Tuesday, January 19, 2016
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
120 South Woodhams Street
Plainwell, MI 49080
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Throughout her rich and rewarding life, Suzie Wheeler was a blessing to everyone she met. She was kind and generous beyond measure as she used her nurturing and compassionate spirit to care for her family, those she came into contact with through her work, and numerous others within her community. Suzie was a devoted wife and mother, and things only became sweeter when grandchildren came along. Outgoing and funny, she was the sort of person who drew others near with ease. Although she will be deeply missed, Suzie leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever cherish.
Life during the 1930s was anything but easy as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. With a soaring unemployment rate, several American families lost their homes and were forced to do whatever they could to weather the storm. Amidst this trying time was the year 1937 when John and Marian (Golden) Ughetti were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as March dawned in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1937. The big day finally arrived on March 12th when they were blessed with the baby girl they named Suzanne. She was raised in the family home in Kalamazoo and was joined in her family by her younger sisters, Sandy and Dianne. Suzie’s father worked for Kars peanut company while her mother did some housekeeping in large area homes at times.
In many ways, Suzie was a young girl of her generation. She attended local schools, and since music was an important part of her life she sang in the choir. Suzie was also a talented piano player. She was an animal lover who always had a place in her heart for cats and dogs. Suzie’s high school years found her at Kalamazoo Central, and after graduating in 1955, she took classes and became an LPN.
New and exciting changes were in store for Suzie when she met the man of her dreams. His name was Lou Wheeler, and they met through a friend when he returned home from the service. Sparks flew right from the start, and it wasn’t long before Suzie and Lou were deeply in love. With a desire to establish a life together, the sweethearts were married on June 25, 1955, which was within a year of having met one another. The newlyweds initially settled in Grand Rapids, but after a short time they moved to Plainwell. Together they were thrilled to welcome five children including Mark, Sally, Bob, Amy, and John into their hearts and home. Suzie’s primary focus was always her family, and she loved nurturing and caring for her husband and children. Although she had been working as an LPN at Pipp Hospital for a few years, she stayed home to raise their children once they were born. Suzie also worked as a teacher’s aide at Plainwell Middle School for a time, and with a love for music she taught piano lessons as well.
Throughout her life, Suzie was always doing something. Even after retiring from the school she continued to volunteer there, and she also volunteered at Wings of Hope Hospice. Holidays were always special to Suzie, and her house was always the place to be. Of course she went over and above, and her family especially looked forward to her baked goods. Suzie was sure to be there for all of her children’s events and activities, and later on she was there for everything her grandchildren were a part of as well. She loved gardening and was in the Chula Vista Garden Club, sang with Sweet Adelines for years, and enjoyed arts and crafts as well as knitting and crocheting. Suzie enjoyed traveling including all around the country in their motorhome as they made it to all 48 of the contiguous United States over the years. They also traveled abroad including trips to Italy and Russia and a trip to the World’s Fair in Canada. Closer to home, Suzie liked visiting yard sales and flea markets as well as relaxing with a good book. In 1998, she was deeply saddened with Lou’s death after 43 years of marriage.
All who knew Suzie Wheeler would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She was outgoing and funny with an adventurous side as well, and she was almost always willing to try something new. Suzie lived an active lifestyle and spent countless hours volunteering within her community in ways both great and small. She experienced so many of the best things that life has to offer, but what made them so extraordinary was sharing them with the ones she loved. Suzie will be deeply missed but never forgotten.
Suzie Wheeler,of Plainwell, died on January 15, 2016, at her home. Suzie’s family includes her sisters: Sandy Stockwell and Dianne Tahtinen; children: Sally Hassing, Robert Wheeler, Amy Holden, John (Kim) Wheeler; 11 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren with one on the way as well as several nieces and nephews. Suzie was preceded in death by her husband, Lou, and her oldest son, Mark. Visit with her family and friends and view her life story film on Tuesday, January 19th from 10 – 11 at the Life Story Funeral Home, Plainwell; 120 Woodhams St. (685-5881). A memorial service will follow at 11:00 at the same location. Please visit Suzie’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a memory or photo and sign her memory book online before coming to the funeral home. Memorial donations can be made to Wings of Hope Hospice or the West Michigan Cancer Center.