Topic Originally Created on Tow411 in January of 2012:
Recreated in Memory of a fellow tower Robert F. Wheeler
This is more for the local region here on the east coast !
On Monday surrounded by his loved ones we lost Bob Wheeler.
He was a local Legend around these parts here around Washington D.C. .Bob was the owner and operator of Connecticut Avenue Towing in Kensington, Maryland for 31 years. He also helped Co-Found the Independent Towing Association of Montgomery County. That later on helped form and merge into Towing and Recovery Professionals of Maryland. He also started and ran T.R.P.M. newsletter " Maryland Meanderings".
Also was one of the first President"s of T.R.P.M , and chair men of some of great rodeos in the late 80 ! Ahh! Gaithersburg.
Then in 1994 when his lovely wife, Peggy, job got her transferred to North Carolina. He closed up shop and dutifully followed her down there. He then embarked on his second career in the Wake County Public School Transportation Department, where he helped establish a specialized bus repair process. He again was honored to be able to design the best trucks for repair service and then their tow trucks, which he loved.
I had the good fortune to work for him in the 80's. With his simple guidance and " BIG BLUE " I got infected with Heavy Towing and am eternally grateful to him. !!!
Below are a few old pictures of Bob and Big Blue !
1966 International D 2000 , 190 cummins, OH we did upgrade it with a 220 pump !, 10 Speed and Manual Steering !!!!
Thank You Bob for the life you given me !
and don't bend the Good Lord's ear to much !
Some body call the Bethesda Crab House , Let them know bob and I are on the way!
Sounds like a great guy, our thoughts and prayers
Rodney P said:
By the looks of those pictures and jobs, you couldn't have found a better environment to acquire an early," hook,chain,and (cable) infection."
One of the original Montgomery County 'Pep Boys'...........Shorty(Wilson), Bob(Wheeler), and Jack(Hitt), that man could do more work with one arm than most with two. He will be missed!!
wes wilburn said:
I only meet him a few times, he was a very nice gentleman, may he rest in peace!
Fog Hat said:
Eric, what a nice write up, straight from the heart. Jim B said:
He was one of the great towers. He will be missed.
Rob Wheeler said:
Thank you Eric for the tribute and the pictures of my father. Very nice of you and brings back memories. He loved the heavy duty towing the most and had a great mind for working out the angles and when, where and how to use the proper leverage. I rode with him in the tow truck from the time I was 10 and loved every minute of it. Made me feel like a man out there working with my Dad.
Eric, if you ever get to Oregon, look me up, I would love to see you.
Your former towing colleague,
Such a wonderful tribute. He is greatly missed. My mom misses him every day. My oldest son misses talking to him about baseball now that the season has started. I miss telling him of the different battles I am having with the school system. He will always be in my heart and in my actions since he shaped so many of them.
Peggy Wheeler said:
Dear Eric, what a great tribute to Bob. As Colleen said, I miss him every day...the good, the bad and the "cranky." We had a good life together, it was just too short. 30 years went by too fast in retrospect.
He made a difference in many Tow people's lives and then brought his knowledge to NC School Bus Transportation Dept. as well. They admired him for his integrity and tenacity to get the job done. When he interviewed for this job, their question to him was what could he do? His answer was anything every other man in their shop was doing as well as anything else they wanted him to do!
He loved me, Colleen and John and his grandchildren and was very honored to have had one named for him. He loved his son Rob and Robin and was VERY proud of Rob's accomplishments in the political arena, which made for some interesting conversations between them!
Thank you for such a nice write up. - Mrs. Robert F. (Peggy) Wheeler
My brother (R.I.P Bill) & I were employees of Connecticut Avenue Towing in mid-late 70's Fond memories of Unit 4 and Unit 5 (Little baby Holmes 220 for low clearance). After I moved to North Carolina in ‘81, I had heard that Bob had moved to NC. I had attempted numerous times to locate his whereabouts. Sadly, on this search I was directed here. As I worked through college, Bob gave me guidance on issues of life that, to this day, still enter my thoughts. One wall posting in the office was a story by Elbert Hubbard. It began “If you work for a man, in heaven’s name, work for him”. It continued on with several realities of job satisfaction and ones dealings with employers. These were some of the principles that Bob preached and lived.
Throughout his life, he employed, taught, guided and helped SO MANY people. I truly believe that earth has lost a great soul, while God has gained one for all eternity.
My VERY belated prayers go out to his family and friends