After a long battle with cancer, Cynthia Wheeler passed away peacefully on 8 January surrounded by her family at her home in Jacksonville, NC.
Cindy was born in Oklahoma City on 11 October 1951. She attended OKC public schools - graduating from Northwest Classen High School in 1969. Following graduation, she worked at the Twilight Gardens Drive-In before attending Oklahoma Baptist University during the 1969-1970 academic year. In April 1970 she became engaged to James Wheeler – a co-worker she met at Twilight Gardens. Jim and Cindy were married on 15 May 1971. Following Jim’s senior year at the University of Oklahoma, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in 1972. They then began a 26 year journey as a service couple – serving at Fort Sill, OK; Quantico, VA; Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, and Camp Lejeune, NC. During this time, Cindy was very active in various officers wives clubs and volunteered regularly for both the Army and Navy-Marine Corps Relief Societies. About the time of Jim’s retirement in 1998, she found her true calling as a volunteer for the American Red Cross where she served as a shelter manager, disaster assistance team coordinator, and health and welfare coordinator. Cindy deployed on may occasions to help during natural disasters which included fires, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Until recently, she was very active in her church – Living Hope Community Church in Jacksonville, NC – being a regular member of the church choir and finance committee.
She loved to read (as evidenced by her bookcases and lists of books she wanted to check out at the library). She also enjoyed needlepoint, crocheting & quilting. There are many families who benefited from her skills over the years with beautiful baby clothes & blankets. She also loved Nestle Crunches & Dr. Pepper. Despite her intense dislike of animals, she tolerated all of her grand-dogs and grand- cats. She was a great cook, but never learned to make fried chicken to Jim’s satisfaction. She finally told her husband that if he wanted fried chicken, he could go to KFC. But she more than made up for it by making his favorite homemade onion rings, which never seemed to make it to the table because everyone ate them as soon as they were done.
Cindy was preceded in death by her father, William Albert Cupp; mother, Rose Marie Cupp Hamby; step father, Guy Hamby; and step brother, Gary Hamby. She is survived by her husband of 47 years, James Wheeler; daughter Susan Marie Powers and son-in-law John Thomas Powers of Moyock, NC; daughter Kimberly Dawn Kazda and son-in-law Bill Kazda of Winterville, NC; granddaughter Lauren Powers of East Carolina University; grandson Justin Powers of Moyock, NC; sister Marsha Bukofzer of Medina, WA; brothers Danny and Terry Cupp of Oklahoma City; step sister Terri Hamby of Vancouver, WA; and step sister Rhonda Hamby Benoit of Vancouver, WA.
Visitation will be at the Jones Funeral Home in Jacksonville, NC from 1800 -2000 on 13 January. A funeral service will be held at the Living Hope Community Church at 1310 Hargett Street in Jacksonville, NC at 1100 on 14 January with the Rev. Robert Hall officiating. Internment will occur immediately following at the Coastal Carolina State Veterans Cemetery located at Camp Johnson, NC.
The family wishes to thank the doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who provided such kind & compassionate care of our beloved wife, mother & grandmother, especially in her final days.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the American Red Cross, 12 Ruth Street, Jacksonville, NC 28540.