Katherine A. Wheeler, 81, RN, MA, died Wednesday at home surrounded by her loving daughters and caring friends. Born in the small village of Greene, NY, Katherine left that little town and traveled the world. She stopped for a time in El Paso Texas, where she was a Lieutenant/RN in the United States Army and where she met her husband. After having her first daughter, Jennifer, she stopped for a time in Wurzburg, Germany, where they were stationed and had a second child, Cecilia. The young family settled in Manchester, CT, where Katherine had a third daughter, Susan, and spent time raising her family. After surviving breast cancer in 1978, Katherine began exploring alternative medicine and therapies. This lead her on a new journey which ultimately landed her in Wickford, RI where she opened The Grateful Heart Bookstore. She wanted the name of the store to be a mantra and a reminder to live in each day in gratitude, which she did for the next 30 years. She traveled to Nepal, India, Italy, Spain, Turkey and France among other places seeking books and unusual items for her shop. She was always happy sharing her knowledge with people about healing both physically and spiritually. The store was a respite in the village of Wickford over the years for all who sought healing and comfort there.
Katherine is survived by her daughters, Jennifer Wheeler, of North Kingstown RI, Cecilia Wheeler and son-in-law Ryan Martin of Pembroke Pines FL and Susan Wheeler and son-in-law Brian O’Dea, of Santa Ana CA, as well as her sister and brother in law Nancy and Rex Moses and beloved nieces and nephews in Huntington Beach, CA. She is also survived by her most cherished grandchildren John Daskos and Eva Pearl Daskos of Florida. Katherine would like to remind everyone to “Start each day with a grateful heart”. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The North Kingstown Food Pantry. A memorial celebration will be held at a later date. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Cranston-Murphy Funeral Home of Wickford. For online messages of condolence, kindly visit www.CranstonMurphy.com.