Alice “Peach” (Douglas) Wheeler, 98, of Shelbyville passed away Monday, January 11, 2021, at Walker Place in Shelbyville.
She was born January 8, 1923, in Geneva, the daughter of Maurice and Vera (Hobart) Douglas. On March 19, 1944, she married Thomas J. Wheeler, and he preceded her in death on January 16, 2005.
Alice is survived by her sons, Jim Wheeler and wife, Linda, of Noblesville; Mike Wheeler and wife, Lynn, of Shelbyville; Ed Wheeler and wife, Susan, of Morgantown; Tom Wheeler and wife, Janet, of Shelbyville; David Wheeler and wife, Liz, of Shelbyville; daughter, Terri Nigh and husband, Kevin, of Shelbyville; brothers: Edwin, John, Robert (Bob); and Jim; sisters: Catherine Ferguson, and Margaret Haehl, all of who were waiting to greet her in heaven when she arrived. Her grandchildren: Christy Mooney, Doug Wheeler, Scott Wheeler, Celia Stephens, Emily Lefebvre, Byron Wheeler, Curt Wheeler, Kelly Chesebrough, Erin MacDonald, Amy Haehl, Lori Meyer, Jennifer Muldoon, and Sarah Dean; and 25 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Also waiting to greet her in heaven were her grand-daughter Kelly Chesebrough and her great-grandson Brody Stephens.
Alice graduated in 1940 from Waldron High School, and attended Indiana University, where she wanted to study nursing, but was only 17 years old and you couldn’t enroll in Nursing until you were 18. Then the United States became involved in WWII, and Mom along with everyone else, changed their plans. She quit school and went to work in the war effort in Indianapolis.
We want you to know a little bit about our Mother. She was the sweetest…most positive person who never complained…ever…even when she had a right to. In the Geneva area she is known as “Peach” to this day. It was fun to see her neighbors move into her retirement home and greet her with “There’s Peach”! When she was a little girl, we have been told that little “Peach” would recite poetry from the counter top in the grocery store in Geneva for a nickel from her audience, and then buy a pop or a piece of candy with it. She so loved Geneva and remembered that her family was the first in the area to get an automobile and said the neighbor’s horses didn’t like it one bit. Her father Maurice, needed it for the many speaking engagements he had in the area as a State Senator and Representative and founding member of the Indiana Farm Bureau. Mom was his driver once his health started to fail and took him where he needed to go. He practiced his speeches to her on the way and she said she knew his speeches by heart because she had heard them so… many… times. She was also an accomplished seamstress winning both the Shelby County and State Dress Revues when she was 16. As an adult, she and dad worked hard and didn’t have much themselves, instead sacrificing to support us six kids and provide us with the best childhood anyone could ever want. Their neighborhood pool was where many kids learned to swim over the years and they always welcomed them, no matter how many came or how tired they were. Their garden supplied strawberries to neighbors for miles around each summer as well. She also loved her own siblings, especially her sister Margaret whom she was especially close to. If you never had the opportunity to hear the two of them carry on a conversation, then you really missed it. They could talk for hours and 100 miles a minute about anything, but most often their combined 10 boy’s shenanigans!
Most importantly, we want her Walker Place family of care-givers to know how much they meant to her and her family. You were the last ones she saw when she went to bed each night and the first to smile at her every morning for the last three years. We are forever grateful for the loving care you showed her.
Finally, in looking through her Bible, where she and dad carefully stowed many things near and dear to their hearts over the years, we found the following newspaper clipping. Brown with age, they must have found it very meaningful, to continue to hold onto it in their increasingly overstuffed Bible…. We hope you see the meaningfulness too, especially today. It reads: Tolerance “The most lovable quality anyone can possess is tolerance. It is the vision that enables one to see things from another’s viewpoint. It is the generosity that concedes to others the right to their opinions and their own peculiarities. It is the bigness that enables us to let people be happy in their own way….instead of ours.” Author unknown
Private graveside services will be conducted at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Cemetery in Shelbyville, where Alice was a member, with Father Paul Landwerlen officiating.
A Celebration of Alice’s life will be held at a later date. Stay well until then.
Services have been entrusted to Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, 819 S. Harrison St. in Shelbyville.
In honor of her granddaughter, Kelly and great-grandson, Brody, memorial contributions may be made to the Cancer Association of Shelby County, PO Box 844, Shelbyville, Indiana 46176.
Online condolences may be shared with Alice’s family at www.freemanfamilyfuneralhomes.com.