Richard L. “Dick” Wheeden, a retired college mathematics professor, died April 9 of injuries after being struck by a falling tree as he walked near his home in St. Michaels. He was 79.
Professor Wheeden, who was being Medevaced to Annapolis, died en route and was pronounced dead at the Anne Arundel Medical Center, according to his wife of 57 years, the former Sharon Lee McGlasson.
Richard Lee Wheeden, son of Lee Wheeden, a steamship company executive, and his wife, Ruth Wheeden, a Hutzler’s department store detective, was born in Baltimore and raised on Batavia Avenue in Hamilton and later in Towson.
After graduating in 1958 from the Polytechnic Institute, he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1961 in mathematics from the Johns Hopkins University, and subsequently obtained a master’s degree in 1962 and his Ph.D. in 1965 in the discipline, both from the University of Chicago.
Professor Wheeden was working for the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, when he joined the math department in 1967 at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where in addition to teaching he also conducted research.
After retiring in 2016, he and his wife settled in St. Michaels. In his retirement, he was still conducting math research, which resulted in numerous published papers.
He was a resident of the Homes at Perry Cabin, which overlooks the Miles River, and was active in the homeowners’ association. He was also a member of the Wye Fellows of the Aspen Institute, where he “enjoyed inspirational talks and concerts,” his wife said.
In addition to “doing math, he enjoyed his family, being outdoors, and eating crabs,” Mrs. Wheeden said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plans for a celebration-of-life gathering are incomplete.
In addition to his wife, a retired librarian, Professor Wheeden is survived by a son, Michael Wheeden of Bethesda; a daughter, Abbie McCauley of Tallmadge, Ohio; and five grandchildren.