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Richard Tudor Wheatley

Richard (Ric) Wheatley, of Plainwell, Michigan, passed away on September 18, 2021, at Bronson Methodist Hospital’s ICU. His wife Delia (Dee) was at his side. Ric was born on September 2, 1954, in Osaka, Japan to Lt. Col. Melford Wheatley and Marcine (Schuerer) Wheatley. This was also his grandmother Mable Wheatley’s birthday. Ric graduated from Mt. Clemens High School and later from Western Michigan University. Ric then attended and graduated from the Navy’s Officer Candidate Program located in Pensacola, FL. in May of 1982. On December 18, 1982, Ric joined in marriage to Delia Jones at the Chapel on Selfridge Air National Gard Base in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. While stationed at Patuxent River, Maryland, Squadron VQ4 flying C-130’s, Ric and Dee welcomed two children into their lives, Jameson in 1984 and Keleigh in 1987. In 1992 Ric left active duty with the Navy and joined a Navy Reserve Unit at Selridge ANG. In 1994 Ric was hired by Atlas Air, Inc. a worldwide cargo flight operation flying 727’s and 747’s. Ric continued both reserve flying and full time Atlas flying until he retired as a Captain USNR in the Navy after 35 years of service. That was in 2010. In 2019, after 25 years with Atlas he retired at age 65. But shortly after he began working as a contractor-sitting at a desk with monitors instead of flying the big planes. Ric loved to read, especially historical books. He loved music and sports. While still flying with Atlas he had the opportunity to fly the U of M Wolverines to 2 college bowl games! Although very busy during Jameson and Keleigh’s high school years, Ric did make efforts to drive tocheerleading and hockey competitions and games, often in the same day over 2 ½ hours apart. On January 25, 2009, Ric became a grandfather to Connor Melford Wheatley, daughter Keleigh’s son. The next 12 ½ years have been full of love and activity to say the least. Best of friends sharing bike rides, hiking, fishing, snow sking and tubing, kayaking are just some of their adventures together. Ric was predeceased by his parents, Melford and Marcine Wheatley, his sister Kyle Williams, and his brother -in-law Jerry Thayer. Surviving are his wife Delia, son Jameson, daughter Keleigh and grandson Connor. Also surviving are his sister Candace Thayer, brothers Dennis (Dottie), David (Lynn), Michael, Eric (Maureen) Wheatley, and brother-in-law George Williams. Cremation has taken place per Ric’s wishes. There will be a gathering of family and friends at the Lake Doster Clubhouse on Saturday, November 13, 2021, at 1 p.m. Come share a story of how you know Ric. While visiting Richard's tribute page please take a moment to light a candle or share a memory with the family. The Wheatley family is being assisted by McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Homes Marshall-Gren Chapel, 120 S. Woodhams Street, Plainwell, MI 49080. 269-685-5881.

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No matter how many times we say goodbye to good friends and shipmates, words never seem to flow. I had the pleasure of knowing and working along side Ric for only the past seven years that I have been with Atlas. He always was the guy who I felt as though I knew from the late '70's in the in the Training Command. The definition of a professional and no doubt the model of a family man. Thank you for the memories, Ric. My heart breaks for your family but I know that the memory of you gives them strength. Have a "ready deck" waiting for us when we come aboard to join you in the ward room. Cheers, Ray DuFour

Ray DuFour Nov 16 2021 1:25 PM

The epitome of a professional airman. I always admired Rick from the first line check he gave me in the 90s at Atlas. A true gentleman and professional. He is missed. Jim Hollis

jim Hollis Nov 12 2021 7:12 PM

Lovely One Spathiphyllum Plant was purchased for the family of Richard Tudor Wheatley.

Nov 12 2021 3:18 PM

Atlas Air, Inc purchased the Sentiments of Serenity Spray for the family of Richard Tudor Wheatley.

Atlas Air, Inc Nov 2 2021 8:35 AM

Florist Choice Bouquet was purchased for the family of Richard Tudor Wheatley.

Oct 27 2021 1:15 PM

I had the good fortune of meeting Ric in 1989 while we served together in HI. My first memory of Ric is the guy next door cutting his lawn he was so concerned about safety and his vision as a navy pilot he wore safety googles to protect his eyes, then I noticed he was wearing flip flops on his feet!!!. We started a friendship that lasted a life time. His love and support remained unconditional. A great husband, father, grandpa, friend and shipmate, gone but certainly never forgotten. Rest well my friend I know you are in heaven watching over us all. Steve And Robin Marr

steve Oct 20 2021 7:22 AM

My sincere condolences to the Wheatley family.

Jorge Paulhiac Oct 19 2021 10:55 PM

I had the chance to meet Captain Ric. Wheatley just before he retired from flying with Atlas Air. We operated a great charter flight out of Andenes Norway. Ric. impressed me with his professionalism and human values. I remember he got some fishing gear at the local shop in this fishers Norwegian town and was looking forward to use it back home with his grandson. Rest In Peace Captain Ric.

Jorge Paulhiac Oct 19 2021 9:35 PM

5 files added to the album Charter trip to Andenes Norway August 2021

Jorge Paulhiac Oct 19 2021 9:02 PM

Ric was a great squadron mate, work pal and friend. Most of all he was a phenomenal family man. He will be missed by many.

grant k Oct 19 2021 8:13 PM

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