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Norman "Gene" Wheeler

January 21, 1943 July 28, 2022
Norman "Gene" Wheeler
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Obituary for Norman "Gene" Wheeler

Norman “Gene” Wheeler, Sr., age 79, of Knox, IN passed away at VNA Hospice in Valparaiso, IN on Thursday, July 28, 2022, following a brief illness.

Gene was born on Thursday, January 21, 1943, in LaPorte, IN to the late William and Loretta (Sohne) Wheeler Sr.
On April 30, 1985, in Honolulu, HI, he married the love of his life, Mary Ann Sinn.
Gene graduated from Knox High School in 1962. In 1992, after 30 years of employment, he retired from Ford Motor Company in Chicago Heights, IL. He was proud to have worked 30 years and be retired for 30 years.
After retirement, he traveled all over the U.S. with his wife of 35 years, embarking on many adventures. They spent 3 months of the year over 17 years in Mesa, Arizona.

Through the years, in his free time, he enjoyed watching Notre Dame Football, going to NHRA races, woodworking, and keeping his yard in pristine shape. He completed many award-winning and captivating intarsia woodwork pieces. He really enjoyed sitting outside with Mary Ann and visiting with his friends in the neighborhood. He also attended many car shows, winning numerous awards with his 1923 T-bucket.

Gene is survived by his beloved wife, children, grandchildren, and close friends.

Daughter, Joann Heim (Barry) of The Villages, FL along with their sons Jordan Heim (Sydney) of Nashville, TN, and Carsen Heim (Livvy) of Philadelphia, PA

Stepdaughter, Lora Clemons (Lenner) of Bourbon, IN along with their sons Joshua Clemons of Bourbon, IN, Cody Clemons of Chicago, IL, and Christopher Clemons of Florida.

Stepson, Ed Sparks (Pam) of Walkerton, IN along with their children Jessie Sparks (Amy) of Bremen, IN and their children (Landon, Riley, Braden, Mollie, Levi, and Mason) and Tony Sparks (Christie) of Knox, IN and their children (Anthony (Lydia) and Autumn)

Stepson, Dexter Sparks (Chris) of North Judson, IN along with their children, Dexter “Ray” Sparks, Jr. (Chelsi) of Rocester, IN and their children (Serenity and Aspen), and Cassandra Sparks of Etna Green, IN and her children (Brooklynn, Leland and Chaslynn)

Granddaughter, Angie Sparks of New Haven, IN along with her children, Justice and Bella both of New Haven, IN as well as Syrina Howell (Tyler) of Howe, IN and their children (Adalina and Alister)
Grandson, Ryan Sparks of Seattle, WA, and his son Orion.

Gene is survived by his brother William Wheeler, Jr. (Donna) of Knox, IN, and their family. He is also survived by brothers-in-law, Glenn Sinn, Ralph Sinn, and Don Sinn (Sandy), and sisters-in-law, June Golding, Hazel Berg, Rachel Dowd, Evelyn Arnett, and Edna Bailey.

He is preceded in death by his parents, his daughter Kathy Lynn Wheeler, stepson Rodney Sparks, and a great-great-grandson Gatlin Sparks. As well as many brothers and sisters-in-law.

Visitation will be Tuesday, August 2, 2022 from 5-8pm (CT) at M.C. Smith Funeral Home. Funeral services will be Wednesday, August 3, 2022 at 11am (CT) at M.C. Smith Funeral Home. Interment will follow at Fletcher Cemetery in Hamlet

To send flowers or plant a tree in memory of Norman "Gene" Wheeler, visit the Tribute Store.

Previous Events





5:00 PM 8/2/2022 5:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 8/2/2022 8:00:00 PM
MC Smith Funeral Home

153 E. Washington St
Knox, IN 46534

MC Smith Funeral Home
153 E. Washington St Knox 46534 IN
United States





11:00 AM 8/3/2022 11:00:00 AM - 12:00 PM 8/3/2022 12:00:00 PM
MC Smith Funeral Home

153 E. Washington St
Knox, IN 46534

MC Smith Funeral Home
153 E. Washington St Knox 46534 IN
United States

Cemetery Details


Fletcher Cemetery Final Resting Place

4020 N. 700 E.
Hamlet, IN 46532

4020 N. 700 E. Hamlet 46532 IN
United States

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