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Thursday, December 23, 2021

Obituary - Martin Leroy Wheelen, Jr. (Marty)

Martin Leroy Wheelen, Jr. (Marty) passed from this world 12/20/2021, to a better place with family and friends waiting for him. A visitation will be held Thursday, December 30, 2021 from 10:30 am to 11:30 am at Wheelen RV Center Showroom, 4301 S. Rangeline Road, Joplin, Missouri. 

Funeral services will follow at 11:30 am also at Wheelen Rv. Burial with US Air Force Honors will take place in Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery, Joplin. Services under the direction of Mullinax Funeral Home, Butler (660-679-0009).

Memorial contributions may be made in lieu of flowers, to the Galena Education Fund or the Marty Wheelen Tennis Foundation to promote tennis to new players. Messages of condolence may be left for the family at www.mullinaxfuneralhome.com
Marty was born on 11/01/1942 at St John's Hospital in Joplin, MO, to Martin Leroy Wheelen (Roy) and Jesse Ruth Barrett Wheelen and grew up in Galena, KS. Marty attended Galena schools and graduated in 1960. After high school, Marty worked in Topeka, KS. He married Maymie Hollingsworth in July 1960 and to this union they had three sons Norman, Martin and Greg. Marty married Nedra Wimmer Wilson in July 1969 and this union they had three children Michael, Todd and Marci. 

In September of 1994, Marty met and spent the next 28 years of his life with Sheri Lynn Logan, the love of his life. They were married in 2002. Marty in his youth loved playing baseball. Anyone that knew Marty knew that he was a lover of playing tennis. He played in local and regional tournaments and was in the Missouri Valley rankings in the 40 and overs. He loved the Joplin Open Tennis Classic and hosted many 4 th of July Pig and Beer Bash tournaments. With life changes the competitive tennis waned, but he still loved hitting balls off the machine. He then started playing golf and at the end of his second year playing golf was shooting in the 70s. 

He played golf in the Mickey Mantle Classic Tournament at Loma Linda many times, the Kitchen Pass Tournament, Galena Alumni Tournament and Galena Golf League. Marty started his business life of 51 years with a Skelly Service Station at B & Main in Joplin. He entered the United States Air Force and gave up his service station until he was discharged. When he came back to Joplin he was working at Eagle Picher, met his old sales rep and got his station back and “ran on cash flow” he'd just gotten paid and had a hundred dollars in his pocket. Growing his service station business, he moved to a station at 22nd and Range Line and ultimately ended up at 36th and Range Line in a Skelly Station. He started renting a motor home as a favor for the bank. In his mind “why would anyone want to rent a motor home”? in a month he had folks lining up to make reservations! Maybe this wasn't a bad idea after all. 

During the gas 'crunch' of the 70s he was priced out of the gas business and moved his camper lot to it's present location at 44th and South Range Line Road. Marty was working until the day he entered the hospital and totally expected to return to doing what he loved with the one that he loved most. Marty is survived by his wife, Sheri of the home. Norman Wheelen and wife Lisa of Oronogo, Martin Wheelen of Joplin, Greg Wheelen and wife Deborah of Republic, Michael Wheelen and wife Dani of Webb City, Todd Wheelen and wife Caroline of Delray Beach, FL, and Marci King and husband Curtis of Webb City. 

Grandchildren Courtney and Buddy Munch and family, Seth and Theresa Wheelen of Webb City, Carlie Wheelen of Columbus, KS, Jacob Wheelen of Joplin, Montana Wittenmyer of Riverton. Christopher Wheelen of Webb City, Braxton Wheelen of Delray Beach, FL, Jasmine Bailey and fiancé Clayton Cooper of Springfield, Jordon Bailey of Baltimore, and OB King of Joplin. Four beautiful great-grandchildren Addie and Lily Wheelen, Jayda King and Kamden Wittenmyer. 

His mother-in-law Waldeane Logan of Joplin, sister-in-law Sandy Golden and brother-inlaw Russell and Pam Logan and family of Lamar. Darlene Jarvis, Big M's work wife. Many nieces and nephews and a host of friends. He was preceded in death by his parents Roy and Ruth, his sister Barbara Klieves and grandparents.