Arthur Layton Wheeler was born in Ulysses, Kansas, to Eunice (Layton) and John R. Wheeler on September 2, 1930. He grew up in Ulysses, but moved with his family to Loveland, CO, in 1944. He graduated from Loveland High School in 1948.
He was married to Lucille Webster on May 15, 1949. They divorced in June of 1954.
Arthur joined the Colorado National Guard in September 1947, and was discharged in 1950. He then joined the Air Force in January of 1952.
Arthur enjoyed traveling the country and the world with his military career. After training for radio maintenance at Lackland AFB, he was sent to Fountainbleau, France. His next station of duty was Armstrong, Canada. When he returned from Canada, he was sent for IBM training in Kingston, New York. His military career switched to computer maintenance. In the field of computer maintenance, he was assigned to Calumet Air Station four different times in between his other assignments: Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS; Elemendorf AFB in Anchorage, AK; Offutt AFB in Omaha, NE; and RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath in
Mildenhall, England. He retired in January of 1978, after 26 years of service.
Once retired from the military, Arthur began his second career in building maintenance for the Howell School District. He worked there for over ten years before moving to work for Birmingham School District as Maintenance Supervisor. He retired from his second career in November 1994.
He married Sandra Koopikka on April 9, 1955, in Calumet, MI. She traveled with Arthur as his military career moved from place to place. She made their house a home, no matter where they lived. Later in life, they enjoyed traveling to visit family and Air Force friends across the country.
After his wife passed away, Arthur continued to travel with his daughters, Debra and Julie, and his brother, Ron.
Arthur was a long standing member of the Court Robin Hood #6283 Ancient Order of Foresters. He enjoyed his time spent with his fellow Foresters. Additionally, Arthur was a life member of the American Legion Post #0225, Lansing, MI.
Arthur was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Sandra; his sister, Jaynelle Phillips; his brother-in-law, Alan Webber;
his brother-in-law, Donald Watson; and sister-in-law Louise Marta.
He is survived by four children: Debra Allain (special friend Dave Cima), Laurium, Mi; Jon (Deborah) Wheeler, Flint, MI; Julie (Mark) Aycock, Sneads Ferry, NC; Jamie (Jon) Blanton, Stafford, VA. Twelve grandchildren: Daniel (Evelyn) Allain, Slidell, LA; Jodi (Adam) Neal, South Range, MI; Brandon (Trissy) Allain, Charleston, SC; Kristi (Adam) Emmons, Chickasaw, AL; Merisa Alpin, Flint, MI; Jessica Aycock, Jacksonville, NC; Jennifer Aycock (special friend TJ Sanford), Longmont, CO; David Hodge Jr. and Michael Hodge, Chesapeake, VA; Shelby, Samantha and Savanna Blanton, Stafford, VA. Seven great-grandchildren: Dominic and Erica Allain, Slidell, LA; Madison and Jacob Alpin, Flint, MI; Mia Streeto and Cooper Emmons, Chickasaw, AL; Liana Allain and baby sister coming soon, Charleston, SC.
Arthur is also survived by three sisters: Patsy (Sam) Wormus, Casper, WY; Leora Lynn Webber, Manhattan, KS; Zana Rudzik, Ulysses, KS. Two brothers: Rick (Bonna) Wheeler, Quinter, KS; Ron (Vicki) Wheeler, Ulysses, KS; brother-in-law Jack Marta, St. Paul, MN/Eagle River, MI; sister-in-law Kay Watson, Barryton, MI. Also several nieces, nephews and numerous cousins.
Arthur will be missed by long-time friend, Roy Keranen, who frequently visited to share stories over coffee and cookies.
As to his wishes, he has been cremated and there will be no Memorial Service. In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, memorials may be given to the local hospice that cared for Sandra so well.
The Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home in Calumet, Michigan is assisting the family with arrangements.