John Wheelden SR

June 1, 1925December 5, 2012

Vernon- John E. Wheelden, Sr, 87, died Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at his home in Vernon, Vermont. John was born in Brattleboro, Vermont on June 1,1925, the son of Stuart and Josephine (Garrity) Wheelden, Sr. And attended school at St. Michael's Catholic School. John was lovingly known to friend and family as Probie or Wheely. In 1942, at age 17, John joined The Merchant Marine. After leaving The Merchant Marine he enlisted in The U.S Army on May 27,1944 and was a member of Company F, 10th Infantry Regiment. During his service he received several medal and ribbons, including a Purple Heart (January 1945), and was honorably discharged on May 9,1946. He continued his military service as a member of the Army National Guard until he retired in 1985. John joined the Brattleboro Fire Department in 1946 holding the position of fire fighter, Lieutenant, Fire Inspector and Captain before being promoted to Assistant Fire Chief in March 1985. He retired from career staff in 1987, but remained active with the fire department as a member of the Call Force until 2009. John was also a member of the Volunteer Departments in Vernon and Wilmington , Vermont and the Zephyrhills, Florida Fire Department. John also served as a member of the Brattleboro Police Department. He was elected as Brattleboro 1st Constable in 1958 and served his last term in 2001. He married Patricia (Knapp) Wheelden on February 19,1972 in Brattleboro, Vermont. John is survived by his two sons, Stuart Wheelden III and his wife Bernita of Hinsdale, NH, John Wheelden, Jr of Vernon, his two daughters, Joanne Plansker and her husband Richard of Hinsdale, NH, Carol Ann Moore and her husband Ed of Dummerston, VT and a step daughter Mary Snyder and her husband Ken of Enfield Connecticut. John also leaves 11 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and 3 great, great grandchildren. He is also survived by two sisters, Katherine "Tuppy" Snead of Waynesboro, VA and Mary Ann Wood of Brattleboro, VT and many nieces, nephews and cousins. For many years John and Patricia enjoyed spending their winters at their home in Zephyhills, Florida where he leaves a large extended family of friends. John was predeceased by his wife, Patricia in 2008, his parents, a brother Stuart Wheelden, Jr, a sister, Margaret " Betty" Behilo, and a grand daughter Heidi Wheelden. In addition to being a loving and loyal husband, father, grandfather and mentor John was an active, lifetime member of the Elk's, VFW, American Legion, and Eagles Club. John's free time was spent with friends and family enjoying travel, time at his camp in Wilmington, VT, hunting, fishing, walking and bird watching. FUNERAL NOTICE: Arrangements are being handled by Ker-Westerlund Funeral Home in Brattleboro, Vermont, where calling hours will be Friday, December 14 from 2pm to 4pm and 6pm to 8pm. Funeral services will be held Saturday, December 15 at 12pm at St Michael's Catholic Church in Brattleboro, Vermont with a grave side service and burial to follow at Morningside Cemetery. Friends and family are invited to attend a celebration of John's life after the services to be held at the Elk's in Brattleboro, Vermont. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Brattleboro Fire Department Benefit Association or the Vernon Fire Association, Inc.


  • Visitation Friday, December 14, 2012
  • Visitation Friday, December 14, 2012
  • Funeral Mass Saturday, December 15, 2012
  • Graveside Service Saturday, December 15, 2012

John Wheelden SR

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pamela kirkwood

December 15, 2012

It is my honor to have known him. RIP John Wheelden, you fought the good fight.

December 13, 2012

To JJ and the rest of the Wheelden family. We will miss John. Joe & Anita Bobee

melissa martorelli

December 13, 2012

Rip you were a great man and everyytime a seen u u had the biggest smile and always try to make evry1 else smile like a melissa

December 12, 2012

To The Wheelden Family: Our thoughts and prayers go out to you all. .John was a good man and well liked by all. Carl and Phoebe

Lois Willard

December 11, 2012

Was sorry to learn of John's passing. I saw him before I left for Fla. at P/C & he was looking forward to going to Fla. I worked with your mom at P/C & your dad gave me a ride to the airport a couple of yrs ago when I needed heelp. He was a specialy guy...He is now with Pat...They are missed.

Bill Spirka

December 11, 2012

One of the toughest and one of the best. A real mans man. I am proud to have known and worked with you Johnny. Keep a cigar lit for me, where ever you may be.

John Wood

December 9, 2012

To All the immediate members of Johnny's family I am sorry for your loss. I am sorry that I was not closer to my uncle because he was truly, in every sense of the word a great man. Whether it was his service in the army, the guards, or all of his years with Brattleboro, Vernon, and other fire departments. I am proud to have known him and my mom is unbelievably saddened by the loss of her big brother! Also, my condolences and appreciation to all of those who served with Johnny over the years I am so sorry for the loss of your brother. John Wood

Rebecca Blake

December 8, 2012

I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I have also felt the the loss of a parent this year and no words can express it. My deepest empathy for you.

December 8, 2012

So sorry to hear of your fathers passing. Thinking of you all. Ann and Neil Hale

Lisa (Clark) Lawrence

December 8, 2012

He will always have a special place in my heart. A true hero. I thank him everyday for my life that he saved in our fire Dec. 5th, 1975. Lisa (Clark) Lawrence