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Marion James Wheeler

Marion James Wheeler, 98, passed away January 18, 2011 at the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls. He was born on September 16, 1912 in Montrose, SD to Frank and Mary (McDonnell) Wheeler. Marion attended school and graduated from Montrose High School in 1932. He was an exceptional athlete excelling in both baseball and basketball. He is listed as one of the Top 50 Athletes of South Dakota. He was part of a team that defeated the Harlem Globetrotters. Marion was united in marriage to Isabel Fleming on June 18, 1940 in Montrose. For many years he owned and operated Wheeler Pool Hall. The couple moved to Sioux Falls in 1964. He retired from Avera McKennan in 1982. Marion is survived by a daughter: Rita (Elery “Skip“) Lewis; three grandchildren: Lisa (Kent) Huemoeller, Kathy (Rob) Junker and David (Erin) Lewis; and the light of his life, eight great-granddaughters: Kelli, Terra and Jenna Huemoeller, Taylor, Allison and Lindsey Junker and Paige and Paiten Lewis; one sister: Blanche Ideker, Humboldt, SD; and one brother-in-law: Francis Zimmer, Hartford, SD. He was preceded in death by his wife, a daughter, Nancy, seven infants, five brothers, three sisters and one great-granddaughter. Marion was very proud of his Irish Catholic heritage and home was always Montrose. For the last eight years, he had lived at Covington Heights. His family would like to express their thanks to the staff for their compassionate care. Memorials may be directed to the Sioux Falls Catholic School System. Visitation will be Sunday, 4 PM at Barnett-Lewis Funeral Home with a Scripture Vigil at 7 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will be Monday, 11 AM at St. Michael Church.

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