WHEELER, Terence O.
former mayor of Globe and a leader in the Arizona cattle industry for more than half a century, died March 25, 2020 in Globe, at the age of 84.
Terry was born in Tucson on October 28, 1935 to Oswin and Catherine Wheeler. He graduated in 1953 from Tucson High School. He received his B.S. in animal science and range/watershed management in 1958 from the UA College of Agriculture.
Terry pursued a career in cattle and range management, starting with the Bureau of Indian Affairs at San Carlos Reservation. His BIA career took him to North Dakota and Chinle, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation. He later was the UA Cooperative Extension agent for the San Carlos Apache Tribe and for Gila County. He subsequently was a consultant in range management and reclamation for ranchers, tribes, mining companies and other landholders throughout the Southwest. Since the 1980's he was a leading advocate for holistic range management methodologies to reverse desertification and reclaim grazing lands. These activities took him as far as Lesotho and Niger in Africa with USAID and Jordan with the UN Food & Agriculture Organization. He also managed ranches in Colorado and Arizona and purchased and operated the Jones ranch just north of Globe. After a total of nine years as a city councilman, Terry served as Mayor of Globe from 2011 through 2016.
He was past president of the Gila County Cattle Growers and a member of the Arizona and National Indian Cattle Growers Associations, the Society for Range Management, Arizona Town Hall and many other local, state and national organizations. Terry was passionate about protecting the rights of Western cattlemen and public land use, and he traveled often to Washington DC to meet with congressmen on their behalf. Terry was active throughout his adult life in the Gila County community, including volunteer organizations, his parish council, schools, Little League, and 4-H. He served in the U.S. Navy (Reserves and Active), 1952-1961.Terry is survived by his wife, Diana; six children, Kevin Wheeler (Rebecca) of Chandler; Kathleen Ortega (Keith Cullen) of Tucson; Daniel Wheeler (Leslie) of Gilbert; Diane Kopf of Casa Grande; Nora Green (Dale Dallenogare) and Eileen Terry, both of Globe; 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Also surviving are his brother, William Wheeler (Patty) of Carmel, Indiana; his sister, Ellen Wheeler (David Nix) of Tucson; his former wife, Anita Wheeler of Globe and three step-children, Frank Hardesty (Lee) of Globe; Shaunna Hardesty and her daughter, Emily of Long Beach, CA, and Marty Hardesty (Susie) of Valley Center, CA.A private Funeral Mass was held. A Memorial will be scheduled once COVID 19 is behind us. The family encourages memorial gifts to a Terry Wheeler Scholarship for 4H/FFA graduating seniors at the James & Mini Griffin Memorial Scholarship (501(c) nonprofit), C/O Dr. Janet Cline, P.O. Box 1224, Globe AZ 85502.