John R. Wheeler, 85 of Warwick, RI passed away peacefully on September 3, 2022, at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was the beloved husband of Carolyn (Downs) Wheeler, son of the late Philip and Gertrude (Reese) Wheeler, brother of the late Edward (Sylvanus) Alger, and predeceased by his granddaughter, Maria Grace Gyra, and great granddaughter, Suzanna Hope DiMasi.
John graduated from LaSalle Academy High School and Providence College. While at PC, he joined the ROTC program and became a lieutenant in the United States Army transportation division. John was an avid Friar men’s basketball fan, a St. Dominic Society member, and participated in several Class of 1960 events, especially the bi-annual luncheons.
John owned and operated two successful businesses – Providence/Springfield Dispatch, Inc. and Providence/Springfield Leasing and Containers. An active member of the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Truck Owner’s Association, and the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Transportation Association, he earned the respect of clients and industry colleagues with his strategic and ethical business practices.
Mr. Wheeler relied on his faith to guide him morally, spiritually, and intellectually. He volunteered with his wife, Carolyn, at Caritas House, Inc. for 29 years, offering guidance to families affected by the disease of addiction. John was a daily communicant at SS Rose and Clement Parish, a member of the Men of St. Joseph, Saturday evening Mass greeter, volunteer church gift processor, and Eucharistic Minister. John provided driving and visiting services to neighbors through the West Bay Community Action Center.
John enjoyed many friendships and the dedication of his family. As an exceptionally kind person, he was frequently called upon for his fellowship and sound wisdom. His humble outreach naturally attracted others to him and he gave of his time and gifts generously. John will be missed.
Besides his wife, Carolyn, John is survived by three daughters, Jeanne Gyra and Jackie Wheeler both of Warwick, RI, and Carolyn Kelly and her husband, Christopher, of Farmington, CT; his seven grandchildren, Dacia Banda and her husband, Brian, Brianne DiMasi and her husband, Samuel, Michaela Chetty and her husband Sanjeeva, John Gyra, Jessica Gilman, Maximilian Gilman, and Regan Kelly; his 10 great grandchildren, Julia, Noah, Jacob, and Olivia Banda, William, Catherine, James, Emma, and Jude DiMasi, Bodhi Chetty; and his sister, Ann Tinaro, as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
His funeral will be held Friday, September 9, 2022 at 9 AM from the Thomas & Walter Quinn Funeral Home, 2435 Warwick Ave, Warwick, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 AM in SS Rose and Clement Church, 111 Long St., Warwick. His burial with military honors will follow in St. Ann Cemetery, Cranston. Visiting hours are Thursday from 4 – 7 PM.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to SS Rose and Clement Parish, the Visiting Nurses Association, and Kent County Hospital.