Gary L. Wheeler, 76, of Libby, died on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 at Brendan House in Kalispell after suffering a traumatic brain injury in September while feeding cattle on the family farm. He was born Oct. 19, 1941 in Council, Idaho to LeRoy and Freida Wheeler. His parents moved to Washington state within a few months of birth. He was raised on farms where he developed a love of farming and animals. Gary graduated from high school in Waitsburg, Washington in 1961.
Gary entered the U.S. Army on Feb. 4, 1964 and served five months until being honorably discharged. He then served in the Reserves. Gary moved to Libby in 1962 to work for C&L Plumbing and became a journeyman pipe fitter plumber and worked construction until he retired in 2002. During his 40-plus-year work career he worked such jobs as Libby Dam, Kalispell Regional Hospital and Stone Container in Missoula. He was a proud Union plumber/member of local 459.
Gary married Kathy on Oct. 22, 1966 in Libby. They raised two children in Libby on the family farm where they raised livestock and Christmas trees. Gary was an active member with Jason and Jennifer in 4-H.
Survivors include his wife Kathy Wheeler of 51 years; son Jason and wife (Brandee), and daughter Jennifer McFarlane and husband (Duncan); grandchildren Samantha and Alexcia Wheeler; a sister Gail Harshman (Jerry); and numerous nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017 at the Schnackenberg & Nelson Funeral Home Chapel in Libby. A reception at the VFW will be held following graveside services.
Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.schnackenbergfh.com.