The Life of Mr. Frederic C. Wheeler

Fredric C. Wheeler entered into eternal rest at his Fairfield, CT home on August 27, 2021 surrounded by his loving family, following a seven-month courageous battle with an aggressive form of Mantle Cell Lymphoma. He and his family would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff at Bridgeport Hospital, Yale New Haven Hospital, and Smilow Trumbull for their considerate, compassionate, and professional care during his illness. In addition, his family greatly appreciates the kind and compassionate end-of-life care provided by Visiting Nurse and Hospice of Fairfield County, as well as, the care and personal family support provided by the nighttime caregivers from Geri-Care Connections of New Canaan. Fred was born in New York City, son of Peter and Wanda Wheeler of Queens, NY on July 10, 1950. In 1959, the family moved to Garden City, NY. During the ensuing period he attended Xavier High School in NYC, secured a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Fordham University in 1971, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from NYU in 1973. His education led to a subsequent career in higher education which lasted through the rest of his lifetime. In 1975, Fred was named Director of Development at Ladycliff College in Highland Falls, NY. From 1977-1981 he served as the NY Regional Director of Development for Georgetown University, and subsequently, Director of Development for Georgetown’s Law Center. From 1981 – 2008 he enjoyed a diverse and rewarding career tenure at Fairfield University as Director of Development, and from 1987 as Associate Vice President for Advancement. During his career as a senior development executive, Fred proved to be an effective nonprofit manager with a history of success in all areas of Development and Advancement work, capital campaign strategies, and staff and budget management with a substantial record of dollar achievement. At Fairfield, the joint efforts of senior University leadership ultimately resulted in the construction of the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola, the Regina A. Quick Center for the Performing Arts, and the expansion of the DiMenna-Nyselius Library, as well as, an unprecedented growth in the University’s endowment, and the advancement of multiple University initiatives, including multicultural financial aid, and Jesuit Mission and Identity efforts. In addition to his advancement efforts, Fred was proactive in Campus Ministry activities, a member of the Jesuit Mission and Identity Advancement Board and a member of the NEASC Reaccreditation Committee. He also served as a leader in the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) and was the recipient of the organization’s 2007 MAGIS Award. His activities extended beyond the University to broader community service for Fairfield and the greater Bridgeport area. These included the Bridgeport Rotary; served as a member of the Bridgeport YMCA Board of Managers and subsequently the greater Bridgeport YMCA Board of Directors and the Directors’ Executive Committee. Active in the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, he served as a member of “Leadership Bridgeport” Founding Committee. He also served on the Board of Directors and as a volunteer at Operation Hope. Fred also served for ten years as a coach in the Fairfield Little League and Junior Babe Ruth League. Fred’s most gratifying volunteer efforts were at his parish, St. Anthony of Padua in Fairfield, serving two terms on its Pastoral Council, and as a Eucharistic Minister and Altar Server. Fred considered St. Anthony’s efforts in building community and promoting social justice as exemplary for a parish community. In his free time, Fred enjoyed running, cycling, racquetball, downhill skiing, golf and spending time with family and friends. Fred is survived by his wife and best friend, Monica, of 46 years; his loving son Brian and wife Claudia, and granddaughters, Cora and Paloma, of Takoma Park, MD; his devoted daughter Kristin of Brooklyn, NY and Fairfield, CT; his brother Peter and wife Carole and their son, Peter of Huntington, NY. He is also survived by several cherished extended family members and so many friends, wonderful relationships developed over his lifetime – as one friend said Fred was a “collector and keeper of friends”. And we are all blessed by having him in our lives! A Funeral Mass for Fred will take place on Saturday, September 11, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 149 South Pine Creek Road in Fairfield, CT. Mass may be viewed at St. Anthony’s website, Interment will follow immediately at Oak Lawn Cemetery, 1530 Bronson Road in Fairfield, CT. In lieu of flowers, our family requests that contributions be made to The Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Fairfield University, the parish of St. Anthony of Padua in Fairfield, or to any organization of your choice that supports social justice in our world.

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