Wheeler, Hugh D., Jr.

A giant of a man passed away on Thursday May 25th, this in itself is hardly news, but for those who knew Hughie, his 6’5 frame and his big smile it is earth shattering. He leaves behind a family who he was very proud of and who will sorely miss him. He is survived by his wife Amanda Wheeler, children James Wheeler (Julia), Aaron McCloskey, Patrick McCloskey, and Margaret McCloskey. His sister Anne Bullock (Robert). Grandchildren Kiera Mary and Brendon Thomas who were the light of his life. He is predeceased in death by his parents Mary & Hugh Wheeler and his sister Jackie Allen. In addition to his immediate family, he left behind numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Family meant everything to Hughie, he looked forward to annual turkey bowls and planning family reunions.

Hugh was a life long resident of North Wilmington and a graduate of Brandywine High School. He attended all of his class reunions and enjoyed keeping up with core pack of “lifers” many of whom he was able to see in the last year of his life.

After high school Hugh went to work for A.I DuPont hospital and remained there for 40 years until his retirement in 2014. In addition to working at the hospital Hugh worked in the restaurant business part time for 30 years. He fondly remembered those years as a “labor of love”. He was employed as a bartender by Romels, The Victorian Rose, and lastly The Front Porch. Through these places he developed a vast network of fine friends. If you were lucky enough to have sat at the bar while he was working, I can guarantee you had good time.

Hugh had a deep love for cooking and was always chefing up something to feed friends and family. He could do a mean chili and virtually any type of BBQ. He was never more comfortable then when he was in a kitchen or behind a grill. Some of the specialties he was known for were chex mix, pepper jelly, and lemonchello. Some of his great loves were ice cream, water ice, and gelato.

Hugh took great pride in his house, yard, and garden. If he was not working, he could be found doing a home improvement project, taking care of his lawn, or tending to his vegetable garden (very ironic because the only vegetable he ever ate was a potato but he grew everything). He loved to attend his families sporting events be it his kids, nieces, granddaughter, or cousins.

Being a good Delaware boy born and breed he was an avid supporter of all Philadelphia sports teams especially the Eagles and the Phillies. Through his wife he developed a love for college football and became a diehard Notre Dame fan.

Another big love of Hughie’s was classic rock & southern rock he carried this throughout his life attending concerts etc. wherever Hughie was there normally was a great soundtrack in the background.

He also had an abundant love for big black trucks. Dodge Ram was the only truck for him and he essentially bought the same truck (just different years) three times. Maybe he liked big things because he was big, everything about him was supersized his hugs, his smile, his personality and of course his flat screened T.Vs. Hughie hands down was the best person I know and probably the most patient person in the world. I say this because he married me and for those of you that know me enough said.

This obituary would be remiss if we did not mention that Hugh had a great love for Costco and enjoyed shopping there weekly. He was proud to say he had enough condiments & toilet paper to get through the next several pandemics. His second retail love was Lowes, he was there so much people thought he was an employee.

Although his illness robbed him of the chance to travel, he had many fond memories of family trips to the outer banks and a trip to Ireland.

Lastly, we need to talk about Hugh’s constant companions his 4 retrievers Hooper, Brody, Maize, & Ladybug. They brought him endless joy and copious amounts of yard work. His dogs were always with him and supported him through many hospital stays.

Instead of flowers or a donation the Wheeler family would like you to do a random act of kindness in Hughie’s name.

The Wheeler family would like to thank the Helen Graham Center for all their support over the years. The entire staff from the nurses to the doormen and receptionists have all been remarkable. Hughie held a special place in is heart for Dr. Misleh (even though he was a Tampa Bay fan). We could not have asked for better care.

A cocktail party is planned in Hughie’s honor. All who knew Hugh are invited. There will be a strict dress code no ties, no formal wear. T-shirts are encouraged show your Philly pride. Please come lift a glass and share a memory. Friday June 16th 6:00 – 9:00, The Carriage House at Rockwood Park, 4671 Washington Street Extension, Wilmington, DE 19809

For online condolences visit :www.mccreryandharra.com

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by 2fish