Howard W. Wheeler Sr., 86, architect

March 03, 2000|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Howard Wentworth Wheeler Sr., a retired architect whose institutional projects included schools, hospitals and banks, died Monday of heart failure at Anne Arundel Medical Center. He was 86 and lived in Severna Park.

During the late 1940s and early 1950s, Mr. Wheeler worked with several Baltimore architectural firms before establishing his own firm, which bore his name, in 1953. The Glen Burnie firm, which later had an office in Baltimore, became known as Wheeler, Bonn, Shockey & Taylor Associates.

The firm designed 50 public schools, including Annapolis and South River high schools, Severn River Junior High School and Magothy Middle School.

One of the original architects of Anne Arundel Community College and North Arundel Hospital, the firm also designed Howard Hall at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

The firm also designed banks, commercial buildings, and police and fire stations.

In 1978, Mr. Wheeler retired, then returned to private practice. In 1982, with partner Charles Goodman, he established Wheeler Goodman, which became the architectural division of John E. Harms Jr. & Associates, a Pasadena consulting-residential engineering firm. He retired again in 1986.

His professional memberships included the Associated Builders & Contractors. He served two terms on the State of Maryland Architectural Registration Board, was a member of the Baltimore Building Congress & Exchange board and was a founder and former president of the Chesapeake Bay chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and raised in Biloxi, Miss., where he graduated from high school, Mr. Wheeler earned a bachelor's degree in architecture from Alabama Polytechnic Institute, now part of Auburn University.

He worked at Maryland Drydock Co. in Baltimore from 1936 until 1941, when he enlisted in the Army Corps of Engineers. He served in the Pacific theater until he was discharged with the rank of major in 1945.

A charter member of Chartwell Golf & Country Club and Severn River Swim Club, he had been active in recreation-council athletics.

In 1941, he married Helen Mae Chesshire, who died in 1980.

He was a member of Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church, 611 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd. in Severna Park, where services will be held at 10: 30 a.m. today.

Mr. Wheeler is survived by two sons, Howard W. Wheeler Jr. of Annapolis and Richard S. Wheeler of Las Vegas; two daughters, Judith W. O'Malley of Severna Park and Janice K. Wheeler of Baltimore; and three grandchildren.

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