Rev. Edgar Francis Wheeler died peacefully September 17, 2019 at home in Mesa, Arizona. Edgar was born October 28, 1920 in Nortonville, Kansas to Ernest Raymond and Marie Edna Wheeler, the fourth of five children that survived infancy. There he spent his entire childhood. Some of his earliest memories were of his wonder at the sights, sounds and smells of the prairie and farm. His child-like sense of awe inspired by the natural world and Kansas never waned.
About the time Edgar graduated from high school in 1938, he said he was “brought to faith in Jesus Christ as savior and felt called to become a minister”. Over the next 9 years he worked and attended several colleges including Wheaton (IL), Milton (WI), Alfred (NY) and Salem (WV), from which he graduated in 1947. He graduated from New Orleans Baptist Seminary in 1951. At the time of his death Edgar had been an accredited Seventh Day Baptist (SDB) minister for 65 years.
While in Salem Edgar met and married Xenia Lee Fitz Randolph with whom he celebrated 71 years of marriage before she died in 2016.
Edgar was the pastor of the SDB churches in Metairie, LA, DeRuyter, NY (where he was ordained), Paint Rock, AL, Salemville, PA, Ashaway, RI, Denver, CO, and Nortonville, KS. In his retirement he was interim pastor at Lost Creek, WV and Salemville, PA.
Edgar was the 1970 Seventh Day Baptist General Conference President and served for 18 years on both the SDB Missionary Society Board and the Council on Ministry. During 1948-49 Edgar worked setting Linotype for The Sabbath Recorder in Plainfield, NJ ( and later for the Huntsville Times).
“Pastor” as he was often known, directed many church camps for children, led a boy’s 4-H club, served on PTA boards, drove a school bus, and was a volunteer fireman. He intentionally found time to contribute to community activities and made himself available to anyone he sensed had a need.
In retirement Edgar taught Bible studies, both in church settings and privately, taught art to children, painted, gardened, did carpentry, ingeniously repaired things most would discard, and invented various contraptions such as a black walnut cracker and famously, a bicycle powered jig saw.
Edgar was also predeceased by three infant sisters, his sister Louise Sullivan, brothers Merlin and Charles Wheeler, a son, William Wheeler, and two infant grandsons. He is survived by one brother, Edward Robert Wheeler of Weiser, ID, 10 children: Annita Parmelee (Asahel) Westerly, RI and Savannah, GA; Robert Wheeler (Dawn), North Platte, NE; Ruth Thorpe (Walter), Westerly, RI; Richard Wheeler (Michele), Pinnacle, NC; Helen Brannon (Kenneth) Mesa, AZ, with whom Edgar lived; Leon Wheeler, Washburn, WI; Noelle Fontaine, Tempe, AZ; Catherine Wheeler, Divide, CO; Esther Palmer (Tony), Williston, VT; Ernest Wheeler (Cathy), Pinnacle, NC; 30 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews and treasured friends.
The funeral will be 2 pm Saturday, September 28, at the 1st Hopkinton Seventh Day Baptist Church in Ashaway, RI, 8 Church Street, Ashaway, RI. Friends and family may call there prior to the service at 1:30 pm. He will be be buried at the Seventh Day Baptist Minister’s monument in the First Hopkinton Cemetery. The service will be Livestream on the church website. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the charity he supported to the end of his life, the Seventh Day Baptist Missionary Society, 19 Hillside Avenue, Ashaway, RI 02804.