Shirley Best Wheeler, 90

Published 11:04 am Friday, October 19, 2012

Shirley Best Wheeler, 90, died Monday, Oct. 15, 2012, at the Good Samaritan Society in Albert Lea, Minn.

Shirley B. Wheeler

Shirley was born Jan. 20, 1922, in Austin, Minn., to Jay and Caroline (Capretz) Best. She graduated from Austin High School in 1939. Following graduation, she received a certification in medical lab technology in Minneapolis. Shirley went on to accept a position at a Presbyterian mission hospital near Santa Fe, N.M., and other hospitals during her career in this field. Shirley enlisted in the Waves in 1942 and was stationed at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland until her discharge in 1945.

Following her military service, Shirley moved to Borger, Texas, where she worked at Phillips Hospital. She met and married Thurman D. Wheeler in 1947, while living in Borger. They later moved to Oklahoma City. Shirley received a degree in English and library science from Central State College in Edmond, Okla., graduating summa cum laude. She was the librarian at Capital Hill High School in Oklahoma City, during which she also obtained her master’s degree in library science from the University of Oklahoma. She retired from teaching in 1977.

Email newsletter signup

Survivors include two sisters, Mureyce Fossey of Edina, Minn.; Mary Sebald of Eden Prairie, Minn.; nieces and nephews, including Greta (Curt) Anderson, Jon (Nina) Best, Kurt Best and Jeannie Best, all of Austin; Peter Sebald, Joel Sebald, John Sebald, Chris Sebald, Betsy Johnson, Jay Best III, Mary Brodigan and Pam Best Ward; Jim Fossey, Tom Fossey and Janis Green; and many great nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Jay and Caroline Best; her husband, Thurman Wheeler; brothers Jay Best and William Best.

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at Clasen-Jordan Mortuary in Austin with Pastor Pam Aandahl Solberg officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service on Tuesday morning. Interment will be held at Pine Crest Cemetery, Kimberling City, Mo., at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials be made to the Mayo Health Systems Austin-Albert Lea Hospice Program, or recipients of the donor’s choice.