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Claire passed away on November 20, 2010 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.  She was preceded in death by her parents Jack and Lottie Wheeler, her brother Robert Wheeler, and her sister-in-law, Bobbie Wheeler.

Claire was born on January 5, 1937 in Lamar, Missouri.  She attended Lamar Public Schools for all of her elementary and high school years.  In 1953, she was Lamar High School’s first Homecoming Queen.  During high school, she played trumpet in the band and played Taps at many military funerals.  She was a member of the high school choir, Future Homemakers of America, and the Sub Debs, a girls club.  She was also the Dairy Princess and Future Farmers of America Princess.

As a young lady she helped her parents by delivering milk from the family dairy to residents in Lamar.  From age 15 through her first year of college she worked for Farmers Dairy serving ice cream to her customers.

Claire attended Pittsburg State University and received a two-year business degree.  She was a member of the Future Business Leaders of America, was the Homecoming Queen for the business school, the Kanza Ball Queen, and the ROTC Queen.  While attending PSU, she worked in the Economics department.

After college she worked for Lawn Boy Manufacturing Company in Lamar while her future husband served his ROTC requirements in the US Army.

Claire married Guy Sutherland on June 14, 1958.  They started their life together in Bartlesville, Oklahoma where Claire worked for the Guy Belt Buick Company.  Claire became a mother in 1959 and quit her job to begin devoting her time to her children, Christy and Greg.  She was a member of First United Methodist Church where she taught Sunday school.  She led a group of Girl Scouts and had her children active in piano and competitive swimming.  She was a member of the Bartlesville Jaycee-ettes and worked on many civic projects.

In 1970, the family moved to Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.  She worked for the Upper Saddle River school district and was active in the Bergen Highlands United Methodist Church, serving on many committees.  One such committee was the United Methodist Women, where she picked strawberries each year for the annual Strawberry Shortcake Festival.  Claire also drove for Meals on Wheels during this time in New Jersey.

In 1974, the family moved to the Washington D.C. area where Claire participated in the spousal activities for the President’s Executive Exchange Program.  She visited several embassies both in the U.S. and in Europe, and was briefed at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

In 1975, Claire and her family returned to New Jersey and she continued her work in the Bergen Highlands Methodist Church.  She also attended dinners for the King of Norway and King and Queen of Spain as part of the Phillips Petroleum Company delegation.

In 1979, the family moved to Dallas where Claire was active in the Chi Omega Mothers Club, the Republican Women’s Club, where Claire met Barbara Bush, and Lovers Lane United Methodist Church.  Her father lived with the family in Dallas and she enjoyed spending this time with him.  She had a group of Neighbors that liked to play Trivial Pursuit, and would always suggest the men play the women.  She would say the women always won because they talked faster.


In 1984, she returned to Bartlesville and became the Wedding and Reception Coordinator for the First United Methodist Church.  She was an active Service League member and Sustainer.  She had a women’s sewing club, was a member of Questers, and a member of the CH chapter of PEO.  She had a group of friends that always met on Friday for dinner and again on birthdays.

Claire was always a gracious hostess and warmly welcomed into her home guests from all over the world.  She was also very generous, as she supported many different charities.  She was particularly interested in the support she could provide to Pittsburg State University and Wheeler Park, which she gave to the city of Lamar.  This property had been her family homestead.

She was also outstanding at remembering others’ special occasions.  Claire would sent cards and notes to friends and family for birthdays, anniversaries, sympathies, etc., seemingly never missing anyone.  It was truly amazing how much she poured her love out on others in this way.

Claire is survived by her husband Guy, two children, Christy Wareham and her husband Robert of Bartlesville, and Greg Sutherland of Owasso, Oklahoma, a grandson, Ryan Reynolds of Bartlesville, and nieces Pam Muse of Fenton, Missouri and Belinda Adams of Peculiar, Missouri.  Also surviving Claire are her sister-in-law, Marianne Thompson and her husband Bill of Fort Smith, Arkansas, brother-in-law Jack Sutherland and his wife Coline of Overland Park, Kansas, and many other nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The Funeral Service will be held at Daniel Funeral Home in Lamar on Friday, November 26th at 11:00 a.m.  Interment will follow at Lake Cemetery in Lamar.  The family will receive friends at a visitation at 10:00 that morning.

