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Raymond M. Wheeler, 84

| December 28, 2010 11:14 AM

Raymond M. Wheeler, of Rathdrum, passed away in the early morning of Dec. 26, 2010. Ray was born Sept. 28, 1926, in Spokane, Wash., to parents Byrl and Loretta.

His parents and two of his children, Michael in 1989 and Robert in 1997, preceded him in death. Ray married Joy Pattison in 1965.

A United States Naval Veteran, Ray proudly served in World War II aboard the LCS 123 in the Pacific Theater. Ray worked many years in law enforcement beginning in Ketchum as a deputy marshal and then for the Blaine County Sheriff's department as a deputy. Ray was also a licensed electrician and electrical contractor working as Lead Electrician for Sun Valley Company and following retirement to North Idaho was the owner/operator of Wheeler Electric.

Ray founded the Blaine County Search & Rescue in 1973 and served as Commander for more than 10 years. He was also a member of Sawtooth Snowmobile Club for many years. He had a passion for hunting and fishing, spending as much of his time outdoors as possible. He also loved snowmobile racing and riding in the winter.

Ray is survived by his wife, Joy P. Wheeler and grandson Robert M. Wheeler who has lived with Ray and Joy for most of his life; brother Kenneth R. Bundy of Athol; daughters Eileen R. Mulhern of Post Falls, Julia M. Springer of Hailey and Lari M. Stofel of Columbia, Tenn.; sons Steven L. Wheeler and Dennis B. Wheeler of Rathdrum. Ray had an additional 17 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 31, 2010, at Yates Funeral Home in Hayden with a reception immediately following in the Gathering Center. Interment will follow in Hailey at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Disabled American Veterans group.

Please visit Ray's online memorial and sign his online guest book at www.yatesfuneralhomes.com.

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