Funeral service for Odis R. Wheeler, 85, formerly of Nacogdoches, will be held at 2:00pm on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at Fredonia Hill Baptist Church with Bro. Kendall McDonald officiating. Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery.
Mr. Wheeler was born on October 24, 1933 and passed away on Friday, October 4, 2019 in White Hall, Maryland where he had recently moved to be close to his family.
Odis was born and raised in his beloved Nacogdoches. He graduated from Nacogdoches High School in 1952 and then enrolled at Stephen F. Austin State University, where he attained his BA in Business Accounting. He joined the United States Navy and honorably served his country for 2 years at the War College in Rhode Island and then continued in the Navy Reserves for 20 additional years. Odis worked for Gulf Oil, now known as Chevron for over 30 years. After retirement, and because he was not one to sit still for very long, Odis worked for H&R Block for many years and thoroughly enjoyed the entire decade he spent as a volunteer at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital with his wife.
In 1959, he met a lovely young lady in Beaumont, and he and Ethel Gietzen were united in marriage on November 26, 1959. Odis spent the past 60 years making lasting memories with his soulmate and best friend. Their love was one of completeness and was admired by all who knew them. They lived their lives, just as they loved: truthfully and whole-heartedly. Odis valued his family and faith above all else. He loved his children and grandchildren, but most importantly, he was completely devoted to Christ. He and Ethel worked side by side serving in their church. In 1994, they moved to Nacogdoches and joined Fredonia Hill Baptist Church where he was baptized in his early years (1946). He was a Deacon at FHBC and he and Ethel served in college ministry, widow’s ministry and the church library. They were best known for their “coffee ministry”, as they loved to make sure the folks at FHBC had their coffee ready every Sunday morning and was so happy to be left responsible for making that happen. Their valiant service to Christ and their church was unwavering.
Odis had an adventurous spirit and enjoyed many camping trips with his young family. During his younger years in Concord, CA, he would often go exploring, hiking, traveling and biking. For 6 years, he also participated in the 150-mile bike ride through Napa Valley, benefiting The American Heart Association. He also organized this event for Chevron for 4 years, which earned him numerous awards for his service to AHA.
Odis had a special quote that he used most often when referring to his life. He would say he lived for making “precious memories” which included those made with his wife, 3 daughters, their husbands, and a total of 9 grandchildren as well as extended family and church family.
Odis is survived by his loving wife, Ethel Gietzen Wheeler of White Hall, MD; daughters, Kelly Hall and husband, Lee of Mesa, AZ, Suzy Lewis and husband, Rob of White Hall, MD and Paula McFarland and husband, Hugh of New Caney; grandchildren, Kayla Hall of Mesa, Az, David Hall and wife, Danielle of Denver, CO, Jenna Hall of Mesa, AZ, Megan Hall of Mesa, AZ, Weston Lewis of White Hall, MD, Jessica Lewis of White Hall, MD, Leah Lewis of Ellensburg, WA, Austin McFarland of New Caney, and Parker McFarland of New Caney; siblings, Murl Banks of Houston, Wayne Wheeler of Buna, Verleen Veale and husband, Tom of Woodboro, TX and Ray Wheeler and wife, JoAnn of Houston.
The Wheeler family is being served by Laird Funeral Home. To convey condolences or to sign an online register, please visit www.lairdfh.net.