American Veteran 09
Official Obituary of

Ronald Brian Wheatley

February 2, 1941 ~ September 2, 2023 (age 82) 82 Years Old
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Ronald Wheatley Obituary

Ronald Brian Wheatley of Scituate passed away on September 2, 2023.

Born February 2, 1941 to the late Cecilia Genevieve Herron Wheatley in Los Angeles, CA, Ron was educated by his Jesuit uncle Father Ronald Joseph Herron, SJ .  Ron graduated from Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA (English) in 1962 and taught English in the Peace Corps Government Technical Training School in Bukuru, Nigeria from 1963 – 65.  After teaching stateside one year in Tacoma WA, Ron trained in the US Army at Ft Lewis, WA, then Ft Huachuca, AZ, signal school, and then provided communications with the First Signal Brigade in South Vietnam from 1967 to 1968.

He received a master’s degree in communications from the University of Washington, Seattle, in 1969, JD from Gonzaga Law School, and studied at the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. 

He worked in Washington DC 1974 – 1984, first as legal advisor to the Executive Office of President Nixon through 1976, then within the State Department Office of International Communications Policy and advised US delegations to the United Nations. After federal service, he provided legal counsel for the Computer Business Equipment Manufacturers trade association (1978- 84). 

From 1984 - 1990, Wheatley was AT&T’s state government relations attorney for the Northeast region with offices in Boston.   His lawsuit in 1991 against age discrimination, Wheatley vs A T & T, resulted in a ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Court (1994, 418 Mass 394; 636 NE 2d 265) whereby employees can file complaints for older workers’ rights with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination within 6 months of termination.  Wheatley was a hearing officer with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities and then maintained a private law office in Scituate, MA, for 30 years. 

He married the late Ethel Kent Wheatley in 1974 at the Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown, Washington DC, with a reception at the Watergate Hotel.  He moved his wife and family from Chevy Chase, Md, to Scituate, MA, in 1986 where he lived for the last 37 years.  They had two children John (1976 ) and Elizabeth ( 1978 ), now in Edgewater, FL, and Baltimore, MD.   Ron and his dear wife Ethel worshipped at the parishes of St Francis, Scituate, and St Anthony of Padua, Cohasset, MA.  Ethel, a speech and language specialist, passed in 2020. 

Ronald wrote a weekly newspaper column entitled “Calling All Veterans” for the Scituate MARINER.  And he wrote a play on the African American poetess raised in colonial Boston THE TRIAL of PHILLIS WHEATLEY (2002, Bridgewater State University 2013), a novel about Nigeria (A SONG of AFRICA and the roots of Boko haram,  2011), and a book of collected stories from 65 Scituate veterans and their families, A TIME for WAR  (2015 ).   He was generous and engaged with Scituate Rotary Club, Scituate Veterans of Foreign Wars Satuit Post 3619, and was Judge Advocate in Scituate Post 144 of the American Legion.  Ron enjoyed Tuesday morning breakfasts with the Chanticleers men at Sam’s restaurant on Scituate harbor.                                                        

Ron leaves his older brother George Gary Wheatley (Mexico) and younger sisters Pam Proud (Seattle WA) and Colleen Clukey (Ft Worth TX), also son John Wheatley (Emily), grandchildren Kent and Jax Wheatley in FL, and daughter Elizabeth Wheatley (Jason Molidor) in Baltimore. His nieces and nephews live in Texas, and his companion friend, Dr Kathy Murray, lives in Plymouth MA.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Monday, September 18, 2023 at 10AM at St. Anthony’s Church, Cohasset. Relatives and friends invited to attend. Burial will take place at Bourne National Cemetery, Bourne, MA.

In lieu of flowers remembrances in Ronald’s memory may be made to Dana Farber Cancer Institute-P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284.

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Mass of Christian Burial
September 18, 2023

10:00 AM
St. Anthony
10 Summer St.
Cohasset, Massachusetts 02025

September 18, 2023

2:30 PM
V.A. Mass. National Cemetery
10 Connery Ave.
Bourne, Massachusetts 02532


Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
PO BOX 849168, Boston MA 02284


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