Gerald L. Wheatley
Gerald Wheatley, 82, of Massena, Iowa, passed away Thursday, September 21, 2017 at Atlantic Specialty Care.
Gerald Lester Wheatley was born on September 12, 1935, in Atlantic, Iowa, the son of Lester and Mildred (Petersen) Wheatley. He attended rural school near Marne and high school in Atlantic. After his schooling, he helped on the family farm, operated heavy machinery, and drove a scraper during the construction of Interstate 80.
On November 22, 1953, he was united in marriage to Colleen Guttenfelder. They made their home north of the Wheatley home place. Three children were born to this union, Steve, Rick and Jody. Gerald had a knack for creating and building. He made playground equipment out of discarded implements for his children. He put together a hotrod garden tractor that was very competitive in tractor pulls. In 1966, the family moved to a farm southwest of Cumberland, where they raised corn, beans, hay, cattle, hogs, and milk cows. In 1972, Gerald started Wheatley Manufacturing where he designed, built and sold hay equipment. In 1974, he constructed a new building south of Cumberland on Highway N28. He moved his family to this location, quit farming, and devoted all his time to expanding the business.
Following his marriage to Sally Harrison, they moved to Omaha for a short time and later made their home in Massena. He continued to operate Wheatley Manufacturing out of Massena until his retirement.
Gerald and Sally loved to travel to state and county fairs selling equipment for his company. He never met a stranger, always striking up a conversation with those around him. Gerald looked forward to getting together with friends at the Hayloft in Grant for chicken and fish. He took an interest in old tractors, and had a large collection of antique and toy tractors. He and Sally took their bull slide to many celebrations.
Gerald is survived by his wife, Sally Wheatley of Omaha, NE; sons, Steve Wheatley of Clarinda, Iowa, and Rick (Peg) Wheatley of Massena, Iowa; daughter, Jody (Frank) Young of Avoca, Iowa; five step-children; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; sisters, Juda (Rich) Saemisch of Perry, Iowa, Jone (significant other, Dick) Lay of Denver, Colorado, Jolene Allen of Cambridge, llinois; step-mother, Elleen Wheatley of Marne, Iowa; sister-in-law, Donna Wheatley of Atlantic, Iowa; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Lester and Mildred Wheatley; brothers, Wayne Wheatley and Jerry Wheatley; and brothers-in-law, Clay Allen and Larry Lay.
Open visitation will be held Tuesday, September 26, from 8:00 a.m. until time of family visitation at Roland Funeral Home. Visitation with the family to Celebrate Gerald’s Life will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 26, 2017, at Roland Funeral Home. A prayer service will be held at 6:45 p.m., Tuesday.
A private family burial will be held at a later date in the Brighton Township Cemetery, northeast of Marne, Iowa.
Roland Funeral Service is caring for Gerald's family and his arrangements. Condolences may be left at www.rolandfuneralservice.com.
Gerald L. Wheatley
September 12, 1935 - Atlantic, Iowa
September 21, 2017 - Atlantic, Iowa
At the age of
82 Years & 9 Days
6:45 p.m., Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Roland Funeral Home
“I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me
At a later date
Brighton Township Cemetery
Northeast of Marne, Iowa