Laurens, S.C. – Venice Oleta Wheeler was born March 16, 1910, the sixth child of Nannie Tallulah and Jules Wheeler of Summerville, Ga. She graduated from Summerville High School in 1929. Prior to her death, she was the oldest living graduate of that high school. After graduation she entered the old State Normal College located in Athens, Ga; later renamed State Teacher’s College. In two years she completed her STC certificate in 1931 and returned to Summerville, Ga., to begin her teaching career. She taught grades one through sixth in a two room school house along with her cousin. During this time Venice met Lonnie Lee Long from Tanner, Ala.. This was during the depression time in this country. He had left dental college and accepted a job as a laboratory technician for Dr. H.C. Hardin, a Summerville dentist. Venice and Lonnie were married May 4, 1933. Lonnie returned to Atlanta Dental College. After his graduation, Lonnie and Venice moved to Ware Shoals, S.C., where Lonnie set up his first dental practice. Two years later, they moved to Laurens. Their first home was the upstairs of the Johnsey home on West Main Street in Laurens, which they rented until they could build their first home in Maple Brook.
Venice spent her life as a loving wife and mother to her family. She was an active member of First Baptist Church of Laurens, where she was the oldest living member prior to her death. She moved to Martha Franks Baptist Retirement Community in 1991 and was an active member of the Martha Franks Singers.
At the time of her death she was 107 years old.
A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, at Martha Franks Rasor Chapel. A private burial will be held in Forest Lawn Cemetery.
The family will be at their respective homes and will receive friends at Martha Franks Cooper Dining Hall immediately following the memorial service.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.thekennedymortuary.com.