Obituary of Lawrence "Larry" Edward Wheeler
Please share a memory of Lawrence "Larry" to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.
Lawrence “Larry” Wheeler passed away Sunday, January 30th at 84 years of age. He is preceded in death by his parents, Walter Bennett Wheeler and Armentine “Alma” Stevens Knighton; brothers, Wallace Bennett “Sonny” Wheeler and Charles Walter Wheeler; and his sister, Beulah “Sis” Windham. Left to cherish his memory are his daughters, Debra Long and husband Jerry and Karie Wheeler and husband Gary; brothers, Carlton Earl Wheeler and Richard Eugene Wheeler; grandchildren; Dana, Kurtis Long and wife Kara, Kaylon Wheeler and wife Halie, Luke, Gavin, and Branson Wheeler; great-granddaughter, Anastasia, as well as many other dear family and friends.
Larry was a self-taught, accomplished musician who could pick up any instrument and play it within a few minutes. Although his instrument of choice was the guitar (acoustic, electric, and classical) he also played the banjo, mandolin, bass, violin, and piano. When Larry and his brother, Carl, were 17 or 18 they auditioned to be the band for a local television show in Wichita Falls, Texas. They won the slot by popular vote; however, their father had a stroke and they all moved back to La Porte, Texas. Larry had a great love of music, and he wrote and copyrighted approximately 110 songs in addition to 500+ songs that have not been copyrighted. “Cry Woman Cry” and “You Can’t Lose Me” were written and recorded in 1957 and are listed in the Rock-A-Billy Hall of Fame. Larry played at the Nesadel Club in Pasadena, Texas and knew Mickey Gilley personally. Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown offered him a job as part of his band, but he turned it down. A decision Larry later regretted. When he began attending church, he and his brother, Carl, were asked to play and sing at many churches in Texas and Louisiana. Later in life, he taught many students to play the guitar and other instruments, but his favorite students were his grandchildren. These are a wonderful part of his legacy.
Larry loved his family deeply. He loved getting together with his family, especially if there was good food and games involved. He was punctual and meticulous in all areas of his life. Larry was a natural artist as well as musician. He went to Art School for a while and worked as an artist for an advertising company for a short time. He later drew portraits of family members and friends. He had a desire to draw pictures from memory of times in his life and many were later bound into a book titled Pictures of My Life.
During his spare time, you could find him on the waters of Sylvan Beach or Galveston or fishing off the Texas City dike. He fished in fresh and salt water but liked it best when fishing with family. He will be missed dearly by all who loved and knew him.
Visitation for Larry by family and friends will be 6:00 – 8:00 pm Friday, February 4th at Clayton Funeral Home, 201 S. 3rd Street, La Porte, Texas. Graveside Service for family will be Saturday, February 5th 10:00 am at the Laporte Cemetery on S. 8th Street.