Richard P. ‘’Rich’’ Wheeler, 59, of Dundee, passed away Friday, August 21, 2015 surrounded by his loving family at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital, in Penn Yan.
Friends are invited to calling hours from 1-3 and 5–8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27 at the Baird Funeral Home, 36 Water St., Dundee. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 28 at Assembly of God Church, 50 Reed St, Geneva, with Pastor Chris Pilet officiating. Burial to follow will be private in Hillside Cemetery, Dundee.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Dundee Fire Company or Emergency Squad, 12 Union St., Dundee, N.Y. 14837; or to Ontario-Yates County Hospice Assoc., 756 Pre-Emption Rd., Geneva, N.Y. 14456.
Rich was born July 20, 1956 in Auburn, the son of the late Paul C. and Gladys E. Engvall Wheeler. He graduated from Dundee Central School in 1974. On March 26, 1977 in the Dundee Presbyterian Church, he married the former Linda J. Cooper.
He was employed by WFLR Radio before entering the Insurance Business, managing the Elliott Insurance Agency in Dundee, and the Beaumont & Stork Insurance Agency in Hammondsport for many years, before founding R. P. Wheeler Ins. Agency, in Geneva.
Mr. Wheeler was a very active and prominent member of the community. He was always looking for ways to make the world a better place to live and grow. His faith was strong, and he loved bringing God into people’s lives which he showed by being very active in his church as a Founding Member, Deacon, and Pianist for the Living Hope Baptist Church in Geneva. He was instrumental in creating the A.W.A.N.A. Club at the Faith Baptist Church in Dundee. He had also been active in the community as a former member of the Dundee Fire Department and Emergency Squad, he also assisted in starting the first credit union in Dundee, known as the Keuka-Seneca Federal Credit Union. He was the 50th President of the Dundee Rotary Club, and had been involved in countless Rotary Shows over the years. He also had lots of pride in his country, by supporting local government as a former Yates County Republican Chairman, and being the delegate at the 1996 Republican National Convention in San Diego, Calif.
Rich was a true people person. He loved to entertain as he did so many times as the leader of his band Rich Wheeler and Company, his love of music will always be remembered. He loved boating and frequenting coffee shops and diners, often volunteering his time and services. He enjoyed reading, especially the Bible, and shared his passion by giving numerous copies of John MacArthur Study Bibles to fellow Christians.
He is loved by all, but will be very missed by his wife of 38 years Linda J. Wheeler at home; two daughters, Christina M. (Benjamin T.) Thorp and Laura J. (Todd) Niver; and four granddaughters, Kelsey Thorp, twins Madison & Jenna Thorp, and Lyla Niver, all of Dundee; his brother, James E. Wheeler also of Dundee; and sister, Deborah E. (Frank) McMullen of Rochester; along with numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins, and countless friends.
Online condolences can be sent by visiting www.bairdfuneralhomedundee.com.