Dr. Rex Alan Wieland, 71, North Manchester, passed away at 5:10 p.m., Feb. 22, 2020, at Visiting Nurse and Hospice Home, Fort Wayne.
Rex was born to Lawrence and Betty (Canter) Wieland on Dec. 19, 1948, in Hastings, Mich., and was a lifelong member of the Church of the Brethren. His parents would say that from the time he was a toddler, he wanted to be a doctor when he grew up, a dream that multitudes of people were blessed by when it came true. He graduated from Hastings High School in 1967, and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Pre-med from Manchester College in 1971. He, along with Peg (Becker) (Wieland) Bell, started their family, welcoming their first child in 1974, while he was in medical school.
In 1975 he graduated from the Indiana University School of Medicine and moved to South Bend to complete his medical residency. While in high school, his golf team won state, and he has been inducted into the Manchester University Athletic Hall of Fame with both his golf and football teams.
Rex was an avid Diet Coke drinker, who would tell his patients “do what I say, not what I do.” He lived his life taking care of people, spending just shy of 42 years practicing medicine, mainly in North Manchester. He delivered his first baby in 1978, bringing many children into the world until 2005 when he stopped delivering babies and focused on his family practice. When his body allowed, he enjoyed golfing, fishing, playing pool, euchre, hanging out at the casino, leaving long voicemails or texts for his kids and grandkids, playing with his dog, Charlie, and watching his grandkids in their many activities, while “instructing” refs and umpires during those events.
Rex is survived by his four children, Heather (Matt) Howard, Kyle (Julia) Wieland, Heidi (Jennifer Howard) Wieland, and Kasha (Raju) Shah; his grandchildren, Brooklyn, Carsyn, and Avery Howard, Austin Wieland and London Spangle, Kaidyn and Trey Howard, and Raegen and Remik Shah, all of North Manchester. He is also survived by his sisters, Ann (Robert) Gump, of Monaca, Pennsylvania, and Tammy (Brian) Nelson, of Longwood, Fla., many beloved relatives, people he became a father figure to, friends, and the patients that he cared about tremendously. Last but not least, he is survived by his second family, including his partners, Dr. Lori Zimmerman and Dr. Elizabeth Struble, as well as all the staff at Walnut Street Family Healthcare. He was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence (Larry) and Betty Wieland, and his in-laws, Frederick and Marcile (Ellis) Becker.
Every Christmas, Rex gifted his grandchildren with animals from Heifer International. It was his dream to buy an Ark, which includes two water buffalo, two cows, two sheep and two goats, along with bees, chicks, rabbits and more. In lieu of flowers, the family would ask that you make a memorial contribution to Heifer International in hopes of fulfilling Rex’s wishes. Please send memorial contributions to McKee Mortuary, 1401 State Road 114 West, North Manchester, IN 46962, where they will be collected. Other memorial contributions can be made to The Lawrence and Betty Wieland scholarship at Manchester University.
A celebration of Rex’s life will be held at Manchester University’s Cordier Auditorium on March 7. Visiting hours will be from 1-3 with the service to follow. Donations to the Heifer Ark will be collected during this time. There will also be a place to write down memories of Rex that the family will be able to cherish in the years to come. The family requests that you come as you feel comfortable, to dress casually, and wear cowboy boots, like Rex did for so many years.
Arrangements are entrusted to McKee Mortuary.