Lela Wheeler

Obituary of Lela Elizabeth Wheeler

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Lela Elizabeth “Beth” Wheeler August 6, 1935 – May 27, 2023 Beth was born Lela Elizabeth Henley August 6, 1935 in the little town of Mansfield, Arkansas to James Lee “Jim” Henley and Amanda Lounetta “Lou” Henley. She was soon joined by a younger sister, Nylene, July 6, 1938, and a little brother, Hurley Lee, November 4 th 1942. Being the oldest, she became an instant leader and had very little trouble bossing the younger two around. Hard times and depression in Arkansas brought many of the Henley family members to the small desert town of Las Vegas, Nevada where Beth’s dad, Jim, found work in the limestone and sandstone pits out by Sloane and Jean Nevada. As a young girl, Beth and her family spent part of the time on the family farm in Arkansas and part of the time in the Las Vegas desert, living like nomads in tents in the early days. The family traveled back and forth between Las Vegas and the Mansfield family farm until most of the family members had moved to Las Vegas. Beth had a great love for music and began playing the piano for church before she could even read music. During high school Beth was a member of the Las Vegas High School band and worked at the Las Vegas Review Journal after school setting type for a reporter. She graduated from Las Vegas High School in 1953. She attended Pasadena Nazarene College, for a short time, but did not graduate. She came home to Las Vegas and began working at City Hall and for a local back. In January of 1956, Lela Elizabeth “Beth” Henley married Edwin Wallace “Bud” Wheeler at the Church of the Nazarene on 14 th and Ogden in Las Vegas where they had met. They were soon joined by Edwin Wallace Wheeler Jr. October 7 th , 1956, followed by Katherine Nylene Wheeler in November 1957; Carol Elizabeth Wheeler arrived in December 1958, and James Allen Wheeler brought up the rear in December of 1960. Carrying the legacy of faith planted in them from their own parents, Bud and Beth Wheeler established a home where God came first, where love and forgiveness thrived, and where all were welcome. As Bud built up Desert TV and Appliance, Beth built a home filled with music, laughter, order, honesty, discipline, encouragement, security, friendship, trust, and love. She was an amazing cook, a talented musician, an excellent seamstress, an incredible hostess, and a loyal, kind, and compassionate friend. She cooked for summer youth camps and church banquets, led Bible studies, taught Sunday school classes, was the church pianist, led the teen group, directed the choir, took meals to sick or grieving families, invited strangers into her home and made them friends, visited elderly folks, and sang and played the piano at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission. She emulated these gifts of hospitality, music, and service on a daily basis and passed them on to her children and grandchildren. Beth led a life of service and sacrifice her whole life teaching her children to love Jesus and love others. She managed her time well, so that she always had the time to help a friend, or a stranger, in need. She was never one to shrink away from the hard stuff. Bud and Beth were married for almost 62 years, and were wonderful examples of love, commitment, service, loyalty, and faith. Beth was strong and stubborn, determined and fierce. She had a great love for God, her family, her church, her music, her friends, and a strong sense of duty to all. She fought the good fight and finished the race. Beth passed quietly into Heaven late in the evening Saturday, May 27 th , 2023. She no longer sees “a poor reflection as in a mirror,” but can now see Jesus face to face. She was indeed a Proverbs 31 woman. She has earned her reward, and we can say with peace and certainty that she is where she has always lived her life to be, with Jesus. Beth was preceded in death by her husband, Edwin Wallace “Bud” Wheeler, her parents, Jim and Lounetta Henley, her brother, Hurley, and his wife Donna, her brothers-in-law, “Bink” Binkley, and Frank MacDonald. She is survived by her sister, Nylene Binkley/MacDonald, her children, Ed (Charla) Wheeler, Kathy (Gene) Iwami, Carol Wheeler, and James (June) Wheeler, her grandchildren, Chaconne (David) Blastock, Eddie (Robin) Wheeler, Katrina Wheeler, Andrew (Ali) Wheeler, and Jordan (Trina) Iwami. She is also survived by her 10 delightful great- grandchildren, Macy, Judah, Ellie, Asher, Naomi, Mercy, Espyn, Ean, Audrienne, and Isaac (baby Eden is coming soon). Services will be held July 22 nd , 2023 in Ontario, OR at Ontario Church of the Nazarene at 11:00 AM. Condolences may be posted to this website. Donations may be made in Beth’s honor to Love Inc., P.O. Box 87, Ontario, OR 97914, or Extra Mile Student Center, P.O. Box 652, Grandview, WA 98930
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Lela Wheeler

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Lela Wheeler

1935 - 2023

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