Leslie Owen Wheeler, 86, of Walbridge passed away Saturday, June 30, 2012 at St. Vincent-Mercy Medical Center. He was born in Winifred, KY on August 21, 1925 to Cecil and Chloie (Stambaugh) Wheeler and attended Flat Gap High School in Flat Gap, KY. He served our country in the U.S. Navy during WWII in the Pacific Theatre and was married on February 9, 1948 to Ina Slone in Paintsville, KY. For over 42 years, Leslie worked for C&O/CSX Railroad as a carman, retiring in 1988.
He was an avid sportsman and self taught musician, playing guitar, mandolin, fiddle and banjo. He played bluegrass music as a member of the L B Siler & Round Mountain Boys, travelling and playing concerts and benefits in several states. He also met and played with his musical hero, the late Bill Monroe. He was a lifelong member of the Paragon Masonic Lodge #788 F. & A.M. in Millbury.
He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Ina; daughter, Debra (Dennis); and sister, Carolyn (Daniel) Sisler of Walbridge along with many nieces, nephews and a host of friends. Leslie was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Vernon Wheeler and sister, Leatrice Anderson.
Friends will be received from 2-8 P.M. on Monday, July 2, 2012 in the Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, 701 N. Main Street, Walbridge (419-666-3121) where a Masonic lodge service will begin at 7:00 P.M. The funeral service will be held in the funeral home at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 with Pastor David McGregor officiating. Burial will follow in Lake Township Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Athens Missionary Baptist Church Building Fund. Condolences may be made directly to the family by visiting www.witzlershankfh.com. The family wishes to extend a special thank you to his nurse, Leisa Cope, LPN, for her loving care and to the Lutheran Home at Toledo.