Wheless Jr., Chester Lee

August 17, 1945 - October 29, 2015

Chester Lee Wheless Jr., of Dallas, Texas, passed away peacefully on October 29th, 2015 at the age of 70. He was born in El Paso, Texas on August 17th, 1945 to the late Chester Lee Wheless & Joyce Penick Wheless. Chet was raised in Corpus Christi and Austin, Texas. He graduated from W.B. Ray High School in Corpus Christi then went on to the great University of Texas at Austin, and took his burnt orange pride to SMU where he graduated from law school. He had a genuine devotion to helping others which he brought to life daily through his long time profession as an immigration attorney.

Chet is a three-time survivor of myelodysplastic syndrome. He underwent a bone marrow transplant in 2000, another in 2014 and one again just this September. With God’s blessing, his dear brother Jay was the donor for all three of these miraculous transplants. Ultimately, after Chet’s most recent transplant, complications led to his final passing on the three year anniversary of the death of his beloved mother with whom he was very close. In his final days, he was surrounded by his wife, all of his five children and many other loving family members.

Chet was a man of great faith and an active parishioner at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Plano, TX. He was involved with RCIA, Men’s Fellowship and the Knights of Columbus Council 11716, where he was known as “The Waffle Guy” for his amazing waffles at their gourmet Sunday breakfasts.

Chet is survived by his devoted wife of 37 years, Ludy Ortega Wheless, his five children; Lee Wheless (and wife Dolores), Michelle Upshaw (and husband Mark), Wendy Wheless (and husband John Cluley), Wesley  Wheless and Jonathan Wheless, his four grandchildren; Major, Max, Madison and Macie, his brothers; Kim Wheless and Jay Wheless, as well as extended family and friends.

Chet will be remembered for the wisdom found in his words, his gentle, kind nature, and also his infectious laugh, his lifelong support of the Texas Longhorns and his delicious homemade ice cream.

Services are set for Tuesday, November 3, 2015, 11am at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Plano, TX. Flowers for the service and family can be sent to the church: 5100 West Plano Parkway, Plano, TX 75093. (972) 380-2100.


Arrangements are under the direction of:
ARIA Cremation Service & Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road, Dallas, Texas 75252


35 replies on “Wheless Jr., Chester Lee”

John Stich says:

Chet was very special to many of the men at Prince of Peace. He participated in CRHP-1, and then gave me among others the gift of CRHP-2. He always was positive, with a warm smile. He was always willing to lend a helping hand. His warmth and his leadership will be missed by many. Our dear friend, Chet, though will remain in our hearts.

Shelley Malcolm says:

My heartfelt prayers for Chet’s loved ones. I just met him this year. But he showed his strength and kind spirit readily. Thankful I had the privilege. Blessings to the Wheless family.

Paige Wheless Connor says:

Dearest Chet, If ever there was someone who beat to his own drum, it was you! You didn’t follow the crowd but you followed your heart. And that is a beautiful thing because the world needed more smart, funny and loving true originals like you. You will be sorely missed but we all know you are safe in the hands of the Lord. You are shining down upon us with your infectious smile and unique laugh and will forever be in our hearts and prayers until we meet again. God bless you Chet and I love you! Paige

Padraig O'Suilleabhain says:

Chet was a gentle giving kindly soul. His personal invitation to join the Men’s Fellowship has resulted in many blessings for me. Like so many other people he touched, I will miss his smile and his love.

Cliff says:

I was so sorry to hear about the passing of Chet. My heart goes out to the Wheless family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Denise Collcutt says:

Chet you will be deeply missed. Ludy you and Chet were instrumental in my RCIA and were always there at mass asking about me. I did not know about Chets disease and shows what a strong and spiritual man he was always showing that lovely smile and so much life in him. God decided it was time for him to serve as angel along to our other dear friends from POP. Know that you and the family are in my constant prayers and my heart and love gonout to you. Descansa en paz querido amigo. Lead us all from heaven now.

Matthew Bowen says:

I had the pleasure of getting to know Chet in 2006 through a joint ministry of ours at Prince of Peace. His commitment to his faith, to Ludy, and to our parish community are well known and what stand out in my memory. (And to the University of Texas, I should add!) I am a better person and Christian because of Chet’s example and our fellowship. We will miss him greatly, but we will carry forward great memories and he will remain an inspiration to those of us who were fortunate enough to get to know him. I look forward to attending the celebration of his life on Tuesday, and we will do our best to take care of Ludy now. My prayers continue for Chet, Ludy and their extended family. Sincerely, Matt Bowen

Sandy Cocek says:

Bruce and I were so sorry to hear of Chet’s passing. Praying for you all.

