Joseph Wheelbarger, Class of 1949

Posted Mar 05, 2021

Wheelbarger Joseph Obit Pic

Joseph Wheelbarger ’49 died Feb. 9, 2021. Joe was born on April 20, 1924, in Dayton, Ohio. He graduated from Patterson Co-op School in Belmont in 1942. Afterward, he served in the U.S. Army 1943-46, spending time in the states of WA, LA, TX, and HI. He graduated from Otterbein College in 1949 where he was in track and field and the Pi Beta Sigma (Pi Sig) fraternity. In 1950 he continued his education with a BS degree in Elementary Education from Miami University. In 1964 he finished his higher education with a Master’s in Business Administration, again from Miami.

Joe moved his family to Denver, Colorado, where he taught school in town and then in the mountains in a 2-room school near Conifer. 1955 brought them back to Dayton, where Joe started teaching in West Carrollton and worked part time at the nearby paper mill which eventually grew to full time for 5 years. In 1963 the family moved to a 26-acre farm just outside Bellbrook, OH. He was hired by Oakwood to teach 5th grade at Smith School where his last 6 years were as principal. In 1969 he moved on to the position of business manager at the new Montgomery County Joint Vocational School and also the family to a new home in West Carrollton, OH.

Joe also earned his pilot’s license and became a member of the Dayton Pilots club. He retired in 1981 and continued staying fit. They both spent time at the local community college, Regina making pottery and Joe volunteering in the workshop. He volunteered at Cox Arboretum where he enjoyed many projects including making windmills from leftover shop scraps. Fitness was still a big part of his life, another move in 2012 to a cottage at St. Leonard Retirement Community with a fitness center.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents Albert and Ruth Wheelbarger, siblings Robert Wheelbarger, Margaret Lindee, Jenny Blauch, and daughter Ruth Wheelbarger Angelo. He is survived by his wife Phyllis Regina Wheelbarger ’49, children Linda Wheelbarger, John Wheelbarger, Patty Wheelbarger (Bruce Chenoweth), Vickie Houser (CT Houser), 13 grandchildren, 12 greatgrandchildren with 1 on the way, and one great-great-grandchild.