A Visitation for the Celebration of Life of Linda Wheeler, age 52 of Lenox who passed away Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at the Corning Hospital were held Monday, August 2, 2021 at the Lenox Community Center with the family greeting friends from 5 to 7 PM. The family asks that in honor of Linda, donations be made to the Linda Beck Wheeler Memorial or to the Taylor County 4-H foundation. Memories may be shared at www.ritchiefuneralhome.com. Arrangements were entrusted to the Ritchie Funeral Home of Lenox where we ‘Celebrate Life’.
Linda Sue (Beck) Wheeler was born on September 5, 1968 to Marilyn and James (Jim) Beck. Linda was raised east of Lenox on the Beck farm and attended grades K-12 at the Lenox Community Schools.
While attending school, Linda was oftentimes an ornery and rebellious child. She was known for going against her mothers’ wishes, such as when she would ride her moped from Lenox to Red Oak to visit friends knowing her mother’s strict rule was “no mopeds on the main highways.” Since she thought her mother was so strict, Linda would often ask a friend’s mom to forge notes to get her out of school. Linda carried this sass and ornery behavior into adulthood where she was known for her personality of quick wit and sarcasm. She was never one to shy away from a good eye-roll, sticking her tongue out, or using her favorite phrase, “bite me!” Stranger or old friend, Linda was never afraid to show her personality.
Linda was very active in many activities throughout her life, which she later shared with her four children.
Linda was a member of the Platte Peppy Pals 4-H club for 10 years in her youth. She enjoyed showing her rabbits and her woodworking projects. Linda also attended a 4-H leadership trip to Washington DC, many 4-H camp adventures, and in her final years of 4-H, becoming a camp counselor to younger members. Once her time as a 4-H member came to an end, she continued to pour her love of the activity into the club that her children were members of, The Washington Winners. She was a club leader from 2002 to 2015. She was given one of the highest honors of 4-H when she was inducted into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame on August 23, 2015 at the Iowa State Fair.
Her love for music came from generations before her. She played the flute in band, the saxophone in jazz band, sang in the choir, and played the piano with lessons from her Grandmother, Lola Vogel. She shared her passion for music with her children and loved nothing more than listening to them sing together and individually. Linda always had music playing in the background and loved to get her groove on when provided with the chance.
In the fall of 1986, Linda was crowned Fall Homecoming Queen of Lenox High School. She then graduated from Lenox in 1987. Eager to leave the home and parental supervision, she then attended Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri. She would admit that she was not a great student, since she was often focused on the extracurriculars that college offered.
Linda married in 1990 and moved to Gravity, IA. This is where she began her most cherished role as a mother to Tiana Lee, Kelsey Amanda, Audrey Lyn, and Devon James. She devoted her years to raising her kids. She followed them to many sporting events over the years and got fairly good at keeping the van stocked with food and drinks. Raising four children, she was a frugal woman and very rarely indulged in new things for herself. She was very selfless, but she also never passed up a good new pair of shoes.
She never needed much for new clothing, since she wore the same rotation of Barker Implement shirts and polos from 1996 to 2013. Linda worked for Barker Implement at their Lenox and Clarinda locations and made many friends over the years. You won’t find a farmer in the Taylor or Page County area that doesn’t remember the office lady at Barkers from her 17 years of service.
Linda was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in March of 2006. A quote that she lived by was, ‘I define who I am. MS is just a bully I beat every morning when I get out of bed.’ In 2013 Linda and her family began organizing a Walk/Run event to help raise awareness and raise funds donated to the National MS Society to help find a cure for MS. This year will be the 8th Annual event, an event that Linda held near to her heart and looked forward to yearly.
Linda was known by many and held many titles, but Linda was often referred to as the life of the party, ornery, stubborn, and the strongest woman many have ever known. The trait that most will remember her for is her ability to make others laugh. She was notorious for laughing so hard she would cry, spit, snort, and sometimes even pee. A sign was purchased for her room that had a quote ‘I laughed so hard there are tears running down my legs!’ Laughter was the best medicine, and Linda was the best at giving the biggest doses of that medicine to others.
Linda loved food and the gatherings with family and friends that would revolve around food. Family was a top priority for Linda. She made a point to spend time with her ever-growing family any chance she got. She loved freshly picked Beck’s Sweet Corn on a hot summer day and (like a true Vogel) she knew life was too short to pass up sweet treats.
On July 28, 2021, Linda received her call from Heaven that her work on Earth was done. It was a call that she could not refuse. The call came with an appointment from which she would not be returning. This appointment however, came with a huge sign-on bonus. No, not a stage filled with Chippendale dancers or shirtless cowboys. A bonus better than anything anyone on Earth could offer: a reunion with her father and her son who she has not seen for a long time.
Proceeding Linda in death were her son, Devon James Wheeler; her Father, James (Jim) Beck; her mother-in-law, Lorelei Rusco; and her step-father, Joseph Matheny.
Left to grieve her loss are her mother, Marilyn Beck of Lenox; her brother Darwin (Christy) Beck of Lenox, her sister Dianne (Stephen) Jenkins of Indianola, step-sister Rhonda (Monty) Churchill of Bedford, step-brother, Tim (Vonda) Matheny of Siloam Springs, AR; children, Tiana (Kyle) McKee of Lenox, Kelsey (Adam Pool) Wheeler of Mt. Ayr, Audrey (Ross) Farwell of Northboro; 6 Grand daughters, Kenady and Rylee McKee, Margo Pool, Laurel, Rhegan, and Addley Farwell, with her 7th grandchild to arrive in August; Nieces, Krysti (Patrick) Shaver of Lenexa, KS, Samantha (Anthony) Cosgrove of Omaha, NE, Kady Beck of Lenox, Kourtney (Kyle Hendrix) Beck of Creston, Allysn, Morgan, and Kendyl Jenkins of Indianola; Nephew, James (Staci Woodside) Beck; many great nieces, nephews, and friends.
Linda possessed a wonderful personality, and always lit up the room when she came in. We will cherish her precious memory and pray that she is at peace in God’s loving care.