Cover photo for Ella "Joan" Wheatley's Obituary
Ella "Joan" Wheatley Profile Photo

Ella "Joan" Wheatley

November 14, 1943 — December 24, 2022


Ella "Joan" Wheatley


Ella “Joan” Wheatley, 79, of Fountaintown, passed away Saturday, December 24, 2022, at her home.

She was born November 14, 1943, in Fountaintown, the daughter of Dale and Ella Mae (Settles) King.  On June 29, 1963, she married her husband of 59 years, Ben A. Wheatley, and he survives.

In addition to Ben, Joan is survived by her daughter, Jone Koch and husband, Louie, of Fountaintown; sister, Judy Ciarletta and husband, Nick, of Shelbyville; granddaughters, Lauren Elizabeth Harnishfeger and husband, Layne, Haley Danae Koch and Ella Deann Koch; sister-in-law, Carol King of Fountaintown; and several nieces and nephews.

Joan was preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Jane Ann Wheatley; and brothers, Donald King and Ronald King.

She graduated in 1961 from Triton Central High School.  Joan had been a cheerleader at both, Moral Township High School and Triton Central High School.

Joan was a member of the Indiana Arabian Horse Association and a lifetime member of the Indiana Dairy Goat Association.  She had been a Shelby County 4-H leader and superintendent of the dairy goat barn, for over 30 years.

She was the second Shelby County Fair Queen.  Joan was also the runner-up in the Indianapolis 500 princess contest.

Joan was an avid animal lover and raised many to be pets throughout the years.

Private graveside services will be held at a later date.

Services have been entrusted to Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, 819 S. Harrison St. in Shelbyville.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Shelbyville-Shelby County Animal Shelter, 705 Hale Road, Shelbyville, Indiana 46176; Shelby County 4-H, Courthouse Annex No. 2, Shelbyville, Indiana 46176 or Shares, Inc., 1611 S. Miller St., Shelbyville, Indiana 46176.

Online condolences may be shared with Joan’s family at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ella "Joan" Wheatley, please visit our flower store.


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