Steve, you were so loved by all as evidenced by the number of family & friends who honored you at your funeral and the wonderful things they said about you during the service. Your great niece, Amber Thornton Spatz, talked about how much fun you always were as a kid, teasing and playing practical jokes on them all the time. Your niece, Pam Schulte Moore, remembers you dangling her upside down over trash cans all the time while she screamed and you laughed your head off. And she’ll never forget the miniature outhouse you made for her. You told her to open the door to see what was inside, and when she did, it exploded. You laughed and laughed at her reaction! Pam shared that exploding outhouse with many a friend, which made you very proud. Steve’s nephew, Gary Wheat, shared many of the jokes and contraptions you made to tease the little kids over the years. One of your popular contraptions was putting wires together and asking the kids to touch them together so it would shock them. Some kind of a hand crank generator, I think Gary said. You were a great teaser, and all the kids loved being around you. You were always called a “grown up little boy.” Even as an adult, you were always playing tricks on your friends while hunting and fishing, with one story after another shared with me when we were together the last few months. The minister shared a direct quote from me, that you were “a cantankerous old fart!” That got a huge laugh out of those attending the service as they all knew it to be true. Your neighbor, Dr. Wayne Brown, said you were a great friend and neighbor for the 18 years Dr. Brown & his wife lived there. Your good friend, Mike Freeman, also a member of the EFD Honor Guard, spoke of your great friendship for many many years and that he would certainly miss you dearly. Some of your favorite songs were played during and after the service, How Great Thou Art by Elvis, Amazing Grace by Alan Jackson, and that Long Black Train by Josh Turner. The Valparaiso Fire Dept. Honor Guard did a great job honoring you for your 32 years of service. They silently stood guard by your casket throughout the visitation from 9-10 am Thursday, acted as pallbearers after the service and at the burial site, played bagpipes as guests drove to the burial site, stood at attention during the short service at the grave site, then presented a flag to both Daryl and Patti. An EFD firetruck and fellow firefighters stood at attention as guests drove to and from the burial site. It was really special for all to see and made us so proud of your commitment to protect our community for 32 years. Steve, you will be greatly missed. I want to pick up the phone to call you every day, then remember you’re not there to answer. Because you’re in a beautiful mansion with an unlisted number. You’re praising the Lord and singing with the choir, enjoying the beauty of Heaven for eternity! You will be greatly missed. But I will see you soon! I love you dearly. Your sister, Crystal.
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Steven Wheat, 74, passed away September 5, 2018 in Valparaiso, Indiana. He was born to the late Harry and Lucille Nix Wheat in Wentzville, Missouri on April 7, 1944.
Steven was a proud Valparaiso Firefighter for 32 years. He loved spending time outdoors, hunting, fishing, camping, and boating. He had a true love for nature.
He is survived by his children, Patti (Owen) Johnson and Daryl (Terri) Wheat; grandchildren, Trina (Rebecca) Hatten, Owen Johnson, Travis (Anna) Johnson, Katlin Wheat (Cody Irvin), and Ashlyn Wheat; great-grandchildren, Myah Johnson and Liam Johnson; younger sister, Crystal (Bob) Phillips, and many beloved family and friends.
The family would like to thank Deaconess Hospice and Hospice nurses: Mercedes, Lisa, Jana, Kristy, Angela, and many more.
A visitation will be held at Graceland Cemetery on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 from 4 PM until 7 PM. The service will begin at 10 AM on Thursday, September 13, 2018 at Graceland Cemetery.
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