In Memory

Richard L. (Scrap) Wheeler (Coach)

Richard “Scrap” Wheeler, former Fulton County educator, passed away at his home in Blairsville, Georgia on Friday April 15, 2011, following an extended illness.  He was 85 years old. After graduating from Russell High School in 1942, Scrap served two tours of duty as a Corporal in the Marine Corps during WWII.  Upon returning home to the States, he was instrumental in creating the Parks and Recreation programs in both College Park and East Point.Coach Wheeler retired from Fulton County Schools in 1984 after 30 years of service.  He taught High School English and also taught in the DCT program.  He was a beloved Coach at College Park High School.  Coach Wheeler came out of the classroom to work as an Assistant to Superintendent John Grindle. Mr. Wheeler was a member and Deacon of New Union Baptist Church.

Scrap leaves behind his loving wife, Doris; sons, Lee and Patrick Wheeler; daughter in law, Cyndi Wheeler; grandchildren, Danica Swansburg, Brett Mitchell, Keaton Wheeler, Jessica Wheeler, and Anna Wheeler; and great grand chidlren Audrey and Cole Swansburg, many other relatives and friends also survive.

Funeral services were held on Sunday April 17, 2011, at the New Union Baptist Church with the Rev. Harrison Bradley and Rev. Jerry Helton officiating. The body lay in state at the church prior to the services.  Special music was presented by the New Union Baptist Church and the House of Prayer Church Choirs. The following gentlemen served as pallbearers: David Gowder, Tim Odom, Phillip Abernathy, Winston Chambers, Tim Grizzle and Marty Payne. Interment followed in the Hemptown Baptist Church Cemetery with the North Georgia Honor Guard conducting military honors.

Mountain View Funeral Home of Blairsville handled arrangements. You may sign the family guest book and send condolences on line at

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10/24/11 08:49 AM #1    

Alicia Louise Gazaway (Rainwater) (1967)

Coach Wheeler also taught Senior World History and was intrumental in making me a history buff.  He made history alive. 

I had known him all my life as my mother, Coach Wheeler and Dick Lane all grew up in the same "neighborhood" in East Point, and even though they were a little older than my mom, they treated her like a little sister.  My mom and I worked for East Point Recreation which Coach Wheeler and Dick Lane started at the pool.  My mother ran the pool and swim lessons from 1960 to 1971 when I took over the helm and was manager until 1973.  I worked at South Park as a Recreation Director also while attending college.  Without people like Coach Wheeler and Dick Lane, there would not have been the East Point Recreation Dept.

And he was one of the greatest teachers in the school.


02/27/12 01:31 PM #2    

Les Wilson (1964)

  Coach Wheeler was a dynamic person who treated me just the same as a skinny, impressionable basketball player at the College Park Recreation Center in elementary school as he did when I was a skinny, football player on the varsity at CPHS. He was always fair, friendly, and never seemed to lose his temper no matter how unruly we could be. I have always thought of "Scrap" as the perfect handler of young lives and could never imagine his role in some of the terrible things we read about today in the relationships between children and coaches/supervisors - it just would not have happened-he was always the perfect role model for young people. RIP Scrap!

07/14/12 03:58 AM #3    

Randy Tedder (1985)

I first came to know Coach Wheeler as a youth baseball player in East Point. He always had a smile on his face and was a true gentleman. RIP Scrap!!!

06/09/13 07:49 PM #4    

David Michael Whitfield (1971)

Coach was a man I respected and looked up to,I was in the DCT program under him.He was a great mitor and a friend.God bless him.

01/30/14 01:00 PM #5    

John David Pickering, Sr. (1974)

Coach Wheeler and Coach Cunningham were great friends.  I remember their trip to Alaska by driving the Alaskan Highway.  It was a great adventure for them and we made wood bunk beds for them in wood shop to put in the bed and camper shell of Coach Cunnigham's truck which they took to Alaska.  They had great stories and we loved hearing them.  They set a good example of what friends could do at work and how to have a great adventure.

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