 1944, in Rifle, Colorado, to Albert and May Etta Wheeler. He graduated from Rifle High School. He had many adventures growing up with his brother John Wheeler and sister Cathy (Gillingham) Wheeler. He regaled his family with stories of growing up on the mesa such as stealing watermelons from a neighbor and being shot with rock salt, more than once.
Walt was married to Ginger Bond with, whom he had his oldest son David Cullen and daughter Donna Preston. After their divorce he was married again briefly before being drafted into the Army in 1967. He served two tours in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne.
After returning home he met and married Veleta (Kelley) Wheeler, his wife of 49 years. They enjoyed a long life together filled with family, friends, and many friends that became family over the years. They lived in many places across Colorado and Wyoming, settling in the Red Desert area and finally Wamsutter. Together they raised their son William Wheeler and stepson Bryan Crouse to enjoy the outdoors, hard work, and love for family.
He is survived by his wife Veleta; sister Cathy; sons David (Marie) Cullen and William (Mindi, Sonya Ehmen) Wheeler; daughter Donna (Bryan Bowen) Preston; grandchildren Ashley Cullen, Tiffany Cullen, Sarah Preston, Brittany Preston, Garret Preston, Katie Anderson, and Will Wheeler; and five great-grandchlidren.
Lifelong friends and the third barstool from the door will truly miss Walt’s tales of his life (never exaggerated, of course), his perverted sense of humor, and his infectious laugh. He will be truly missed by all.
Jacoby Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Tributes and condolences may be offered online at www.jacobycares.com.