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AUBURN - James Robert Wheeler, (October 14, 1926 – September 9, 2018) passed away Sunday, in Worcester from complications due to a stroke. Born in Portland, ME, he was the third of four children born to the late Cecil Leroy and Florence F. (Wilkinson) Wheeler. James graduated from Portland High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine. He joined the U.S. Navy at the end of WWII, and was enlisted in Officer Training School, but then was drafted into the U.S. Army to serve overseas during the Korean War.
Returning to Maine, he married Helen Joan Lynch from Thomaston, Maine. They relocated to central Massachusetts, where he was employed by the Worcester Telegram and Gazette. Together, Helen and Jim built a large beautiful home in Upton for their four children, Candace, Thad, Matthew and Penelope. James was an attentive father and good provider for his family. The children grew up as members of the Unitarian Universalist Church.
During the 20 years of his first marriage, Mr. Wheeler worked through many positions at the Worcester Telegram and Gazette; reporter, columnist, editorialist, and ascending to be managing editor.
After his divorce to Helen, he travelled to the West Coast and San Francisco area where he pursued interests in sailing, calligraphy and writing of poetry. He relocated to Mattapoisett, Massachusetts where he met his third wife, Nancy, both originally from Maine. Together they relocated to Kennebunkport area where they lived happily until ill health.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy (Howe) Wheeler of Auburn; four children, Dr. Candace Wheeler of Hollywood, FL, Thad Wheeler and his wife Francesca Vasasco of New York City, Matthew Wheeler of Central America, and Penelope Wheeler of Blue Hill, ME, his brother, Cecil Wheeler of Auburn, ME, five nieces, one nephew, two stepdaughters, Pamela Ethridge of Burrillville, RI, and Kim Sterczala of Charlton; two grandchildren, Jovian James and Nedra; one great-grandson, Bodhi; and six step grandchildren.
Services are private. Paradis-Givner Funeral Home in Oxford is directing the arrangements.
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