Funeral services were held on November 25, 2020, at St. Michael’s Church in Grand Forks for Larry Ray Wheeler, 72, of Grand Forks, who went to meet his Father in Heaven on November 18, 2020, at Sanford Hospital in Fargo.
Larry was a beloved son, brother, father, grandfather and friend, born to Lorne and Libbey Wheeler on January 30, 1948, in East Grand Forks, Minn. His family was central to his life. He spent most of his years in North Dakota so that he could be involved in the lives of his children: Wendi Wheeler of Moorhead, Minn., Lucas Wheeler of Langdon, Tracee Finnson of Grand Forks, Megan (Blake) Ritteman of Velva, Jacob (Amanda) Wheeler of Grand Forks and Kari Okoth of Grand Forks. He was the proud grandfather of Mark, Trevor, AJ, Taylor, Brendin, John, Ruby, Libbey, Clare, Thomas, Nathan, Riley, and Everly. He grew up on the family farm in Rolette and returned after completing a program at the Radio and Electronics Institute in Omaha, Neb. There he met Pat (Morrison), and they were married in 1970. His career path was varied, but perhaps one of his most joyful jobs was that of “wrangler” at Crossroads Range near St. John. He cared for more than 20 horses, led trail rides daily, and founded a day-long ride to an overnight campout at the International Peace Gardens. He was happiest in a saddle on his beloved Doc and enjoyed giving sleigh and carriage rides. The sound of his grandchildrens’ laughter warmed Larry’s heart. He loved playing games, telling jokes, and teasing them endlessly. All who knew him witnessed his dedication to the Catholic faith. Larry attended Mass daily and served through the years as a leader in the church. He was involved in Marriage Encounter, Cursillo, TEC (Teens Encounter Christ), and Search. For several years when the family lived in Nekoma, they participated in the performance of the Gospel Theatre Passion play. The most significant aspect of his ministry was evident through music. He regularly sang at nursing homes, senior centers, and community events. Though he could not read music, he was a fast learner and spent many hours practicing and expanding his music collection which spanned decades.
Larry will be singing and dancing in Heaven with his father, sisters Barbara Luebke and Brenda Casavant, and grandchildren whose time in this world was too brief: Tyler, Jordan, Jayden, Lucy and Benjamin.
In addition to his mother, children, and grandchildren, Larry is survived by his wife, Sherli (Bell); and siblings: Alan (Mary) Wheeler, Karen (Monte) Kelly, Denice (Rick) Casavant, Debbie Casavant, Kevin (Marilyn) Wheeler and Joel (Judy) Wheeler. He is also survived and missed by many nieces and nephews and countless friends.
Amundson Funeral Home of Grand Forks was in charge of arrangements.