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Dena Wheeler Murray

Dena Wheeler, 51, of Murray died May 12, 2013, at Greater Regional Medical Center in Creston.

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 16, at Powers Funeral Home, 612 N. Dodge St., Afton. The Rev. Jim Morris and the Rev. Brian McCracken will officiate. Burial will be in Murray Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to Murray School athletic department or building fund. Online condolences may be left at www.powersfh.com.

Dena Gay Haight, daughter of Donna Gay (Kaster) and Dean Ellis Haight, was born Dec. 5, 1961, in Creston.

In her early years, Dena lived in Clearfield, Afton, Boulder, Colo., and Ellston.

Dena graduated from East Union High School and later graduated from Buena Vista University with a bachelor’s degree in education.

On July 11, 1981, Dena married Reggie Phillip Wheeler at Afton United Methodist Church.

They lived in Alta, where she attended Buena Vista University in Storm Lake. Then they moved north of Osceola, where she attended Simpson College.

In the fall of 1983, they moved west of Lorimor, where they lived for the next 23 years.

After Dena finished her degree, she taught at Diagonal and East Union school districts for 17 years.

Later, Dena was curriculum coordinator for Clarke School District.

In 2006, Dena returned to teaching kindergarten and first grade at Clarke Elementary School, and they moved to Murray.

Dena received the NBC Golden Apple Award in 2004. She also owned and operated Wheeler Photos and Videos.

Dena attended Murray Church of Christ.

Dena is survived by her husband Reggie Wheeler of Murray; daughter Bethany Wheeler of West Des Moines; parents, Dean and Donna Haight of Afton; brothers, Randall (wife Becky) Haight of Jefferson City, Mo., Jeff Haight (partner Scott Strand) of West Des Moines and Vincent Haight (partner Gretchen Nyaku) of LaPorte, Texas; mother-in-law Carolyn Wheeler of Afton; sisters-in-law, Rhonda (husband Duane) Brown of Yukon, Okla., Cindy (husband Bub) Taylor of West Des Moines and Edee (husband Tony) McArtor of Fairfield, Vt.; brother-in-law Rod (wife Denise) Wheeler of Ames; many nieces and nephews.

Dena was preceded in death by her grandparents and father-in-law Harold Wheeler.

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