Memorial Day: Volusia County Councilwoman Billie Wheeler's unusual first name honors heroic uncle who died in Battle of the Bulge

Video by Headline Surfer / Theme song for Billie Wheeler.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla. -- For the first time since she was elected to the Volusia County Council, Billie Wheeler took to social media to explain her unusual first name and its connection to Memorial Day.

Using a vintage photo of a man in a military uniform, Wheeler delivered her "Happy Memorial Day" message: "Thanking those who served and gave it all." She then identified the young man in the pic as "my mother's younger brother, “Bill,” who was killed at the Battle of the Bulge, where my father was critically wounded."

Then for emphasis, as if to quell any thought of her as some fuddy-duddy ready for a rocking chair," Wheeler  explained, "I wasn’t to be born until years later, however, the decision was made that I would be named Billie (or Billy) after this hero, if and when I ever was conceived."

Volusia County Councilwoman Billie Wheeler / Headline SurferUsing a vintage photo of a man in a military uniform, Wheeler delivered her "Happy Memorial Day" message: "Thanking those who served and gave it all." She then identified the young man in the pic as "my mother's younger brother, “Bill,” who was killed at the Battle of the Bulge, where my father was critically wounded."

Then for emphasis, as if to quell any thought of her as some fuddy-duddy ready for a rocking chair," Wheeler  explained, "I wasn’t to be born until years later, however, the decision was made that I would be named Billie (or Billy) after this hero, if and when I ever was conceived."

Wheeler, born a couple years after World War II ended, will celebrate her 71st birthday on Nov. 7.

Bio: Billie Wheeler
Political Experience:
• District 2 representative on the Volusia County Council representing the citizens of Ponce Inlet, Wilbur-by-the-Sea, Daytona Beach Shores, Daytona, South Daytona, Port Orange and parts of unincorporated Volusia County;
• Daytona Beach Shores City Council, 2010-2016;
• Director, Volusia League of Cities, 2011-2013, 2015-2016;
• President, Volusia League of Cities, 2014;
• Director, Florida League of Cities, 2012-2015;
• Executive Director, Florida League of Cities, 2016;
• Florida League of Cities Legislative Policy Committee on Transportation, 2011-2014;
• Florida League of Cities Legislative Policy Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, 2014-2016l
• National League of Cities Policy Committee for Public Safety and Crime Prevention, 2012;
• Member, River to Sea TPO Board, 2010-2016.
Education:
• Attended Seminole State College.
Community Service:
• Port Orange Certified Victim Advocate
• Hospice
• Honor Air for WWII Veterans
• Port Orange Eagles Auxiliary
• VFW 3282 Auxiliary
• Halifax Yacht Club Commodores
• Daytona Beach Symphony Guild
• Daytona Beach Museum of Arts & Sciences Guild
• Ponce Inlet Women’s Club
• Daytona State College Advisory Board for the Center for Women and Men
Residence:
• Daytona Beach Shores.
Family:
• Widowed, husband Jim deceased.
• A combined family of eight children and 23 grandchildren. 
 
Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.