Friends of Eva Lee Wheeler invite the community to celebrate her 99th birthday April 16. Celebrate and visit with her from 2 to 4 p.m. in the fellowship hall of United Methodist Church, 611 Maple Ave., Oakley.
If you cannot join us for the celebration, shower her with cards using the church address.
She was born April 16, 1917, in Norton to Walter and Elizabeth Peterson. She was the middle child in a family of six children, having four sisters and a brother. At birth, her dad, Walter, worked at the local lumber yard. During her toddler years, Walter’s job moved the family to Rexford to open a new lumber yard in that area. In approximately 1923, she started kindergarten in the town of Rexford. Two years later, the Peterson family was moved lock, stock and barrel to Hoxie where another lumber yard was opened.
She began second grade at Hoxie Elementary and remained in school there until her high school graduation in 1935. She was one of 50 students to graduate that year. She was very involved in the school’s musical activities during her high school years and was privileged to travel to Oberlin with “The Ladies Quartet” to provide entertainment over the local radio station. Following high school graduation, the family was again was moved with her dad’s job to Oakley, and she has made her home in Oakley during these past years.
Eva Lee married Melvin Eugene Wheeler, a native of Oakley, on Oct. 30, 1937. They were blessed with a son, Michael “Mickey” Lee Wheeler; five grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters.
They soon became aware the local florists, Higgison’s, wanted to sell their shop in Oakley; they inquired about it and realized they were interested in obtaining and operating the shop. They also realized the need for them to go to Denver to school before they could take over the business. Thus, their life adventure began as a newly married couple and off they went.
Through the years, she joined Mel in several business ventures in the Oakley area including: the florist shop, a grocery store, and a furniture store, a flooring business and a real estate business. He also horse traded cars through the years. She commented once she didn’t know from day to day when she might be moving to a new location or maybe driving a different car.
She was hired as librarian of Oakley Public Library in 1980 and remained as such for 10 years. She was a member of the Centennial Steering Committee that was instrumental in overseeing the organization and publications of the Logan County Historical book in 1987. She also served as Welcome Wagon hostess for approximately one and a half years.
Her hobbies included painting, reading, genealogy, playing cards, sewing, crocheting, knitting, scrap booking and collecting many friends. She is a member of Daughters of the American Revolution, a charter member in the Century Club, the Oakley Country Club, Rebecca’s Girls Club, local card clubs, United Methodist Women, and the United Methodist Church of Oakley.