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Margaret Wheat

Margaret Wheat Margaret Burton Wheat, age 96, of Manhattan, Kansas, died October 18, 2019, at her home in Honstead House, Meadowlark Hills Retirement Community. She was born February 4, 1923, in Kerrville, Texas, the daughter of Allie B. and Jeannette (Standefer) Burton, and had been a Manhattan resident since 1954.

Margaret earned a B.A. degree from Baylor University in 1943, and taught school in Edinburg, Texas, from 1943-45. She enrolled as a Cadet Nurse in Baylor University School of Nursing, Dallas, Texas, received her nursing degree in 1948, and began work at the V.A. Hospital in Kerrville. There she met John David Wheat, a recovering TB patient, and married him on January 22, 1950, at her childhood home in Kerrville.

Margaret worked 16 years as a Registered Nurse at the old Memorial Hospital in Manhattan. She served as president of the Kansas State Nursing Association, District 18 (1984-1986), and in 1994 was named an honorary life member of the KSNA. She especially appreciated her 5-month stint as substitute nurse at a public elementary school in the old walled city of Zaria, Nigeria. There she treated cases of blood flukes, insect bites, lacerations, and one case of suspected leprosy. The Wheat family lived in Zaria from 1966-68, when John taught at Ahmadu Bello University through a cooperative program between Kansas State University and USAID.

Margaret was devoted to the First Baptist Church. For countless years, she taught Sunday School, worked in the nursery and Vacation Bible School, and served on the Board of Deacons and Board of Trustees. She served two terms as president of the church’s American Baptist Women and as president of Tri-River Association of American Baptist Women.

Margaret was an active member of the KSU Social Club (president, 1979-80), Domestic Science Club (president, 1977-78), a member of the Polly Ogden Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and served on the Board of Teen Outreach (1970's-1980's). She was also a founding board member of Meadowlark Hills Foundation (1977-86 and 1998-2007).

In 2012, Margaret received The Manhattan Legacy Award from Meadowlark Hills, and in 2015, the Meadowlark Hills Foundation honored her with the inaugural Margaret Wheat Spirit of Meadowlark Hills Award.

Margaret valued knowledge and especially enjoyed books on theology, as reflected by her bookshelves. At her bedside were versions of The Golden Rule as found in eight world religions. Her family fondly acknowledges that although Margaret was firm in her convictions and never shy to share her opinion, she was also known to change her mind if anyone could point out the weakness of her logic.

Margaret never forgot the pleasure of her first concert when she heard Polish statesman and world celebrated pianist, Paderewski, perform in San Antonio, on April 16, 1939. As an adult, Margaret enjoyed traveling to various European countries, Kenya, Australia, New Zealand, and Taiwan. She delighted in the U.S. trips she took with John in their 5th wheel camper, as well as playing Bridge, gardening, cheering on the Wildcats, and swimming whenever possible.

Margaret also cherished her family, especially John who preceded her in death in 2009. All the family credits her devoted care for his long life.

Survivors include her three children: Mary Wheat Lehoczky and her husband, John, of Leawood, KS, John David Wheat, Jr. and his wife, Annette, of Arcadia, CA, and Alice Wheat Stuckey and her husband, Scott, of Junction City, KS; eight grandchildren: Jay Lehoczky and Lucy Lehoczky; Drew Wheat (Christa), Elaine Wheat Dawson (Graham), and Brett Wheat; Sam Stuckey, Molly Stuckey, and Max Stuckey; and two adorable great-grandchildren, Hunter and Hollis Dawson. Also surviving are her brothers, Allie B. Burton, Jr., of Ingram, TX, and Louis M. Burton of Kerrville, TX.

Both Margaret and the family are immensely grateful to Sherry Hooper and to the day and night staffs of Honstead House who cheerfully gave Margaret tap, not iced water for her pills, promptly poured skim milk at her meals, and indulged in her fondness for snacks, as well as to everyone at Meadowlark for making her last years so pleasurable and clearing a path when she approached on her scooter.

A celebration of Margaret’s life will occur at 2:00 Monday, October 28, 2019, at First Baptist Church, 2121 Bluehills Road, Manhattan, preceded by a 1:00 visitation in the church parlor, and afterwards a 3:00 reception at Meadowlark Hills, 2121 Meadowlark Road. Private inurnment will be in Sunrise Cemetery, Manhattan.

Online condolences may be left for the family by clicking on "Send Condolences" on this page.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Meadowlark Hills Foundation or First Baptist Church. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502.

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