Clarkie Dell Bullard Wheeler, 90, of Manteo, NC passed away peacefully at home on June 18, 2021.
Born February 27, 1931 in Gadsden, AL, she was the daughter of Clifton Cecil and Winnie Irene Bullard. She was predeceased by siblings, James Bullard, Josephine Griffith, Agnes Wright, Kenneth Bullard and Julia Raye Bullard.
Clarkie is survived by her husband of 71 years, William W. Wheeler; son, Timothy O. Wheeler (Linda) of Mechanicsville, MD and daughter, Susan W. Gray (Ronnie) of Southern Shores, NC. Grandchildren, Timothy O. Wheeler, Jr. (Annie); Stacey W. Stone (Chris); William T. Gray (Andrea); Patrick C. Gray; Rachel W. Gray; and nine great-grandchildren.
She met her husband, Bill, through her cousin in Alabama. Bill was stationed in Norfolk, VA and would hitchhike all the way to Gadsden, AL just to see her. They married Thanksgiving Day the year she graduated high school. After their honeymoon in Birmingham, AL they established a residence in Norfolk and one month later Bill was deployed to Cuba, then transferred to Washington, DC, then to Morocco where she had to make her way to NYC and onto the oceanliner SS Constitution to sail to Morocco, all this as a very young woman from the mountains of Alabama. Clarkie worked as a secretary for the Navy’s Research Lab in Washington, DC and Kann’s Department Store and as a clerk in the Supply Department at the Naval Air Station in Morocco. She set up residence in eight different states plus DC, Morocco, and Guam. Demonstrating her tenacity and strength at being an amazing Navy wife, sometimes a single mother while Bill was deployed over his 30-year Naval career, a mother beyond compare, an amazing grandmother and great-grandmother always willing to help, and a great friend. She will be deeply missed by her husband and family. We are so thankful for the loving and strong example she set for all of us to follow.
In her memory, donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Association, whose mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. (https:// act.alz.org/site/Donation or 800-272-3900)
Twiford Funeral Homes, Outer Banks is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.TwifordFH.com.