A memorial service to celebrate Claire’s life will be held on Monday, November 29th at 10 am at the First United Methodist Church in Bartlesville.

Memorials may be made in her name to one of the following:

First United Methodist Church

PO Box 1136

Bartlesville, OK  74005-1136

Lamar United Methodist Church

900 Poplar Street

Lamar, MO  64759

Wheeler Park

C/O Daniel Funeral Home

1201 Broadway

Lamar, MO  64759

Claire will truly be missed by her family and many friends throughout the US and abroad.  Her advice to us would be, “Always thank people for any courtesy they show you. . .we should all be more appreciative.”


#18 Randallstown, Md 21133Kim 2010-11-30 19:33
My heartfelt Prayers go out to your Family!
Certainly, if we gain a good name, or reputation, in the community, we have a valuable asset. More important, though, if we make a good name with God, we will acquire a lasting treasure. How so? God promises that He will write in His
#17 Kim 2010-11-30 19:28
My heartfelt Prayers go out to your Family!
Certainly, if we gain a good name, or reputation, in the community, we have a valuable asset. More important, though, if we make a good name with God, we will acquire a lasting treasure. How so? God promises that He will write in His
#16 Lamar, MoCarmen Stanton 2010-11-29 15:20
Dear Guy & family,
I enjoyed getting acquainted with Claire through the Focus Group Advisors dinners. She was charming and a lovely lady. She will be missed by many. You are in my prayers.
Carmen Stanton
#15 Brussels, BelgiumDanielle DE GREEF 2010-11-29 09:11
Dear Mr. Sutherland,
I was so shocked to hear of the dealth of Claire. She will alwas be in my prayers and my thoughts. I experienced on many occasions her warmful appreciation and her generosity. Please extend my deepest symptahy to all your family.
With Love, Danielle
#14 Brussels ( Belgium )Mylène and Jean-Michel Guillau 2010-11-27 10:18
Guy,Christy,Rob,Greg,Ryan .

Mylène, my children Romain, Florence and I will never forget how Claire has always taken good care of us, in Bartlesville as well as when she was with us in Europe . She always had soemething nice for each of us. We will deeply miss Claire. Guy, she is in our thoughts and prayers and God will take care of her . Your friends and family will surround you with their love and fondness. We and our prayers are with you in this very difficult times.
#13 Bartlesville, OKSteve and Sherrill Yates 2010-11-26 10:21
Guy and Family,
It was a shock to learn of Clare's passing. She was the first one to stop and welcome us to the neighborhood 7 years ago. We always enjoyed the parties she would occasionally throw for new neighbors. We will miss the sweet smiles and waves as she drove by my house. We will miss just knowing she was always there if you needed her.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
#12 Kearney, MoConnie Taylor 2010-11-24 18:01
I was so sorry to hear of Claire passing.
Our condolence to you and your Children.
You are in our thoughts & prayers.
I am also sorry for the loss of your Mother recently
Connie & Bud
#11 Hopkinsville, KYChuck and Shirley Hinrichs 2010-11-24 15:48
Guy and family. . . We are so sorry for your loss. We are unable to attend the funeral but all of you are in our prayers. We were fortunate to spend the time with Claire at Branson. Again, our prayers are with you.
#10 Bartlesville,OKTerri Swan 2010-11-24 09:21
I am so sorry for your loss. Claire was a great lady. She will be missed. I will lift your family up in prayer.
May God send Angels to surround you and comfort you.

#9 Tulsa, OklahomaDdixie Lee 2010-11-24 07:51
To Guy and Family, So sorry to read in the paper of Claire's death. Claire was a lovely lady and alway grcious to all. My deepest sympathy to all of you. Dixie

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