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Rose Laura Wheeler

Long time Kenai resident Rose Laura Wheeler died of natural causes on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 surrounded by her family at Central Peninsula Hospital. She was two days away from her 91st birthday.

A viewing will be held on Saturday, April 10 at 10 a.m. followed by an 11 a.m. service at the Kenai Bible Church located at 600 Main Street in Kenai. A potluck celebration of her life will be at Tyotkas Elder Center at 1000 Mission Ave. in Kenai immediately after burial services are performed .

Ms. Wheeler was born April 8, 1919 in Unalakeet to Myles and Marion Gonangnan. In 1948, she met the love of her life, Archie Wheeler, in Nome. After a brief courtship they were married in Nome and moved the Kenai Peninsula. Ms. Wheeler loved to travel, choosing to spend most of her life on the Peninsula. She was living in Seldovia when the 1964 earthquake occurred. Shortly after they moved to the city of Kenai and bought a house. Ms. Wheeler loved to commercial and subsistence fish. When she was younger she fished off the coast of Unalakeet and on the Yukon River. After she moved to Kenai she and Archie operated a beach site and fish camp on the north end of Kalgin Island. Rose and Archie were happily married for 43 years until he passed away in 1991. She continued to reside in their home on Beaver Loop.

Ms. Wheeler was a very accomplished Native artist. She was legendary for the many Eskimo dolls, yo-yos and baby booties she made throughout the years. She also made skin parkas, "Kuspuks," also known as cloth parkas, knitted sweaters, hats, mittens and crocheted blankets.

Ms. Wheeler loved Jesus and was a devout member of the Kenai Bible Church. She had many loves and hobbies in her long life some of which included traveling, dancing and making her annual trip to Anchorage to the Fur Rendezvous to hear the Native Music Cal. Rose was also well known for her weekly trips to bingo. Most of all Rose loved her family, friends and children giving her a well known nickname "Grandma."

Ms. Wheeler was preceded in death by her husband; sisters, Martha Nanouk, Ruth "Ella" Jensen and Laura Melgreen; and brothers, Collins Gonangnan, Henry Morris, Matthew Gonangnan, Norman Gonangnan, and Donald Gonangnan.

She is survived by her children, Dollie Katherine Morey and Leo George "Sonny" Wheeler of Kenai and Myron Wheeler of Sitka; grandchildren, Jarrod Minkler, Archie Minkler, Linda Wheeler, Chrystal Van Sky, Sharon Pope, Dollie Hoch, Stephanie Ries, Joseph Minkler, Archie Minkler, Nina Corder, Amanda Moran, Scott Hanthorn; great-grandchildren, Sivan Wheeler, Cash Corder, Carlee Corder, Talia Pope, Blaine Pope, Maliyah Hoch, Amelia Hoch, Kayla Moran, Michael Moran, Lauren Moran, Tyler Van Sky, Katherine Van Sky, along with their extended families.

In lieu of flowers, charitable donations can be sent to 202 Birch Street, Kenai AK 99611.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

, April 09, 2010



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