Phyllis Regina

Phyllis Regina Wheelbarger was born at home in Greenville, Ohio, on October 22, 1927. She passed away peacefully at home in Miami Township, Ohio, on April 26, 2021. She was preceded in death by her dear husband (of almost 73 years) Joe, on February 9, 2021; their youngest child Ruth Wheelbarger; parents Rev. Orrie and Bessie Arnold; brothers Winfield, Richard, James, and Paul; and sisters Mary and Louise. She is survived by her children Linda Wheelbarger, John Wheelbarger, Patty Wheelbarger (Bruce Chenoweth), Vickie Houser (CT Houser); 13 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. When she was a young girl, her father moved the family to Germantown, Ohio, where he ministered at a local church. As a teen, she helped out at a small grocery store in town and went on to graduate from Germantown High School in 1945. She attended Otterbein College where she met the love of her life, Joseph Wheelbarger in Spanish class when he asked if the empty seat next to her was taken. She took one look with a smile and gladly said "No, it

isn't"…and the rest is history! They were married by her

father in Germantown on June 8, 1948. Their adventures

began soon after their first child was born when they decided to move to Denver, Colorado where Joe would teach in the mountains while she maintained the growing household.

After a few years and three more kids, it became a bit much without the support of close family. Back in the Dayton area with the fifth child due, they found a cute little house where close neighbors became great friends for the whole family! Soon they were all in school allowing Regina time to do some subbing and to finish her teaching degree. She was quickly hired by West Carrollton Schools for elementary phys-ed, a great teacher with a whistle and a loud voice! With both

parents now employed, the extra money allowed them to move to a small farm in Bellbrook with plenty of room for the kids to explore and play. After 5 years of traveling to and from their jobs and caring for animals, kids, and farm, they moved back to civilization into a nice big house with 3 full bathrooms, near to neighbors and schools! Each summer gave the family time for travels, but eventually Regina and Joe ventured on their own as the young ones grew older and more independent. She also found great enjoyment in the late '70s coaching the WC High School Girls Track team before finally retiring in 1985. The next 20 years found them traveling west, first pulling their motorcycle behind the motorhome to

Anacortes, WA, where they bought a sailboat (sold the Ohio house to daughter, Patty) and lived there for a few years

enjoying the seas and making many friends. Next stop was Farmington, NM, where the oldest, Linda, lived. They parked the motorhome in her backyard but before long bought their own sweet home nearby. Regina spent many hours at the

local college pottery studio creating everything from bowls, mugs, plates, and creative sculpture and art pieces which she loved sharing with everyone! She also enjoyed staying fit swimming laps at the rec center. They loved it there for many years but thought it may be best to return to Ohio where the majority of the family lived. In 2005, they found a perfect small low-maintenance house around the corner from the big house and where most of the family network was within a few miles…with plenty of get-togethers! She continued her passions of pottery (Sinclair and Rosewood) and swimming (at the Y and WTRC). In 2012, they moved to St. Leonard where there was less upkeep and a fitness center on campus. It was perfect for Regina and Joe. She swam 10 laps and walked the treadmill for 2 miles every day while Joe worked out on the machines. Still close to everyone, they met family every

Sunday morning at Elé bakery. But of course time marched on. The last few years brought the expected changes. Fortunately, their local 3 adult children were able to transition to full-time caregivers, eventually bringing them both back home to the big house just months before Joe departed. It was a labor of love and privilege. Regina lived a long wonderful life full of all things beautiful! She will be most dearly missed and loved always and forever! We celebrate both their lives every day! And we hope that those who knew them will also celebrate and commemorate the two very special lives of Regina and Joe, THE CUTEST LITTLE COUPLE EVER! The family wishes to thank Hospice of Dayton for all their care and the Wright State Anatomical Gift Program. What blessings they were in our time of need.