John Randall Wheeler, 76, of Jonesboro, died Sunday, March 20, 2011, at St. Bernards Medical Center in Jonesboro as the result of complications of a fall.
Wheeler was born in Booneville, Miss., Nov. 25, 1934. His family moved to Jonesboro, Ark., when he was six years old. He attended elementary, junior high and high school in Jonesboro, graduating in the Jonesboro High School Class of 1952.
He attended college at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, graduating in 1956 with a degree in business administration. Following a short stint in the army, he joined his father in the family business, Wheeler Brick Co. He worked in the brick industry 43 years, retiring as chief executive officer. He also retired from the Army Reserves as Lt. Colonel.
Wheeler was active in First Baptist Church of Jonesboro as a deacon and former Sunday school worker. He was a church usher for many years and was chairman of the board of deacons in 1987. He was an active worker in the Church Care Center until the week before his death.
Randall served as a justice of the peace on the Craighead County Quorum Court from 1977-1980. He served on the board of directors of the Brick Institute of America and also on the Manufacturing Council of the Brick Industry Association for several years. He was active in the Southwest Section of The American Ceramic Society, and served as the chairman in 2003 and received their Outstanding Service Award in 2004. He was a long-term member of the advisory board of the Salvation Army of Jonesboro and served as chairman in 2002-2004.
Wheeler loved to travel and made church mission trips as well as vacation trips in Central America, Europe, Brazil and Asia. He also was an avid Razorback fan, often joining family members for ball games in Little Rock and Fayetteville. Mr. Wheeler was preceded in death by his parents, Ellis Randall Wheeler and Hurlon Fugitt Wheeler.
Survivors include his wife, Jo Fullerton Wheeler of the home; his step mother, Ernestine Spears Wheeler; two sons: John Randall Wheeler Jr. and wife Jennifer of Jonesboro, and Scott Wheeler and wife Cinnamon of Conway; a brother, Archie Wheeler and wife Cheryl of Branson, Mo.; a half sister, Ellise Esselman and husband Steven of Waxahachie, Texas; a step brother Steve Wheeler of Castlerock, Colorado; a step sister, Sandra McGee and husband Dan of Arlington, Texas. He is also survived by six grandchildren: Matthew Wheeler, Andrew Wheeler, Josh Thornburgh, Savannah Thornburgh, Samantha Wheeler and Brock Wheeler.
(Obituary courtesy of Emerson Funeral Home.)