Pioneering McHenry County Board member dies at 63
McHenry County Board member Charles "Chuck" Wheeler, the first Black man to serve on the board, died overnight Wednesday to Thursday at the age of 63.
Wheeler's wife, Susan, and stepdaughter, Ashley Muller, confirmed his death in a Facebook post Thursday afternoon, adding that he "will be missed dearly."
Susan Wheeler said that the family learned of his death Thursday morning but declined to comment further.
As a county board member, vice chairman of the McHenry County GOP and 14th Congressional District Trump delegate candidate, Wheeler was someone who held strong conservative values and always stood up for what he believed in, County Clerk Joe Tirio said in an interview Thursday afternoon.
Wheeler was a colleague and a "good friend" whose death "came out of left field," Tirio said.
"He was not afraid to fight for what he believed was right and was always a strong voice for the people," Tirio said. "It is sad to see him go, very sad. ... He wasn't your typical politician, he really enjoyed serving people in his community."
Wheeler was a McHenry County Chamber of Commerce member and the owner of a health insurance agency, according to a biography published by the McHenry County Republican Party.
Before moving to McHenry and running for the McHenry County Board, Wheeler served as a village trustee in Glendale Heights for eight years. He has been a Republican precinct committeeman in McHenry and Bloomingdale townships.
Voters elected Wheeler to the county board in November 2013.
Fellow board member Jeffrey Thorsen said he learned of the news when Wheeler's wife responded to a few texts he had sent to Wheeler's cellphone Thursday morning.
"He was a great man, he was a stellar member of our board and I am just beside myself," Thorsen said. "(Wheeler) was a rock, he was somebody you could depend on."