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Columbia Missourian

John Fenton Wheeler, April 10, 1924-April 21, 2013, of Columbia

April 30, 2013 | 6:57 p.m. CDT

John Fenton Wheeler, 88, of Columbia passed away April 21, 2013.

John was born on April 10, 1924 in Salina, Kan., son of C.W. Wheeler and Edith Fenton.

He grew up in Abilene, Kan., and was a graduate of the University of Kansas in journalism. He spent an extensive career as a newspaper reporter and editor where his work took him to Chile, Cuba, Spain, Portugal and Peru while working for the Associated Press.

He retired to Columbia in 1994 with his long time companion, Lila Dewell, where he chronicled his memoirs of reporting in Cuba during the Cold War in his book “Last Man Out.” There he was distinguished not only for his work but where he also became known as the last U.S. reporter expelled from Cuba.

John’s stories, wit and friendship will be enduring to those who knew him well.