Dr. Clifton Wheeler entered an eternity with his Savior on Monday, July 26, 2021. He was 74 years old.
Clifton was born on October 30, 1946, in Durham, NC, to Clifton Columbus and Alice Green Wheeler. He was also loved and cared for by Miss Stessie Lyons. He earned his undergraduate degree in 1968 at Davidson College, earned his medical degree at Duke University School of Medicine and served his residency at Duke University Medical Center in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Dr. Wheeler devoted his professional time and energy to the community of Lakeland for 35 years both in solo practice and with Clark & Daughtrey Medical Group, delivering over 3000 babies during his career. He was a lifelong member of the Carter Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists and truly enjoyed the community he found there.
In retirement, he served as a member of RSVP, reading to Kindergarten and Second Grade students at Scott Lake Elementary. When the pandemic hit, unwilling to give up his connection to the children, he continued to read books weekly via his YouTube channel. One of his many joys was playing the piano and he shared his gift by playing in the lobby at Lakeland Regional Medical Center.
Dr. Wheeler became a Christian in his thirties and grew to love and serve Jesus in everything he did. His commitment to the Lord overflowed into all of his relationships as he actively sought to honor God with his life.
Dr. Wheeler is predeceased by his mother, father and sister, Elizabeth Clifton Wheeler Allen. He married Marianne Taylor in 1968 and they were married for 24 years. He was blessed to marry Margaret Anne Gates in 1999 and remained married to her until his death.
Dr. Wheeler is survived by his children, Maridy McDuff (Philip), Creigh Brown (Jamie), and Clifton Chace Wheeler (Danielle), his wife Margaret Anne, and stepchildren Jessica Fredricks (Cole), Kristin Aiken (Chuck), Michael Gates (Jen), and Christopher (Mindy). He was “Poopah” to 13 grandchildren: Coleman, Will, Harley, Porter, Yura, Taylor, Reid, Olivia Anne, Sadie, Clifton Colton, Luke, Christian and Olivia Grace. He greatly anticipated the birth of two more grandchildren in the fall. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews whom he loved greatly.
A Gathering of Friends will be held at the Heath Funeral Chapel Tribute Center on Friday, July 30, 2021, from 4 to 6 p.m. His life will be celebrated at Trinity Presbyterian Church on Saturday, July 31, 2021, at 10 a.m. In honor of Cliff’s lifelong work in medicine, and out of respect for his concern regarding COVID risk, please consider watching the service from home if you are unwell. You can find the link by typing tpc.memorial/wheeler into your browser. Cliff received excellent and truly heroic care at the hands of the SICU staff, and we are forever grateful.
Condolences may be sent to the family at Heath Funeral Chapel.