Wheeler, Mark V. Mark Vernon Wheeler, age 65, of Kalamazoo, Michigan died on May 22, 2021 in an accident while driving his outboard hydroplane raceboat in Terre Haute, Indiana. Born in 1956, Mark grew up in Nashville, Michigan. He worked in the family business, Wheeler's Marine Service, with his parents, the late Vernon Lennox Wheeler and the late Eloise Enid (Day) Wheeler, and brother Steven Edward Wheeler. After graduating from Maple Valley High School, Mark and then Steve attended Alma College. Mark paid his way through college by working summers at Hastings Aluminum Products. Mark learned from his professors at Alma that he could pursue his interest in Economics in graduate school. He earned his Masters and Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Kentucky. Mark taught and conducted research at Bowling Green State University (Ohio), then took a faculty position at Western Michigan University in 1990, where he contributed to the university community for 31 years. The major focus of Mark's attention was the graduate program in Economics. He served several terms as Director of Graduate Programs for a total of 15 years. Mark cultivated meaningful internships for Applied Economics graduate students. He evaluated students' teaching and coached them how to make presentations and do well in job interviews. He insisted on rigor in their dissertation research and was proud of the positions they secured in academia and the private sector. Mark took special care to foster the success of students who were the first in their family to take on a Ph.D. program. Boatracing was Mark's passion. His father raced snowmobiles and boats, which led Mark and Steve to start racing boats in high school. During his nearly 50 years of racing, Mark raced several different classes. His most prized accomplishments were Fastest Qualifier in B Stock Hydroplane in 1988, and winning a National Championship in 750 Modified Hydroplane in 2011. Outboard racing is a family, amateur-level sport that requires volunteerism from its participants to operate. Mark refereed races at the club, national and world levels. He helped found the Michigan Hydroplane Racing Association in 1984. He secured an excellent race site in Constantine, Michigan decades ago, where stock and modified races still take place. Starting in his early 30s, Mark participated in the governance of boat racing through his club and the American Power Boat Association (APBA). He served as club president and then as APBA region chair, member and chair of several commissions and committees, Junior Classes Committee Chair, APBA Board Member and President. His service on the APBA Board spanned and then exceeded his daughter's education from first grade to graduate school. Mark steered APBA through many tough negotiations, but he cared most deeply about helping families with young, eager, would-be racers to get well situated in the Junior Classes, reducing their barriers to entry into the sport. APBA recognized Mark's immense service by inducting him into the Honor Squadron in 2013 and making him an Honorary Life Member. Mark joked that church was his wife's hobby, and that boatracing was his religion. Mark met his wife, Denise Hartsough, on a blind date when they both served on the faculty at Bowling Green State University. Married in 1990 in Barryville, Michigan, they were overjoyed to have their daughter, Laura Hartsough Wheeler, in 1994. Mark was thrilled when Laura was inducted into APBA's Hall of Champions in 2012 for her racing achievements and when she earned her Master's in Systems and Controls Engineering in 2017. Mark is survived by his wife, daughter, brother, many cousins and countless members of his racing family. An outdoor memorial service for Mark will be held on Friday, June 25 at 10am at the Covered Bridge Farm Park, 56705 Covered Bridge Rd., Three Rivers, MI 49093. Attire is informal; mask-wearing and carpooling are strongly encouraged. Memorial donations may be made to the APBA Junior Classes Committee, 17640 East Nine Mile Rd., Eastpointe MI 48021-2563, and to the WMU Department of Economics to benefit its graduate students (https://secure.wmualumni.org/s/give).