Norvel Earl Wheatley


Norvel Earl Wheatley, who passed on Thursday, March 2, 2017, was born to John and Gladys Wheatley in Franklin Township, Marion County, on July 24, but the doctor did not file the birth certificate until July 27, 1932.

Until he got older, Norvel always cajoled people into giving him two gifts for his two birthdays.

In his youth, he was quite the “man about town,” delivering newspapers in his Crosley and playing four sports for the Beech Grove High School Hornets. After graduating from high school in 1951, he married Margaret Gray and they began their journey together.

As a father, Norvel was an excellent role model. He showed his children how to be a great parent. He was a loving husband to Margaret for 65 years, teaming up with her to raise children, travel and create beautiful woodworking projects.

As a provider, he was a highly successful salesman for Sears where he made taking care of his customers a top priority. He also worked with his one brother, Lloyd, at a bicycle/lawn mower repair shop that they owned.

He was always there for his kids, playing with them, teaching them, coaching them, volunteering for them and being their ultimate fan. Setting an example for enjoying life, Norvel shared with his children his competitive spirit and a wide variety of passions and skills.

He enjoyed camping, fishing, visiting garage sales, and collecting old cars, most notably a ’38 Chevy sedan and 1930 Model A Coupe.

He played an excellent game of golf, reveling many times in being on the winning foursome.

He was also an example to his children with his service to others as a Mason for over 60 years, as a volunteer for many a fund raiser, as a volunteer at the Colt’s games and as a worker for Franklin Community High School football.

Norvel went on to be the ultimate role model as a grandfather. “Poppy” ushered in seven grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, showing them what the best grandfather could be. He was always doting, teasing, cuddling, often napping with a baby in his lap. He was an avid fan of all of their activities, from grandparent’s days to musical programs, to sports and birthdays.

Norvel is lovingly survived by his wife Margaret; their three children, Steven Wheatley (Lyn), Cheryl Fisher (Mike) and Kevin Wheatley (Becky); his grandchildren, Matt Wheatley (Amy), Jake Wheatley (Liz), Heather Neuner (Mike), Nick Fisher (Abby), Abby Maddox (Nick) Ross Wheatley (Natalie) and Jordan Curry (Matt); and his 12 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in passing by his parents, John and Gladys.

The Rev. Evie Stroud will conduct a celebration of life service at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Flinn and Maguire Funeral Home, 2898 N. Morton St. (U.S. 31 North) in Franklin with calling for friends and family from 4 p.m. until the service time on Wednesday at the funeral home. A Masonic Service will be held on Wednesday by the Beech Grove Masonic Lodge No. 694, F & A M. prior to the service.

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