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John's Story

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COOPERSTOWN _ John V. Wheeler, a longtime and well-known resident of the Village of Cooperstown died Thursday, April 28, 2011, at Otsego Manor, following a brief illness.
He was 89.
Born May 2, 1921, in Rossville on Staten Island, John attended schools on Staten Island and graduated from high school  in Brooklyn. After graduationhe worked at Floyd Bennett Airport preparing aircraft for transport overseas. In late 1939, he moved to Litchfield, and began work at Remington Arms.
He entered the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942, and served, among other places, on Siapan and Iwo Jima in the South Pacific. Following the war he moved to Cooperstown in 1946.
He married Cooperstown native Libby Clancy on Oct. 24, 1948, at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church. John worked for Al Welch at his auto dealership for 15 years, at the Bowl-a-Rama for four years and thereafter as a maintenance supervisor at NYSHA for over 20 years. He was an involved member of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, a member of the Cooperstown Native Sons, a 33 year “active” member of the Cooperstown Fire Department where he served as the foreman of Engine Co. No. 2 and as a Captain of the Fire Police. He was also a Charter member of Walter P. Eggleston VFW Post No. 7128 in Cooperstown, a Past Commander of the Post and a former president of the Cooperstown VFW Club.
In addition to his employment and community service, John enjoyed vegetable gardening, watching sports, “people watching,” cooking and traveling with Libby. But, as he often said, his greatest enjoyment came from spending time with his extended family and he took great pride in the accomplishments of his many nieces and nephews.
John was predeceased by his beloved wife on May 22, 2005; and by his four sisters, Patricia Rathbone, Joan Brown, Madline Schwab and Nancy Van Alstine. He is survived by a number of nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be celebrated at St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Roman Catholic Church in Cooperstown at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 7, 2011, with Father John P. Rosson, rector, officiating.The family will be present to receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 6, at the Tillapaugh Funeral Home, 28 Pioneer St., Cooperstown.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests, that those who so desire make contributions in  John’s memory to the CooperstownFire Department, P.O. Box 1, Cooperstown, NY 13326 or to Otsego Manor “Patient’s Activity Fund,” c/o Otsego Manor, 128 Phoenix Mills Cross Road, Cooperstown, NY 13326.
Arrangements are under the supervision of Tillapaugh Funeral Service, Cooperstown.
Published on  May 5, 2011
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