Clarke Meacham Wheeler passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in his home on October 26, 2019. He left the world too soon at the young age of 57 years.
Clarke was born on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1961, in Oroville, California. He and his older sister Kallene grew up in Feather Falls in Butte County on a 360-acre ranch with every type of animal imaginable—cattle, horses, pigs, and many others. Clarke loved growing up on the ranch.
He started elementary school in Feather Falls. Later the family moved to Potter Valley where he spent grades 3 through 8. He attended Ukiah High School, graduating in 1979. He was a natural athlete and excelled in many sports including basketball, rugby, football, and he was an avid “business” golfer.
One of his fondest accomplishments was riding sections of the Pacific Crest Trail on horseback from Mexico into Oregon in the early 1980’s. He had a love of animals – especially his canine companion Clifford – and an appreciation and interest in elephants.
Clarke married Diane Erickson on September 28, 1991, in Hopland, California. They made their home in Napa. They soon welcomed a son, Beau, and a daughter, Alexandra (“Sissy”).
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Following in his dad’s footsteps, Clarke worked in the lumber industry, first in mills and later in lumber sales in the Napa region. He had his own lumber remanufacturing plant in Woodland, turning ugly pieces of lumber into beautiful wood for sale for special projects.
In spite of his tough exterior, Clarke was a well-rounded renaissance man with a soft and sensitive side. He was an excellent cook – creating his own gastronomic creations by trial and error – and enjoyed entertaining friends and family in the custom home he designed in the Napa hills. He had a green thumb and enjoyed bonsai and Asian floral design.
Clarke was a devoted spouse and father to his family. He was extremely proud of his two kids and enjoyed their company as children and as young adults. He loved the fellowship of his mom and dad, Nancy and Joe, and his large extended family.
Clarke is survived by his wife Diane, his children Beau and Alexandra, his mother, Nancy Wheeler, and his sisters Kallene (Joe) Casias, Kathy (Rich) Carr, Judy Allmon, and Theresa (Mike) Conn. He was preceded in death by his father, Joe Wheeler.
A memorial service is planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to a charity of your choice or to the “Save Elephant Foundation” (www.saveelephant.org/donate/).