Betty Jean Wheeler

Betty Jean Wheeler died on February 19, 2015 at Heartfields in Easton. She was 97.

The daughter of Dr. William T. Hammond and Edna Speakman Hammond, she grew up on Goldsborough Street in Easton with her late older brother, Bill. She attended Talbot County schools and was a graduate of George School and The University of Delaware. Several years ago, she recounted her childhood in a memoir, “Small Town Girl,” which she wrote for her family and friends.

After a year of graduate studies in nursing at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Betty Jean married Easton native Charles E. Wheeler on December 23, 1939. After several years of married life in Charlottesville, Virginia, Washington, D.C, and La Jolla, California, they returned to Easton in 1946. While Charlie practiced law, Betty Jean raised their four children, tended multiple gardens and became engaged in volunteer work. Charlie Wheeler died in April 2010 after more than seventy years of marriage.

Betty Jean Wheeler was a founding member of the Junior Auxiliary of Memorial Hospital in Easton, serving as a board member for 16 consecutive years. She was the assistant editor of “A Cook’s Tour of the Eastern Shore,” the cookbook that was published in 1948 as a principal fundraiser for the Auxiliary. It is still in print.

An earlier fundraiser for the Auxiliary was a card party. It was scheduled for late June 1947, and Betty Jean was in charge of refreshments. When she had to drop off the homemade lemonade and cookies a little early, she informed the startled hostess that she was expecting her third child and was in an early stage of labor.

Betty Jean served on the boards of the United Fund, Memorial Hospital, the Garden Club of the Eastern Shore, the Talbot County Garden Club, the Academy Art Museum, and the Harbor Club. She was a lifelong member and trustee of Third Haven Friends Meeting. She volunteered for many years teaching art appreciation and reading in the Talbot County public schools.

In addition to gardening, her interests included sailing, playing tennis and golf at Talbot Country Club and traveling. She and Charlie enjoyed many adventures on every continent except Asia. Her photo albums and diaries captured their forays into other countries and cultures.

Betty Jean is survived by four children: Adrienne W. Rudge, Lindsley W. Smith and Susan E. Wheeler, all of Easton, and Charles H. Wheeler of Berkeley, California. Seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren also survive her.

Third Haven Friends Monthly Meeting is a member of Southern Quarterly Meeting of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends General Conference of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Meetings for Worship: Sundays 10:00AM, Wednesdays 5:30PM

Childrens' program: 1st and 3rd Sundays 10:00AM

Meetings for Worship with Attention to Business: 2nd Sunday of the Month following Meeting for Worship (except for the months of July and August)

Contact: 405 S. Washington St., Easton, MD 21601; (410) 822-0293;; Find Us on Facebook


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