Robert Borden Wheeler

Robert (Wheel) Borden Wheeler, born in 1934 in Fall River, MA, was the first child of George and Margery Wheeler. He and his sister Joan grew up at St. George’s School in Newport, RI, where his grandfather and father taught for a cumulative 99 years. Bob obtained his degree in History from Yale University in 1956 and joined the Navy, where he reached the rank of Lieutenant (junior grade).

He married the gregarious, warm and adventuresome Elizabeth (Wendy) Allen (1936-2013) in 1959. Bob taught at the Hawken School in Shaker Heights, OH for many years before becoming head of Upper School at the Park School in Brookline, MA. He was committed to Socratic learning and always fostered debate and discussion amongst students and teachers. Bob then joined Yale University as an admissions officer, where he worked to expand diversity and offer more opportunities to students from less advantaged backgrounds. He spent his life advocating for access to education.

Bob and Wendy moved to Linden Ponds, Hingham, MA in 2011. After 54 years of marriage and shared adventures, Bob lost Wendy to breast cancer in 2013. After her death, Wheel lived independently. His hobbies were gardening, fishing, and travel, but Bob’s true passion was reading, learning and hearing the latest news from any quarter. He never lost his love of baseball, and shared this passion with his children and grandchildren. Wheel was an active, thoughtful listener, always ready to get to the heart of a problem, struggle or concern.

He died peacefully in his sleep Friday morning surrounded by his loving family. Bob is survived by his sister Joan Kaufman and his four children and their families; Daniel and Maggie Wheeler (Los Angeles, CA), Andrew and Deb Todd Wheeler (Newton, MA), Beth Wheeler and Emmy Shacter (Takoma Park,MD) and Amy Wheeler and partner Tim Reny (Simsbury, CT), many beautiful grandchildren, and one great grandson, all of whom he delighted in spending time with in his beloved Westport Harbor. A Memorial Service for Bob will be held at Saint Columba’s Chapel in Middletown, RI. In lieu of flowers, Please donate to the I Have a Dream Foundation.