In the evening of Sunday, September 26, 2021, Joseph Carol Wheeler passed away at Memorial Campus in Asheville. A native of McDowell County, Joe was born on February 4, 1956 to the late Arnold and Eula Robinson Wheeler.
He is preceded in death by his brother, Tavis Wheeler.
Joe Wheeler is the definition of authentic. He lived his life on his own terms, and he lived big. Joe lived part of his childhood in Coco Beach, Florida where he developed a passion for the beach and being in the water, then Black Mountain for over 50 years, and was retired in Marion for the past 3 years. He was strong, he was intense, honest, fair, empathetic, and kind. He had amazing crystal blue eyes and a contagious smile with dimples. He was the life of the party and the loyal friend who would always defend you. He is unforgettable to anyone who met him. He was a profound human being.
He is a husband to his soulmate, the woman he fell in love with the moment he met her. Joe and DeAnn were together for over 42 years. They were opposites in the best ways, she opened his mind and grounded him, and he made her laugh while they built a perfectly imperfect life together. He had one focus in his life that he prioritized every day, and that was his wife and daughter. Nikki and Joe were two peas in a pod, exactly alike, and best friends. They had more adventures than one could count and an unconditional love for one another. His family was his everything, he did whatever needed to get done to ensure his daughter had every opportunity the world offered. The three loved to travel to Mexico and Hawaii, ski at Sugar Mountain, and creating continuous memories together. He was a doting father, a hard worker, a full personality, and a caring husband. Not a second will go by that he will not be missed and loved. His memory will live on in his two grandchildren (Cam and Olivia) who brought him so much joy and laughter. He loved being a grandfather aka Pawpaw, and was very close to each of them.
Joe learned how to build houses from his father whom he loved spending time with. He eventually took over the family business where he excelled in building some of the most beautiful homes in the valley. He had a remarkable work ethic, worked very hard, and took a lot of pride in his craft. He had a passion for karate where he studied multiple styles and went on to open FSK Karakido Dojo. He ran the dojo for the past several years in Marion, teaching the local children the various styles he learned in Hawaii and in NC and prided himself knowing he was contributing to his community and seeing each of his student’s flourish.
So, with a heavy and broken heart, Joe, Dad, PawPaw, Sensei will be remembered, honored, loved, and deeply missed. Today we bow as we turn the lights out on FSK Karakido. We are all better because of him. As he always told DeAnn and Nikki, ‘love you, bye.'
Joseph is survived by his wife, DeAnn Wheeler; one daughter, Nikki Wheeler; three sisters, Rhonda Crosby, Carolyn Taylor and Donna Smith; two grandchildren, Cameron Lewis and Olivia Lewis.
A visitation will be held on Friday, October 1, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at Beam Funeral Service.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a donation in Joseph’s memory are asked to consider, St. Jude Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tennessee 38105.