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1949 Joseph 2019

Joseph Michael Wheatley

April 7, 1949 — August 23, 2019

Joseph Michael Wheatley, 70, passed away August 23 in his home in Marietta, Georgia, after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. His wife, of 47 years, Trudy, and his children were by his side.� Joe was born in Carey, Idaho April 7, 1949, to Bert Moss Wheatley, a dairy farmer, and Rhea Heppler Wheatley. He was the 4th of seven children. Life on the farm was not easy. The early deaths of Rhea and his younger brother Ronald from illness had a profound effect on Joe as a child.� After his father remarried, his blended family settled in Fairview, Idaho. In high school, Joe showed a talent for sports writing and wrote for the Preston Citizen.� In 1968, believing he would soon be drafted into the Vietnam conflict, Joe enlisted with the U.S. Marines. He would later tell his children he chose the Marines because they had the best uniforms. Joe served honorably in Vietnam as a member of Hotel 2/7 (2nd battalion, 7th Marines) and was awarded the Purple Heart for a bullet wound suffered to his left wrist during combat.� After the war, Joe enrolled at Ricks College in Idaho, where he met and quickly fell in love with Trudy Evans, from Orem Utah. They were married in the Provo LDS temple on August 1st, 1972. He transferred to Brigham Young University's ROTC program and upon graduation was commissioned as 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. Joe would serve a long and distinguished career in the Air Force as an logistics and transportation officer - stationed at air bases in Germany, Italy, England, Florida, Maine and Massachusetts and was beloved and admired by his coworkers. He also served in Operation Desert Shield and was a member of the joint task force that provided support for Rwandan refugees during that nation's civil war. He retired from the US Air Force in 2002 as a lieutenant colonel after 30 years of active duty.� In 2006 he went to work as a transportation officer for the US Army, supporting NATO forces in the Netherlands for 10 more years.� At age 30, Joe developed a passion for long-distance running. He would go on to complete 42 marathons all over the world - qualifying for the Boston Marathon seven times. His personal best time was 2:39:34, accomplished at the 1986 Berlin Marathon.� Joe loved working in his garden and was an avid traveler. He was a lifelong, dedicated fan of the Atlanta Braves.� Joe is survived by Trudy, his sons Tyson and Drew, daughter Sascha and son-in-law Matt Dedrick. He has six grandchildren: Tyson, Kaya, Jacinda, Huck, Burke and Joel, and one great grandchild, Benjamin.� Extended family include brothers: Colin, Karl, Keith, Bert and Seth; sisters: Jane, Elaine, Colleen and Mary; and five step brothers and sisters.� A public viewing will be held�at 10 am Thursday August 29�at the LDS church -�3155 Trickum Rd, Marietta, GA�- followed by a celebration of his life�starting at 11 am.� Joe will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.� In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to�https://www.garysinisefoundation.org/�and the Cancer Patients Alliance at�pancreatica.org.
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