Henry Tyson Wheeler, 68, owner and operator of the Tyson Wheeler Funeral Home in Rockville, died of respiratory arrest Thursday at the Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville.
Mr. Wheeler founded the funeral home in 1959 with his wife, the former Naomi Butts. Mrs. Wheeler helped operate the business until her death in 1978.
Before establishing his own business, Mr. Wheeler worked for the Robert A. Pumphrey Funeral Home in Rockville and was manager of the Robert A. Pumphrey Funeral Home in Bethesda.
A native of Burnt Mills, he graduated from Sherwood High School in Sandy Spring. He attended the Mortuary School of Management in Evanston, Ill.
A veteran of World War II, he served as an X-ray technician with the Army Medical Corps in Germany and England and participated in the Omaha Beach invasion in France.
He had lived at the Fernwood House in Bethesda for the last five years. A former resident of Rockville, he had served as a director of the University National Bank there.
Mr. Wheeler was a former director of the Maryland State Funeral Directors Association and a member of the National Funeral Directors Association.
A Mason, he was a past master of Rockville Lodge No. 195, a member of King Solomon Council No. 13, Royal Arch Chapter No. 33, Montgomery Commander No. 13 of Knights Templar, and a past patron of Montgomery Chapter No. 93 of the Order of the Eastern Star.
He was a charter member and past president of the Rotary Club of Potomac.
Survivors include his mother, Elsie L., of Rockville; a sister, Hazel Salter, and a brother, Harry M., both of North Carolina; and two other brothers, William Russell of Hyattsville, and Elmer D., of Grantsville, Md.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Pulmonary Department at Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park.