Kremmling’s Stella Wheatley ‘lived a good life’
July 2, 2008
A smile is worth more than all the money in the world.
Stella Wheatley shared that advice with her son Bill Wheatley, 59, before she passed away.
“She never held a grudge that I can recall. She forgave everyone,” the Kremmling native said.
On June 17 Kremmling lost Stella Wheatley, a lifelong resident who made friends easily.
“She was born and lived there her whole life,” says her daughter Twila O’Onotta, 57, of Kremmling. “She just had an aura about her … Anybody who was around Kremmling for a long time knew Stella.”
Stella Wheatley was born near Green Mountain Reservoir.
O’Onotta said some people like to make plans ahead of time, but her mother “was always ready to go. She would say she was ready to go anytime, anywhere,” she said.
Stella Wheatley was a very “pro-Kremmling person,” O’Onotta said. She supported the hospital, schools, children and senior citizens. She wore a sweatshirt that stated: God please put your arm around my shoulder, and your hand over my mouth.
“She wasn’t afraid to talk to anybody, and she wasn’t afraid to say what she thought,” O’Onotta added. “Her voice carried, so she was always very outspoken.
“I don’t want to live in a world of just adults,” O’Onotta remembers her mother saying, adding that she liked when children were around. “She was very outgoing, very social, she loved to talk, and she had a very caring voice. She loved to go and visit people. She was very much a people person.”
Stella died of leukemia at age 83.
“She was in good shape until the last 24 hours,” said her son Alan Wheatley, 64 of Kremmling.
She was outgoing, friendly, the life-of-the-party, and “always taking care of family,” he said.
Holidays won’t be the same without her. “She was always the picture-taker, and trying to get everyone together to take a picture,” Alan said.
She leaves behind her husband Kenneth, 87, who she was married to for nearly 65 years; and three children: Alan, Bill and O’Onotta. Another daughter, Leah Gore, passed away last year.
She will also be missed by her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
O’Onotta said her mother was blessed to have her grandchildren and great-grandchildren live near her.
Stella raised her children and spent time working on the ranch. She was also involved with the schools and organizations and leased apartments to tenants at the Wheatley Building.
After her children grew up she worked at the school cafeteria and drove the school bus. She liked the mountains, riding horses and camping.
“She lived a good life,” Alan said. “People always said they had fun when they were around her. She knew a lot more people than I did.”