Prominent Elbertonian Dr. Jack Wheeler Passes Away at 95

doctor-wheelerDr. Jack Adrian Wheeler, Sr., 95, of Elberton, finished his course in faith peacefully on Thursday, February 9, 2017, at his home. He was twice married, first to the late Josephine Askew Wheeler and second to Doris Ivy Morris Hyde Wheeler, who survives.

Dr. Wheeler was born on June 13, 1921, in Columbus, Ohio, the son of the late Mildred and Harold Ellwood Wheeler. He was also preceded in death by his first wife, Josephine Askew Wheeler; an infant son, Patrick Lee Wheeler; and step-mother, Eleanor Crane Wheeler.

He served in the US Army during WWII and received four battle stars. After attending the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN, he moved to Elberton, GA where he opened an optometric practice in 1949 and practiced for over 40 years. During this time, he served as president of the Georgia Optometric Association and was named Optometrist of the Year and Optometrist of the Southeast. While living in Elberton, Dr. Wheeler was a servant to the community in many ways. He was a member of the First Baptist Church where he served as a deacon, Sunday school teacher and active committee member. He also participated in mission trips to Grenada and Haiti. He served as president of the Elberton Kiwanis Club, president of the Elbert County Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Fish and Game Conservation Club, eight years as Mayor, and six years as a Representative in the Georgia Legislature. He was very instrumental in developing and building Spring Valley Nursing Home and Petersburg Towers. Because of his love for helping others, he served almost 60 years as a volunteer on the Elberton Salvation Army Board. He was one of the few recipients of both the “Others” award and the General Booth award.

He is survived by his children: Mary Jo Wheeler Dye and her husband Don of Elberton, Bob Ellwood Wheeler and his wife Brenda of Lilburn, and Jack Adrian Wheeler Jr. and his wife Sheila of Anderson, SC; his wife, Doris and her children: Janice Madden and Belinda Thomas and her husband Ronald, all of Elberton. Other survivors include 13 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

Funeral service celebrating his life will be held on Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 3:00 at First Baptist Church of Elberton. Rev. Gary Purvis, Rev. Jack McVeigh and Rev. Virgil Suttles will be officiating. Interment will be in Elberton’s Historic Elmhurst Cemetery.

The family will receive friends in the Sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Elberton on Sunday afternoon from 1:00-2:45p.m. prior to the service.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Elberton Salvation Army, 262 N. McIntosh Street, Elberton GA 30635 or the First Baptist Church Mission Fund, 132 Heard Street, Elberton, GA 30635.

Those wishing may sign the online guestbook at

Berry Funeral Home & Crematory of Elberton is respectfully in charge of arrangements for Dr. Jack Adrian Wheeler, Sr.

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