The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

March 29, 2014

Larry Wheeler remembered for helping kids

ENID, Okla. — Larry D. Wheeler was remembered as a giving man, especially when it came to children.

Wheeler, of Lahoma, was the local coordinator for the Toys for Tots campaign for 30 years. He died Tuesday at age 66.

“He liked the idea of helping kids,” said Craig Bruyn, associate pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Enid, which Wheeler attended. “That’s how he put his faith into action.”

Coordinating the toy campaign was a year-round endeavor, Bruyn said. Wheeler had to attend national meetings, do a lot of planning and coordinate with volunteers. But, the hard work paid off.

“He kept generating more and more donations,” Bruyn said.

Wheeler’s wife, Gail, was a big help with the toy drive, particularly with computer data entry.

“He didn’t like the computer,” Bruyn said.

Kevin Strope, pastor at Temple Baptist, said Wheeler was “a good friend and encourager.”

“He loved all those kids and helping them,” Strope said of Wheeler’s work with  Toys for Tots. “It was a great investment of his time.”

Wheeler also was a trustee at Temple Baptist and did a lot of work around the church.

“He was a trustee and always willing to help out with what needed to be done,” Strope said.

Service for Wheeler will be 2 p.m. today at Temple Baptist Church. Military rites will be conducted by the Marine Corps. Cremation arrangements are by Stittsworth Funeral Service and Cremation Directors.

He was born Aug. 5, 1947, in Enid, and married Gail Jean Long in Enid on May 4, 1986. He worked at Vance Air Force Base as an aircraft mechanic.

In addition to his wife, survivors include his siblings, Robert and Donald Wheeler, Barbara Decorte, Judy Snow, Kathy Thomas and Betty Fuksa.

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