Landscapes 14

Larry Wheat

May 17, 1940 ~ January 11, 2022 (age 81)


Larry Wheat was born May 17, 1940 and passed from this world at 1 PM January 11, 2022. He is preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Gladys Wheat, his wife, Mollie Wheat, brother-in-law Joseph Wolfe, and numerous other friends and relatives. He is survived by his sister, Marilyn Wolfe, niece, Cheryl Waterman, her husband and son Roger and Elijah Waterman, son John and daughter-in-law Tenia Wheat, grandchildren Kasey, Ty, Tad, and Kalina, and great-grandchildren Kaylynn, Keilani, Clark, and Murphy.


Larry was married to Mollie R. Blouch Wheat on May 1, 1961, after which they enjoyed 52 years of marriage, until Molly’s passing January 27, 2013. Larry never truly recovered her loss, and looked forward every day to a time that he could be with her again.


Larry is a veteran of the United States Army, serving from 1962 to 1965. He initially intended to be a chaplains assistant, but as is often the case, pursued a different military path, and was honorably discharged as an E4 member of Company B, the 714th transportation battalion of Fort Eustis, Virginia.


Upon returning to the area after his service, he joined his dad, Leonard Wheat, in working for the Pillsbury Company in Terre Haute. He retired from Pillsbury after 42 years of service as a material handler, and is remembered for his unique and mischievous work presence and his nickname “Bear”.


Following his retirement from Pillsbury, Larry founded Wheats Cleaning Service, which he operated with Sammy Inman and his son John for several years. He also drove a school bus for the South Vermillion School Corporation, and is likely remembered by many riders for his strict adherence to order and respect.


He was a lifelong member of Trinity Church, near Shepherdsville Indiana, that was refounded, and pastored by his parents Leonard and Gladys Wheat for greater than 50 years.


Larry was also a private pilot, logging hundreds of hours in antique aircraft, a member of the John Blouch Chapter of the EAA, and consistently attended the national EAA fly-In in Oshkosh Wisconsin.


He was a licensed auctioneer, and also an antique and classic car aficionado, having been an officer in the Antique and Classic Automobile Club of the Wabash Valley, and Wabash Valley Corvette Association.


In recent years, Larry (and his best four-legged friend, Willy) became known for his knowledge as an Indianapolis 500 racing historian, especially in regard to the Sumar race team, and was known far and wide as “Sumarman”. He was an active member of the Indianapolis 500 Old Timers Club.


He was also a lifelong Country and Bluegrass music fan and supporter, and a founding member of the National Cross Roads Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Association. He was wholly responsible for fostering a passion of that art form in his son, John, with those two attending hundreds of bluegrass festivals, eating tons of Domino’s pizzas, and getting to know thousands of people who shared his passion of bluegrass music performance and appreciation.


Most of all, he was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, but above all else, he missed his wife Mollie every day since her passing, and is now joyfully reunited with her. Larry loved more, and touched more lives than most any three other people combined. He will be sorely missed and never forgotten.


Visitation will be provided by Frist Funeral Home, Clinton Indiana, on Saturday, January 15 from 4 to 8 PM, with services to follow on Sunday at 2 PM.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Larry Wheat, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Larry

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January 15, 2022

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Funeral Service
January 16, 2022

2:00 PM

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