We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Brighton - Hamburg Chapel
WHEELER, DORIS MAY of Ann Arbor, Michigan, age 97, passed away on August 26, 2022, at Hampton Manor of Hamburg. She was born to Elizabeth “Beth” Lewis Dundas and William “Bill” Charlton Dundas on March 6, 1925, in Redford Township. During the Depression, Bill moved his family to a home on Stein Road in Ann Arbor Township before purchasing the Webster Store, now known as CJ’s Party Store & Disc Golf. She attended the one-room schools on N. Maple Road and Webster Church at Farrell Roads.
While working at Webster Store, she met her future husband, John T. Wheeler, Jr., when he rode his bicycle from his nearby family farm to the store. John was two years younger than Doris but vowed he would marry her someday. In about 1932, Bill Dundas sold Webster Store. Doris got a job at King Seely in Ann Arbor as a bookkeeper and moved into an apartment with her good friend June McMichael. Meanwhile, John Wheeler finished high school and joined the Merchant Marines in 1945. While he was away, Doris and John exchanged letters. John was discharged in 1946, and they were married on March 29, 1947. They went to live on the second floor of John’s family’s big farmhouse. A few years later, Doris May decided a telephone was needed for the farm. She went door-to-door in the neighborhood collecting signatures to successfully have the first party line installed in the township.
John Wheeler Sr. gave Doris and John a parcel of land on which to build a home of their own. Ground was broken in 1958 and later that year they moved into the ranch house on the corner of N. Territorial and Jennings Road which they owned until the end of their lives. Doris May was John’s partner in life, helping on the farm and raising the children while John continued to work at DAPCO and run the farm.
Doris May served on the Webster Township Election Board for almost 30 years while John served as a Webster Township Trustee. She and John were members of the Grange and the Farm Bureau and spent many hours at the Community Hall, now known as Crossroads Community Center. Doris and John were members of Webster Congregational Church where Doris sang in the choir.
Doris May was a devoted mother and grandmother, hosting the family gatherings. A family favorite dish was her potato salad, and she passed the recipe on to her daughter. Doris May loved traveling, including weekend excursions; canning; and baking. She loved birds and spent hours sitting in her sunroom watching not only the birds but the deer in her back yard.
In 1969, Doris May and John had Wheeler Pond dug in a spring-fed field and stocked it with fish. A small barn built by a carpenter friend; a shelter built by John, his son, and a couple of friends; and a concrete block grill completed the small oasis back in the field. This was the site of many summer picnics with family and friends sharing good food, swimming, and playing games.
Doris was preceded in death by her husband, John (October 26, 2012); her parents, Bill and Beth Dundas; and her siblings, Edward, Herbert, Ruth (Wahl), Marie (Bauer), and Robert. She is survived by her children Thelma (John) Tucker, Kevin (Mary), and Brian; 8 grandchildren Charlotte Tucker Perkins (Sean), Michael Tucker (Megan), Sean Tucker (Amanda), Amy Wheeler (Colin Broadworth), Kelly Wheeler Loomis, John T. Lawrence Wheeler (Lisa), Shane Wheeler, and step-granddaughter Valerie (Anthony). Dipietro; 21 great-grandchildren; cousins, nieces, and nephews.
The family will gather with friends from 2-4 PM on Friday, September 2 at Borek Jennings Funeral Home, Hamburg Chapel. Her memorial service will follow at 4:00PM. Reverend Bill Donahue will serve as officiant. A private burial will follow at Webster Cemetery.
Donations may be made in Doris’ memory to: the Webster Township Historical Society. The family would like to especially thank the caregivers at Hampton Manor of Hamburg who cared for Doris May enabling her to persevere with dignity and maintain her sweet disposition.
Webster Township Historical Society