Date of Birth: March 09, 1953
Date of Death: March 18, 2019
Donald Wheelen entered this world on March 9, 1953 in McPherson, Kansas to Sam and Darlene Wheelen. As a young boy he often worked with relatives on their farms. Forming the opinion this would not be his grown up job. In his junior high years his parents opened “Sam’s Cafe” working alongside his family in their restaurant. After graduating high school in 1971 he drove to Arizona with a few hundred bucks in his pocket to develop skills as a carpenter. Don worked hard and knew that development and achievements would come from his teachers as well as those in the field. Within 5 years he was a Journeyman in the Carpenters Union. He quickly moved up the ranks in his field leading his own crews within 2 years. He had many accomplishments in his career, but a signature project that he spoke of often was the Phoenix Marriott Resort, Tempe at The Buttes. In his early thirties, he was the youngest superintendent on the job – Don was the “go to” guy and problem solver. He believed one could learn something on a job everyday if you wanted to. Even then, so early in his career he was highly respected in his craft and that never changed. He’d often say, “Safety of the men, Profits for the employer and Satisfaction for the owners.” Year after year Don was recognized and rewarded for his safety record, work ethics and skills until his retirement in January 2016. Don met and married his wife, Sharon in 1980 and they would go on to raise 3 sons, Timothy, Matthew and Brandon. Watching them grow and bring 3 granddaughters and 1 grandson into the family made him quite proud. As they have grown he now has 2 great granddaughters. For Don it was always a joy when they came to spend the night or go to the theater to watch a movie. He cherished being a grandfather and even an uncle. He felt blessed for having the family that he did. Don was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin and friend. He always will be remembered and loved by the things he was to so many others.
Palmcroft Church 15825 N. 35th Avenue Phoenix 85053 South side parking lot In the Brick House building
In lieu of cards and flowers the family request donations be made to: The Family Ministries in care of, Visionary Blind Support Group 700 E. 7St suite 250 Phoenix, Arizona 85034 Thank you for your thoughtfulness. The Wheelen’s