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Wayne A. Wheeler Jr.
October 3, 1953 ~ January 16, 2024 (age 70) 70 Years Old
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Wayne A. Wheeler Jr., age 70, of Elgin, formerly of St. Charles and Geneva, passed away on Tuesday, January 16, 2024. He was born October 3, 1953, in Aurora IL, the son of Wayne Albert Sr. and Margaret (Lindquist) Wheeler.
Wayne led a complicated life. His early years were particularly difficult. He and his two siblings were removed from an abusive home environment and became wards of the State of Illinois. After being required to work on farms in Arkansas and Texas, Wayne was sent to the State Hospital in Elgin. After the mental institutions were forced to close in the 1980's and Wayne was released, things took a turn for the better. Wayne met Gene Corbin, owner of Gene's Side Door restaurant in Geneva. Gene hired Wayne as kitchen help and dishwasher. Gene became Wayne's mentor and served as a father figure to Wayne. With Gene's help, Wayne held a steady job, found housing, and managed his own finances. While working in Geneva, Wayne met Alan and Carole Gooding. Wayne and Alan became fast friends and their relationship lasted over 40 years. Wayne became part of the Gooding family.
Over the years Wayne became a fixture in the Fox Valley area. He loved riding his bicycle and smoking his pipe. He worked in many restaurants in the area. He loved gardening and planted Four O'Clocks in the alley behind his apartment every spring. Christmas was his favorite holiday. He spent hours making elaborate decorations out of wire hangers and Christmas lights. He overcame many obstacles and strived to be independent.
Because of his failing health, Wayne finally had to move to River View Rehab Center in Elgin where he passed. We would like to extend a special "thank you" to the staff, especially Ray, his wound care nurse, for all their patience and friendship.
He will be fondly missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his friends Alan and Carole Gooding and their family.
Wayne was proceeded in death by his parents and his friend Gene Corbin.
A visitation for Wayne will be held at Malone Funeral Home, 324 E. State Street (Route 38), Geneva on Friday, January 26, 2024, from 9:00am up until his Funeral Service at 11am.
Burial will follow at Prairie Cemetery in St. Charles.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Anderson Animal Shelter. 1000 S La Fox St, South Elgin, IL 60177 https://ahconnects.org/
For information 630-232-8233 or visit maloneth.com.