Thursday, February 02, 2023

Robert Clark Wheeler, 55

| June 15, 2010 5:08 AM

On June 10, 2010, Robert Clark Wheeler passed away. At the time of his untimely death, he was working out in the gym when he collapsed and died despite all effort to revive him.

Bob was born in Aurora, Colo., at the Fitzsimons Army Hospital to Nancy and Lt. Charles Wheeler on July 7, 1954. After Colorado, he successively lived at Selfridge AFB, Mich., Weiser, Chanute AFB, Ill., Space Systems Division, AFSC (Torrance, Calif.), and from there made his last move with his family to McChord AFB, Tacoma, Wash., in 1967.

Bob attended Hudtloff Jr. High and graduated from Lakes High School in 1971. Always one for adventure, after graduation, Bob and two of his friends decided to tour the United States via their thumbs, and the occasional job to keep themselves fed and clothed. After a couple of years of sightseeing various parts of the U.S., Bob fell in love with the mountain country in Cuprum. While there, he got work in a copper mine where his uncle was employed. After his second winter in that area, Bob, once again ready for change, decided that living conditions were better back home, and returned to Tacoma and found employment there.

For a while Bob worked at Andy’s Steel, but then was later hired on by Washington Natural Gas (WNG) as an underground transmission line worker. His hard work and dedication paid off when Bob was sent by WNG for technical schooling and from there made continual progress up through the ranks until he became a District Supervisor. During this period he met, fell in love with and married his wife, Jennie Elson, of Shelton, Wash., a Medical Lab Technician. To them were born two children, Emily and Evan who attended grade schools in the Shelton area where they lived while Bob was working for WNG.

WNG was eventually bought out by Puget Sound Energy (PSE), and shortly thereafter Bob took a buy-out from PSE and moved his family to Coeur d’Alene. There he was hired by Parrot Mechanical as a repair technician. He was later promoted to HVAC sales, and moved through two expansions-consolidations, and eventually wound up as a lead sales person in the HVAC division of ACI Northwest Inc. During this time, both of his children graduated from Coeur d’Alene High School.

During all his adult life, Bob was an avid fisherman. He was a father figure to many of his children’s friends and thoroughly enjoyed having people catch big fish on his boat. He also enjoyed cooking, camping, hunting, gunsmithing, woodworking, carpentry and game processing. He and his son kept the family well supplied with properly preserved and treated deer and elk meat, salmon, trout, and various other types of fresh and salt-water critters. He was an expert at smoking and canning all kinds of game. His products were treasured by his family and many friends.

Bob was survived by wife Jennie; daughter Emily and her husband, Derek Lish; son Evan; parents Chuck and Nancy Wheeler; brother Tony Wheeler; sister Anne Flynn; and his nieces and nephews.

From the time of his birth until the time of his death Bob Wheeler was a friend to all. He had a knack for spreading joy and laughter wherever he went. Bob: son, husband, father and friend of anyone he met and got to know, will be sorely missed.

A celebration of his life will take place later this summer. You may visit Bob’s memorial and sign his online guest book at

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