Forrest Lee Wheatley
Forrest Lee Wheatley, 90, Rich Hill, MO passed away at his home surrounded by family on Mar. 31, 2019. Forrest was born at home to Fred and Nellie Ayer Wheatley on Jan. 16, 1929, the seventh of nine children.
His church membership was at Happy Hill Mound Zion Methodist Church, and later at Rich Hill Methodist Church. Upon profession of faith, he was baptized in his teens. He attended school at Mission Branch and Happy Hill schools and graduated from Rich Hill High School in 1947. Soon after, he was hired to do farm work in Oklahoma, before returning home and going into dairying with his brother and Dad.
Forrest married his sweetheart, Phyllis Hirni, on Sept. 13, 1953 at the Papinville Methodist Church. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary with their children last fall. Forrest was drafted into the army in Dec. 1954 shortly before the birth of their first child. The young family lived in Gary, IN and Chicago Heights, IL where he worked at missile sites. In Dec. 1956 he was discharged and returned home where Alan, Warren, and Forrest formed Wheatley Bros. farming partnership. They worked together several decades milking and row cropping, each had their job specialty and they always got along well. All nine of the siblings shared a loving bond and remained close all their lives.
Family was important to Forrest. He especially enjoyed his grands and great-grands. Community service was important to him as well. He served on the Rich Hill school board for 12 years and was a founding director of the Bates County Water Dist. #7, serving 33 years.
Survivors include his wife, Phyllis; sons, Brady (Marilyn) Wheatley and Darren (Barbara) Wheatley; daughters, Wylene (Tom) Altenburg and Aylesa (Wade) Rapp; grandchildren, Valerie (Gus) Garcia, Nick (Lora) Rapp, Ethan (Samantha) Wheatley, Matthew (Brittaney) Wheatley, Nolan (Kelci) Rapp, Logan Wheatley, Layne (Laurie) Rapp, Jordann Wheatley, Daniel Altenburg and Ayren Rapp; and great-grandchildren, Kasen Rapp, Leighton Garcia, and Sawyer Rapp; brothers, Alan (Delores) Wheatley and Wayne Wheatley; sisters, Marian Eikenbary, Joanne Buhr, and Janice (Ronald) Bolser; brother-inlaw Bill (Nancy) Hirni; sisters-in-law Gretchen Hirni and Mitzi Knight; and devoted right hand and friend, Roger (Traci) Tippie and family.
Preceding him in death were his parents; his mother and father-in-law, Ruth and Raymond Hirni; grandson Carson Wheatley; brothers, Kenneth, Jim, and Warren; brothersin-law Clifford Hirni, Pete Eikenbary, and Floyd Buhr; sisters-inlaw, Elnora, June, and Doris Wheatley.
The family suggests memorials to the Mark Wheatley Agricultural Scholarship Fund in care of Heuser Funeral Home.