SFC (RET) James F. Wheeler Sr., 82, passed away from Parkinson’s Disease at his home in Parrish, FL., on 22 Nov 2020. He was surrounded by his wife and family.
He was born on 4 Aug 1938 in Great Barrington, MA, to Clarence C. Wheeler (Father) of Great Barrington, MA and Eva May Hunt (Mother) of Lee, MA. He was the fifth child of six.
James married Anna Tortatice of Pittsfield, MA, on 3 Jan 1959.
James attended Searles High School in Great Barrington Prior to Enlisting into the U.S. Army in August 1955, as an Infantry Mortarman and earning his Parachutist badge. After his training he was stationed in Augsburg, Germany with the 11th Airborne until 1958. Upon his return from overseas he went into the Army Reserves and joined his father and brothers in the family business (Wheeler Moving and Storage).
In August 1967 he volunteered to reenlist in the Army and go to Vietnam where he served in the LRRP-ARP’s, Troop D, 1st Sqdn, 4th Cav, 1st Infantry Division at Phu Loi until September 1968. When he returned, he continued in the Army as a Drill Instructor (Fort Ord, CA), Platoon Sergeant in (FT. Riley, Ks), Hometown recruiter in Pittsfield, MA, one tour in Wiesbaden, Germany and one in Stuttgart, Germany. Finally Retiring at FT. Dix, NJ in June 1985 after an honorable 27 years of service to his country.
Some of the many awards he received are The Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious service MDL, Air MDL w/2 oakleaf clusters, Bronze Star MDL, Vietnam Service Medal w/4 service stars, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry w/palm, Combat Infantryman’s Badge (CIB), Air Crewman’s Badge, Parachute Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Career Councilor Badge, Drill Sergeant Badge and Jungle Expert Patch.
He is survived by his wife Anna of 62 years, Parrish, FL, son Jim Jr, Stockbridge, MA, son Scott and Lisa Wheeler, Warner Robins, Ga, son Sam and Peg Wheeler, Warner Robins, Ga, Son Robert and Heather Wheeler, Parrish, FL, including 8 grandchildren Scott Jr., Tami, Jessica, Brandon, Samantha, Sarah, Victoria and Robert Jr., along with 5 great grandchildren.
He will be laid to rest at the Sarasota National Cemetery, Sarasota, FL, on December 8th @ 10:30.
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