• Last modified 204 days ago (Dec. 21, 2023)


Retired lawyer dies at gym

Staff writer

Ed Wheeler, a Marion County lawyer since 1977 and a retired court trustee with the 8th Judicial District, collapsed and died Monday at a Marion fitness center.

“It’s very difficult to digest,” fellow lawyer Bob Brookens said. “It hit me like a brick on the head.”

Wheeler, 71, was declared dead after rescuers attempted to revive him for nearly an hour at Diamond H Fitness, 1222 E. Main St.

A 911 caller notified dispatchers at 7:27 a.m. that Wheeler had collapsed and was instructed in how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation. But the caller told dispatchers CPR could not be attempted because an exercise bicycle had fallen on top of Wheeler.

Marion ambulance attendants and Marion firefighters arrived and started CPR at 7:33 a.m. They were joined by Hillsboro ambulance attendants five minutes later, but Wheeler was pronounced dead at 8:20 a.m.

Wheeler had a large impact on Brookens, who met him while seeking a place to practice law.

“After having the opportunity to meet with him for about an hour, I decided this would be a good place to come,” Brookens said. “He was an honorable man and an honorable opponent, which is important.”

He remembers Wheeler as an avid bicyclist.

District Judge Susan Robson remembered him as pleasant and polite.

“When I first came to town, he was a very nice, genial man,” Robson said. “He was very cordial.”

Wheeler retired a year or two ago, Robson said.

“He will be missed,” she said.

Services are planned for 10 a.m. Friday at Marion Presbyterian Church.

Last modified Dec. 21, 2023