Terence O. Wheeler


Terence O. Wheeler, former mayor of Globe and a leader in the Arizona cattle industry for more than half a century, died on March 25th in Globe, at the age of 84.

Terry Wheeler was born in Tucson on October 28, 1935 to Oswin and Catherine Wheeler.  He attended SS. Peter and Paul School and graduated in 1953 from Tucson High School, where he was on the gymnastics team. He then attended the University of Arizona College of Agriculture, where he was one of the founders of the UA intercollegiate rodeo team, and received his B.S. in animal science and range/watershed management in 1958.

Terry pursued a career in cattle and range management, starting with the Bureau of Indian Affairs at San Carlos after college.  His career with the BIA took him to North Dakota and then to Chinle, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. He later was the University of Arizona cooperative extension agent for the San Carlos Apache  Tribe and for Gila County. He subsequently worked as a consultant in range management and reclamation for ranchers, tribes, mining companies and other landholders throughout Arizona and the Southwest. Since the 1980s he was a leading advocate for the holistic range management methodologies developed by Alan Savory for reversing desertification and reclaiming grazing lands. These activities took him as far afield as Lesotho and Niger in Southern Africa with the U.S. State Department’s Agency for International Development and Jordan with the U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization. In more recent years he managed ranches in Colorado and Arizona as well as purchasing and operating the Jones ranch located just north of Globe. Following a total of nine years as a city councilman, Terry served as Mayor of Globe from 2011 through 2016.

He was a past president of the Gila County Cattle Growers Association and was a member of the Arizona Cattle Growers Association, the National Indian Cattle Growers Association, 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 as he took many trips to Washington D.C. 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 baseball, and 4-H. He served in the U.S. Navy (Reserves and Active Duty) from 1952 – 1961.

Terry is survived by his wife Diana; by six children, Kevin Wheeler (Rebecca) of Chandler; Kathleen Ortega (Keith Cullen) of Tucson; Daniel Wheeler (Leslie) of Gilbert; Diane Kopf of Casa Grande; Nora (Dale Dallenogare) of Globe; and Eileen Terry of Globe; by 13 grandchildren; and by 6 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are his brother, William Wheeler (Patty) of Carmel, Indiana; his sister, Ellen Wheeler (David Nix) of Tucson; and his former wife, Anita Wheeler of Globe. He is also survived by three step-children, Frank Hardesty (Lee), of Globe; Shaunna Hardesty and her daughter Emily of Long Beach, California, and Marty Hardesty (Susie) of Valley Center, California.

A private Funeral Mass will be held at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Miami, AZ.

A memorial event will be scheduled once the Covid 19 is behind us.

The family encourages memorial gifts to be sent to James & Mini Griffin Memorial Scholarship, in honor of Terry Wheeler. C/O Dr. Janet Cline. Given to 4H/FFA graduating seniors. 501c Non profit. P.O. Box 1224, Globe, Az. 85502.

For more info 928-425-9683.

Assisting the family; Lamont Mortuary of Globe.

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