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Wheldon remembered as loving, loyal and tidy

Dan WheldonInternational TravelBicycle RacingAuction ServiceMusic

Dan Wheldon is being remembered not only as a champion driver but as a devoted husband, caring father, loyal friend, beloved son - and a neat freak.

Family members, friends, fellow drivers and hundreds of supporters said goodbye to Wheldon during a memorial service Saturday that included heart-wrenching letters by his wife and little sister, a story-filled eulogy by the best man at his wedding and two gripping songs by Wynonna Judd. There were several references to Wheldon's love of keeping everything tidy.

The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner was one of the sport's most popular drivers. He died last Sunday in IndyCar's season finale at Las Vegas.

He was buried in a private funeral service following Saturday's public memorial at the First Presbyterian Church of St. Petersburg.

Graham Rahal has sparked an outpouring of support - and memorabilia - for an auction to benefit the family of Wheldon.

Rahal offered to help the Dan Wheldon Family Trust Fund by donating the helmet, gloves and shoes he used in Las Vegas, where Wheldon was killed Sunday in a fiery, 15-car accident.

Celebrities and athletes from around the world have followed suit.

Donations have included race-worn items from IndyCar drivers Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan, and NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch; an Indiana Pacers jersey signed by Larry Bird; memorabilia from seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong; and an NFL jersey signed by Roger Staubach, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Warren Moon and Harry Carson.

Rahal says he never expected such a reaction when he tweeted about giving his helmet to the auction, which begins Monday on eBay.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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