Isobel & John Trick says:

We will miss our very kind neighbor. Chet always had a smile and a good word for everyone.

George and Michelle Rodriguez says:

Our sincerest condolences for your loss. Chet was a well respected and beloved colleague to so many of us in the Immigration community. He always had a kind word and a smile when we would see him at the immigration court. He will be missed by many. There was never a day that he did not ask me how my children were doing and he really had such a caring heart for his faith and his community.

Paul Hunker says:

I was very sorry to hear about Chet’s passing. Chet really cared for his clients and we in the Department of Homeland Security enjoyed being his “adversary” 🙂 I am sure he will be advocating for us all in a new much more positive venue!

Steve Ladik says:

Although I did not know Chet well, from the comments and tributes it is obvious that he was a blessing to all who knew him and we are all better off for having had his presence among us. God bless Chet and his family.

Gayle Miller Albritton says:

I am a voice from the past. Chet and I worked together at Price Waterhouse & Co. back in the day. During that time, both of us were required to work toward sitting for the CPA exam. Thus, we were enrolled in accounting classes and attended SMU night school together to work toward that goal. I worked for PW&Co. only until I had my second child in 1972. Chet and I lost touch after that time. I considered him a great friend and I want his family to know I always liked him and prayed for his success. I am happy to read of his happy, successful life. My best to all of you. Most sincerely, gma

Tom Keyser says:

I got to know Chet these past two years at the LCL conventions in Dallas. His story and fight for survival will stay with me forever. He inspired all of us who knew him. I will miss him. Tom Keyser

Mark E. Jacobs, P.C. says:

Our office mourns the loss of our fellow co-worker, friend, and office mate. Chet was part of our work family. It was a pleasure working with him over the years. His dedication to always helping others was amazing. Such a hard worker. Chet was a great man. He was fun to be around, always had a smile on his face, and he had the best laugh. We will never forget him. There will be a big void in the office now. Our deepest condolences go out to the Wheless family. We loved Chet and he will be greatly missed by us. May his name be a blessing.

Mark E. Jacobs, Christy Lawson, Sandra Mejia-Cendra, Brenda Lopez, Mariana Smiley and Jill Liu, and Randy Yazbeck and Marcia Robertson, and Betty Dominguez, too.

Barb Wall says:

Dear Ludy and family, I am so very sorry to hear of Chet’s passing. May God bless him and wrap his arms around all of you. You are all in my prayers. Such fond memories from St Patrick’s. Blessings, Barb Wall

Bill Beard says:

So sorry to hear of Chet’s passing, but so honored to have called him friend for the last fifteen years. Chet was a good man, and an inspiration to me, and to so many others. God’s blessings on his soul, and on Ludy, and all their family.

Rich Brazzel says:

Chet was truly an angel here on earth and I don’t think ever met a stranger. His charitable heart was instrumental in RCIA and KoC.

He will surely be missed.

Cheswa Flora Mubanga says:

Chet, I count myself blessed for having known you. I remember sitting in the Church on that rainy day and feeling so low that I had no one to call family at Prince of Peace Parish. Little did I know God was sending me Angels that very day. You , Ludy and Wendy came and sat next to me and we talked. After Mass, you took me home. From then, I became a part of your life. You and Ludy became a part of me from that day and I will never forget. You took me as your own child. Even when my Daddy and Mummy came from Zambia to visit USA, your arms and Ludy’s were open to welcome them. They were so happy to learn I had people I called my Parents in USA. Even when they were going back, they smiled because they knew I had people I would call family.
Chet, you have left a gap that will never be filled by anyone. Your infectious and good smile and laughter will forever linger in my heart. No matter how miserable someone was, your smile would brighten things. I say this because I was touched by an Angel and that is you Chet. Your wise words, I shall keep and treasure. You may be miles away from the people you loved, the people you walked, talked with but we shall forever see your smile that brightens the earth. Heaven is happy because it has gained an Angel….if I was asked to ever describe you….I have only one complete description “YOU WERE A LIVING SAINT”. People like you are rare to find. It was not long that I spoke of how you and Ludy are during the CRHP retreat. Such a good person, free spirited and generous. As we celebrate your life, I would like to thank God who gave me the opportunity to know you…it maybe for months but who wouldn’t spot such goodness in a person like you, even a day is enough to see what a good person you were. Such a faithful servant of God. So humble. You have left an impact in my Christian life because you were a great example.
May God bless Ludy and strengthen her and your family in this painful moment. We will always remember and love you.
Sleep well Chet, till we meet again. We will miss you.

