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Special tribute planned for well-loved Norfolk lorry driver

PUBLISHED: 10:27 27 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:11 27 April 2020

David Wheeler with his wife Jean. Picture: Andrew Brasier

David Wheeler with his wife Jean. Picture: Andrew Brasier

Archant

“If I can be half the man David was, then I won’t go far wrong.”

David Wheeler, 74 from Fakenham. Picture: Andrew BrasierDavid Wheeler, 74 from Fakenham. Picture: Andrew Brasier

That was the message as warm tributes were paid to a much-loved lorry driver who has been described as a kind and selfless family man.

David Wheeler, 74 from Fakenham, has died after suffering heart failure.

Mr Wheeler was a husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. Described as the head of the family, he has helped create lasting memories for them with his wife Jean.

Mr and Mrs Wheeler celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last year, having known each other from a young age and the pair loved going on holidays and socialising with friends.

One of the trucks David Wheeler drove for Jack Richards & Son during his 35 years with them. Picture: Andrew BrasierOne of the trucks David Wheeler drove for Jack Richards & Son during his 35 years with them. Picture: Andrew Brasier

“He was my soul mate”, she said.

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“I’m very sad at the moment, but I know I will see him again one day.”

Mr Wheeler was a father figure to everyone in his family, described as a selfless man who was always thinking of others.

David Wheeler, 74 from Fakenham. Picture: Andrew BrasierDavid Wheeler, 74 from Fakenham. Picture: Andrew Brasier

His son-in-law, Andrew Brasier said: “It was an honour to know him. If you had any problems you could go to him and he would help. I’ll miss him.”

Mr Wheeler was a lorry driver with Jack Richards & Son Ltd for 35 years, spending his weeks driving and delivering heavy cargo across the UK.

Anthony Richards, chairman of Jack Richards and Son, said: “During one of his first few days with us at the company, David arrived at our Haddenham depot to collect his lorry and after a pleasant exchange, my father, Jack Richards, turned to me and said ‘we’ve got one of the best here.’”

In his honour, Jack Richards have offered the family four lorries to escort Mr Wheeler to his funeral at Cromer crematorium. They will lead the hearse through his beloved Fakenham and drop in at the Jack Richards yard for employees to pay their last respects before proceeding to the crematorium.

With current restrictions on gatherings, only 10 people will be present in the crematorium, but they will have speakers so people can join in the service from the car park.

There will also be a video link, so Mr Wheeler’s family in Wolverhampton can join the service. They have asked people to wear black and gold after his football team, Wolverhampton Wanderers.


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