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Alan Wheeler

J. Alan Wheeler, a long-time Ankeny resident, passed away at Taylor House Hospice on February 6, 2024, after a short but hard-fought battle with AMML (leukemia). 


Al was born to James Wheeler and Arlene Feldman at Skiff Hospital in Newton, Iowa, on February 19, 1956, and for over 50 years he held the unofficial title of largest baby born at Skiff, a record only recently broken.  Shortly after, Al’s family moved to the Twin Cities.  When Al was in high school, the family relocated to Ankeny where Al enjoyed all sports but excelled at baseball.  Days after the 1974 Ankeny tornado, Al started a job at D & P Lumber (now Gilcrest Jewett) to assist with rebuilding in Ankeny.  He retired from Gilcrest 49-1/2 years later as operations manager at their Altoona location.  He loved working at Gilcrest, so it wasn’t surprising that a few months later he decided retirement wasn’t for him and he returned to Gilcrest at their Waukee location.  Al truly enjoyed spending time with his coworkers who became good friends. 


He is survived by his wife, Kate Ceretti Wheeler, his son Blake (Shelly and her three daughters, Josie, Abby, and Olivia), his stepdaughter Sarah Simone (Jacob and her two children, Jack and Chloe), his sister, Terri Barreiro (Jim) and brother Steve (Martha and Steve’s two sons, Alex and Eric), a sister-in-law, Monica Ceretti (Fred Holmes) and a brother-in-law, Tony Ceretti (M.J. and their two daughters, Alyssa and Stacey), and two wonderful uncles and aunts, Dennis and Linda Stackhouse and Lonnie and Anne Feldman. 

Any memorial donations to the family will be divided between Animal Lifeline and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Per Al’s wishes, there will be no visitation or service.  A private family graveside service will be held in the Spring.  Special thanks to the nurses at Mercy 8 Oncology and the kind staff at Taylor House.  Al was dearly loved and will be deeply missed.  



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