Billy Dickman says:

Lucy, Kim and Jay, Lisa and I are so sorry to hear about Chet. I remember to this day his driving over to our house on Santa Monica in his new GTO. That and boating trips to Lake McQueen, trips to Ingram and a Senior Party at Bayside; and we had to grow up. Well, at least Chet did.

Again, we are sorry we cannot make it to Dallas as we are in Abu Dhabi, but thinking of you.

Billy and Lisa

Marty raab says:

Chet made a difference in my life. I met him at Prince Of Peaces Christ renews his parish program. His example and drive provided inspiration. Most meaningful, was his care to always see how I was doing. I can only hope to continue his legacy. Blessings to Chet and his family.

Irene Mugambi says:

Chet was a fine lawyer and an amazing human being. Our legal community will really miss him.

The Downey Family says:

Chet Wheless was one of a kind.
Our family has known him for many, many years. He was never considered a friend to us…he was family. His heart was as big as he was tall and his smile would brighten any room. He was the epitome of a Southern Gentleman in every way.
Our family is deeply sadden by his passing; encountering him on our journey through life was a monumental gift.

Brian, Sandy, Paul, and Cameron
The Downey Family, Dallas, TX

Mary Greiner says:

Please accept my condolences on Chet’s passing. I knew him through Dallas LCL. Since I moved to Fort Hood, TX a few years ago, I haven’t had much contact with Chet, but have fond memories of his quiet, loving nature, his sense of humor, and his generosity in offering his back yard for a couple group picnics. He was a great man in my eyes.

Tricia Heil Davis says:

What a gracious gentleman and gentle soul. Chet helped so many people and the ripple effects continue. Blessings to Chet’s family during this sad time.

John Clark says:

Chet was a wonderful help to many,including me. He found many promises to be true. I was unaware of his passing until this afternoon. I will miss his gentle voice.

Jim Callahan says:

I was so sorry to learn of Chet’s passing. 35 years ago, we met as adversaries, and became friends. I was blessed to know him, and have a special place in my heart for Chet, as he accompanied me to my first meeting. Please accept my deepest condolences, and prayers in your grief.

David Martinez says:

Chet, brother in Christ. I will always remember you for welcoming me into the POP family and encouraging me to get involved in the various ministries and activities. But most of all, I will remember you as someone who truly had Christ in his heart and bled burnt orange. Until we meet again my fellow brother in Christ and fellow Longhorn. Condolences to Ludy and the rest of the family, but know that Chet is still among us in spirit, no longer suffering quietly, and reaping his heavenly reward. We reap what we sow. 6211

Hugh Osburn, MD says:

I am so saddened to learn of Chet’s passing. As a member of our 5-guy carpool group throughout high school, Chet is the first to pass on–which increases the sadness even more. While I hadn’t seen Chet since high school graduation, I will always remember his great sense of humor. As a physician, I am awed by his courage in undergoing multiple marrow transplants—-but am not surprised. I am privileged to have known him, and extend my deepest condolences to his entire family.

Kennedy Dzvairo says:

RIP sir. I know you are now with the angels. Thank you for all your help, your wisdom and your kindness.

Glenn & Nadege says:

We will forever keep memory of a man devoted & generous to his job and people, we are very sad for this loss we just recently found out. May his soul rest in peace and may the Lord grant him mercy. A lot of courage to his family and all those who suffer from this departure.
Glenn & Nadege

Johnson & Lily Nwaneri says:

Very Sad news i received today.Chet was always there to help.A good Man.He will be missed.Our heartfelt condolences to the Wheless Family.Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Kathy Robbins says:

I met Chet in 1977 when he served as a consultant for El Paso Natural Gas Company in El Paso. He worked in my department, and because he had to walk by my desk to get to his office, he talked to me on a daily basis. I remember him as rather quiet, but I’ve always thought “still water runs deep”. To his family: I am so sorry for your great loss. Please know that Chet made a good impression on some of us long, long ago, and we’ve never forgotten him. And this is coming from a Texas Aggie. 😉

Abbas (Abe) Farhat says:

I met Chet 1996 when he helped me with my immigration status. Chet was very kind and helpful. He always went out of his way to help me. We remained friends through out the years and I am very saddened to find out about his departure. I will always remember him. My condolences to his wife and family. Abbas

Saqib Nawaz says:

So sad to hear about Chet passing away. He helped me with my immigration complexities. He will be missed. My sincere condolences to his wife and family. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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