Doug Wheadon, A MAN OF INTEGRITY, who loves his children, his country and his Heavenly Father. He leaves behind his beloved children, Erika Didericksen, (her children Kade and Sydney); Jessica (Casey) Copier, (their children Vienna, Abby, Taylee, Layla and Kai) and Brad (Chelsea) Wheadon (their children Jett, Jewlz, Zeke, Riggz and Rafe.)
Doug was born to Dell and Norma Ashworth Wheadon on August 29, 1952, in South Jordan, Utah where he lived the remainder of his life with his 3 sisters, Jan, Joan, Judy and a brother, Dave. He grew up working on the farm with his dad and grandpa, Alma. He started driving a tractor at age 6, to which his mother was not amused. He loved to drive and continued driving a tractor working at home and for Tak, a local farmer, during the summers where he learned to mark-off a field as straight as an arrow. As he was preparing the fields last summer in order to plant the grain, he commented “ I had forgotten how much I loved to farm.”
Doug loved to play sports and played baseball, football and basketball at the old Bingham High School, graduating in 1970, after which he played basketball with his childhood friends representing South Jordan at the very last All Church Basketball Tournament. The team played lots of games and never lost. Doug attributed much of their success in winning to their coach, Bruce Crane, who before the season began had each of them write down how they personally could help the team win, and were asked to read it every day. Winning their final game was an exciting day for the team and small-town South Jordan. Doug was chosen as MVP and Paul James (who announced all the games live on KSL) described him as the “quarterback of the basketball team.” The icing on the cake for this winning team, was when Thomas S. Monson awarded them the sportsmanship trophy. Doug, and each of the boys on the team, received a Letterman's jacket given to them by their bishop and friend, Alma A. Holt, who came to the church often to watch them practice and never missed a game.
After attending college for a year in Cedar City, Utah, Doug was called on a mission to Central America, where he loved the people and hoped to return someday. Soon after his mission he continued attending college where he was lined up with his soon to be wife, Vienna, by one of the sister missionaries he served with. He was married in 1976 to Vienna Millet in the Salt Lake Temple. Doug and Vienna went on to build a family having two girls, Erika and Jessica, which are and will always be their greatest treasure. Sadly, a few days after Jessica was born in 1980, Vienna passed away from a Pulmonary Embolism. Interestingly enough, Doug passed away from the very same thing in the same month. Vienna was a very loving, protective mother and provided much love to her girls in the short time she had with them. Brad is a bonus son to Doug’s family, and our entire extended family. Doug couldn’t get enough of talking about rebuilding and fixing old cars and trucks with Brad.
Doug’s love of driving lead him to his lifetime career of owning DW Trucking. Doug hauled grinding balls to the mines in Ely and Round Mountain, Nevada. His driving was impeccable and he kept his truck in perfect condition. Doug didn’t have many kind words to drivers cutting him off, often saying “people don’t understand you can’t stop something that heavy on a second’s notice”. His load was heavy, even though it looked empty. Doug loved to learn and spent much of his time on the road listening to a variety of political, church or history books.
Oddly enough, Doug was a shopper. He loved to buy in dozens and proceeded to hand out miscellaneous items to anyone and everyone who crossed his path. His #1 item was probably Thompson's bacon and jerky; but there were a myriad of other items depending on his mood, such as: snow shovels, gloves, salted chocolates, bread, tire gauges, vehicle escape kits, pizza, fruit snacks, wet wipes, chicken wraps, Chinese food and on and on. He would go weekly to Costco and call and see if you needed anything. We quickly learned that you'd better give him a list or he would get what he thought you wanted, frequently coming home to 6 cases of fruit snacks waiting on your countertop. Upon asking him if he was ever going to retire he said, “probably not, I like to spend money, I like my job and it is easy”. But in reality, he just liked to give. Doug had a special place in his heart for widows, single mothers and special people. He reached out to them and looked for ways to make their lives better. There are so many examples of Doug’s generosity, to which most of us have been a beneficiary. He loved doing things, and as often as possible, giving anonymously. He was always ready to pull out his wallet and give.
When you served Doug in any way, he never forgot it. Doug surrounded himself with good friends. He appreciated and loved them because he knew they made him a better person. In his mind he had the best!
Doug was a team player in the family. After his mom fell and broke her hip, she needed 24-hour care the last years of her life. Even though Doug worked full time, he took his one day a week sitting in her room making sure she didn’t try to get out of bed, because she would forget she could no longer walk. When his father was in the hospital on a ventilator, Doug found someone to drive his truck so that he could take the 12-hour night shifts for over 30 days, because he felt his dad shouldn’t be alone.
Doug loved America and the freedom that was afforded him and was grateful to those who made that possible. He valued the flag and anything that represented our country. He was perfectly honest in his dealings. When Doug borrowed anything, it would be returned better than he received it.
Of course, his family, especially his grandchildren, were Doug’s greatest joy and his greatest concern. Doug loved them and would have done anything to help them succeed. His time with them was endless, going on rides all kinds: truck, tractor, golf cart, horse, sleigh, snowmobile or 4-wheeler. Doug loved watching his grandchildren play ball and rarely missed a game. Doug loved eating pizza and watching movies with his grandchildren, which he did each Saturday. He will be missed by them, but grandpa will always be near, watching and waiting for them. They are still, and will always be, his greatest concern. We will miss Doug, but his legacy lives on because of his dedication to, and love of family.