Donice “Donnie” Wheatley, 87, Thayer, died Saturday, May 31, 2008, as a result of a heart attack. Her health had been deteriorating for the last six to eight months, brought on by the effects of emphysema, pneumonia and COPD.
She was born June 10, 1920, in Wichita to Andrew and Flossie Eilerts Stires. She was the third of five children and had a brother and three sisters.
She graduated from Wichita East High School in 1938, specializing in subjects of the secretarial fields such as typing, short-hand, bookkeeping and office procedures.
She married Chester Wheatley on Aug. 16, 1945, in Los Angeles, Calif., and began her 20-year career as a U.S. Navy wife. As a Navy wife she moved to 12 different locations in Nevada, Maine, Virginia, Florida, California, Hawaii, and Midway Island, Georgia, before the couple settled in Thayer.
She had many interests, including painting, knitting, crocheting, sewing, quilting, crafting, dancing, cards, flower arranging, cake decorating and music, among others. She was an avid reader, enjoying mostly fiction but also reading non-fiction and history.
She was a member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, Eastern Star, Friday Reading Club, Friends of the Library and the PTA/PTO locals.
Mrs. Wheatley was a baptized member of the Christian Church and attended various Protestant services during the Wheatleys’ active-duty Navy career. She supported many organizations, including social, health, educational, law enforcement, etc., as well as Easter Seals, Shriners, St. Jude, USO, U.S. Olympics, St. Joseph’s Indian School and Kansas Sheriff’s Association, to name a few.
Survivors include a sister, Shirley; her husband of 62 years, Chester; a grandson, Brad; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Ed; two sisters, Beth and Betty; three premature sons in infancy; and an adopted son, Michael.
Mrs. Wheatley willed her body to the University of Kansas Medical Center for medical research.
Contributions may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.
Donnie was an outgoing person, liked by many. She had many friends. The magic words were “excuse me,” “please,” and “thank you.”