Farm Background


Wheeler Clare Wilson

May 25, 1928 ~ January 31, 2019 (age 90)

     Wheeler Clare Wilson age 90, of St. Johns, MI, passed away Thursday, January 31, 2019, at Ashley Care Center, Ashley, MI.

     Funeral Services will be held at Smith Family Funeral Homes - Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, MI, on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 11:00 A.M., with Pastor Kathy Leydorf-Keck officiating.  Burial will be held at Union Home Cemetery, Greenbush Township, MI.  Visitation will be held on Monday, February 4, 2019 from 2-8 P.M. with family present from 2-4 & 6-8 P.M. at the funeral home.

     Wheeler was born in Clinton County, MI on May 25, 1928, the son of Devillo Clare and Nettie (Dobson) Wilson.  As a youngster his family lived with his grandparents James and Alice (Lance) Wilson on a farm in Essex Twp.  When he was in the third grade, they moved to Maple Rapids where he finished his school years graduating from Maple Rapids School with the class of 1946.  He was active in Boy Scouts, sports, playing varsity basketball and baseball with his buddies: Clare Chick, Lyle Chick, Bruce Bancroft, Don Allen, Rodney Abbott, Lyle Forrest, and many others he often mentioned.  Wheeler married his high school sweetheart Shirley Smith on August 2, 1947, at the Maple Rapids Congregational Church parsonage, and they have spent 64 years as a loving team.

     He was always a hard working fellow.  As a young man he hired out as a day worker.  In 1946 he got work at the Clinton County Road Commission, after 5 years there, he started working at Sealed Power in St. Johns, and retired from there after 30 years.  All the while he was selling Real Estate.  Then in 1963, he and Shirley bought an 80 acre farm on Maple Rapids Road.  Never one to be idle, he also served on the Village Council in Maple Rapids, on the Essex Twp. School Board, and the Board of Review.  He served on the Board of Directors of the first Clinton County Credit Union that started at Sealed Power founded by Clare Swanson and Dick Wilson and treasured by Rollie Lowe and Lois Lowe.  He was a Volunteer Firefighter in Maple Rapids and managed a Little League Team.  Wheeler played basketball and baseball on a Sealed Power Team, and managed to get to the north woods to deer hunt almost every year.   He and his boys, Wayne and Steve, and his brother Kenneth have many special memories of days spent tenting in the HUGE family tent at Drummond.  In the summer his “spare” time was usually spent with family, camping and fishing at Brevort Lake in the U.P.

     He is survived by his wife Shirley Wilson of St. Johns, MI; his children: Rhonda and Thomas Rohrer of Alma, MI; Robin Sue Peters of Port Huron, MI; Wayne Alan Wilson of St. Johns, MI;  daughter in law Dawn Wilson of Holland, MI, 9 grandchildren: Kimberly Peters, Hollie (Jason) Stambersky, Jon Cooper, Emily Wilson-Fisher, Molly Peters, Tyler Wilson, Betsy (Kenneth) Schellenberg, Sarah Wilson, and Scott Wilson; 8 great grandchildren; sister Mary Lou and Ivan Smith, brother Kenneth and Donna Wilson, sister Doris Parks, and brother-in-law Ivan Smith.  Wheeler was preceded in death by his parents, son Steven Lane Wilson in 2013, sister Florine (Robert) Miller, and sister Mary Lou Smith

     Memorials may be made to Maple Rapids Fire Dept.  Online condolences can be made at The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes - Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, MI.

Donations may be made to:

Maple Rapids Fire Department
Maple Rapids MI

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