Vernon- John E. Wheelden, Sr, 87, died Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at his home in Vernon, Vermont.
John was born in Brattleboro, Vermont on June 1,1925, the son of Stuart and Josephine (Garrity)
Wheelden, Sr. And attended school at St. Michael's Catholic School. John was lovingly known to
friend and family as Probie or Wheely.
In 1942, at age 17, John joined The Merchant Marine. After leaving The Merchant Marine he
enlisted in The U.S Army on May 27,1944 and was a member of Company F, 10th Infantry Regiment.
During his service he received several medal and ribbons, including a Purple Heart (January
1945), and was honorably discharged on May 9,1946. He continued his military service as a member
of the Army National Guard until he retired in 1985.
John joined the Brattleboro Fire Department in 1946 holding the position of fire fighter, Lieutenant,
Fire Inspector and Captain before being promoted to Assistant Fire Chief in March 1985. He retired
from career staff in 1987, but remained active with the fire department as a member of the Call
Force until 2009. John was also a member of the Volunteer Departments in Vernon and Wilmington
, Vermont and the Zephyrhills, Florida Fire Department. John also served as a member of the
Brattleboro Police Department. He was elected as Brattleboro 1st Constable in 1958 and served his
last term in 2001.
He married Patricia (Knapp) Wheelden on February 19,1972 in Brattleboro, Vermont.
John is survived by his two sons, Stuart Wheelden III and his wife Bernita of Hinsdale, NH, John
Wheelden, Jr of Vernon, his two daughters, Joanne Plansker and her husband Richard of Hinsdale,
NH, Carol Ann Moore and her husband Ed of Dummerston, VT and a step daughter Mary Snyder
and her husband Ken of Enfield Connecticut. John also leaves 11 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren
and 3 great, great grandchildren. He is also survived by two sisters, Katherine "Tuppy" Snead
of Waynesboro, VA and Mary Ann Wood of Brattleboro, VT and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
For many years John and Patricia enjoyed spending their winters at their home in Zephyhills, Florida
where he leaves a large extended family of friends.
John was predeceased by his wife, Patricia in 2008, his parents, a brother Stuart Wheelden, Jr, a
sister, Margaret " Betty" Behilo, and a grand daughter Heidi Wheelden.
In addition to being a loving and loyal husband, father, grandfather and mentor John was an active,
lifetime member of the Elk's, VFW, American Legion, and Eagles Club. John's free time was spent
with friends and family enjoying travel, time at his camp in Wilmington, VT, hunting, fishing, walking
and bird watching.
FUNERAL NOTICE: Arrangements are being handled by Ker-Westerlund Funeral Home in Brattleboro,
Vermont, where calling hours will be Friday, December 14 from 2pm to 4pm and 6pm to 8pm.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, December 15 at 12pm at St Michael's Catholic Church in Brattleboro,
Vermont with a grave side service and burial to follow at Morningside Cemetery. Friends
and family are invited to attend a celebration of John's life after the services to be held at the Elk's in
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Brattleboro Fire Department Benefit
Association or the Vernon Fire Association, Inc.