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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Funeral Program for Noel Montgomery Alexander Moore Wheeler (1943-2023)

Burial Office for

Noel Montgomery Alexander Moore Wheeler


Saturday, September 30, 2023, at 12:00 p.m.

Celebrant and Preacher: The Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda, Rector

Deacon: The Rev. Ella Roundtree-Davis, Deacon

Assisting Priest: The Rev. Dr. Charles L. Hoskins, Rector Emeritus

Guest Minister: The Rev. Francis Johnson, Pastor of Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church, Statesboro, GA

Soloist: Ms. Shanta Ellis

Watch the Livestream at

The Burial of the Dead

The people's responses are written in black bold and italics.

Unspoken instructions are written in red italics.

Special Family Request:

In lieu of flowers, please make all donations to:

Dr. Saba Jallow Legacy Fund

Georgia Southern University

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

P.O. Box 8094 • Statesboro, Georgia 30460

Please keep the Poole-Wheeler family in your prayers.

LEV #188: It Is Well With My Soul

1 When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like seabillows roll;

Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul.


It is well with my soul,

It is well, it is well with my soul.

2 Though satan should buffet, though trials should come,

Let this blest assurance control,

That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,

And has shed His own blood for my soul. [Refrain]

3 My sin oh, the bliss of this glorious thought

My sin not in part, but the whole

Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more,

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! [Refrain]

4 And, Lord, hast the day when the faith shall be sight,

The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,

The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend,

“Even so” it is well with my soul. [Refrain]

[Words: Horatio Spafford, Public Domain. Music: Philip P. Bliss, Public Domain. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #95056. All rights reserved.]

The Opening Anthem

[BCP, p. 491 / Hymn S-381]

I am Resurrection and I am Life, says the Lord. Whoever has faith in me shall have life, even though he die. And everyone who has life, and has committed himself to me in faith, shall not die for ever.

As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives and that at the last he will stand upon the earth. After my awaking, he will raise me up; and in my body I shall see God. I myself shall see, and my eyes behold him who is my friend and not a stranger.

For none of us has life in himself, and none becomes his own master when he dies. For if we have life, we are alive in the Lord, and if we die, we die in the Lord. So, then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's possession.

Happy from now on are those who die in the Lord! So it is, says the Spirit,for they rest from their labors.

[Words: Public Domain. Music: Mode 8 antiphon melody; adapt. Bruce E. Ford, Copyright © 1985 Bruce E. Ford, Church Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.]

The Collect of the Day

[BCP, p. 493]

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

O God of grace and glory, we remember before you this day our brother Noel. We thank you for giving her to us, her family and friends, to know and to love as a companion on our earthly pilgrimage. In your boundless compassion, console us who mourn. Give us faith to see in death the gate of eternal life, so that in quiet confidence we may continue our course on earth, until, by your call, we are reunited with those who have gone before; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (65:17-25)

[Ms. Florence Ferguson]

17 For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. 18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating, for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy and its people as a delight. 19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it or the cry of distress. 20 No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days or an old person who does not live out a lifetime, for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed. 21 They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22 They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat, for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They shall not labor in vain or bear children for calamity, for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord—and their descendants as well. 24 Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, but the serpent—its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the Lord.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

A Reading from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians (4:13-14, 17b-18)

[Ms. Paulette Dockery Sanders]

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. … 17 So we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The People stand, as they are able, for the reading of the Gospel.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. John (11:17-27)

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Christ.

Solo: "The Lord's Prayer"

[Ms. Shanta Ellis]

The Sermon

by The Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda, Rector

The Apostles’ Creed

[BCP, p. 496]

In the assurance of eternal life given at Baptism, let us proclaim our faith and say,

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

[BCP, p. 364]

And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayers for the Departed

[BCP, p. 497; Mrs. Margaret Anne Pearson]

For our brother Noel, let us pray to our Lord Jesus Christ who said, "I am Resurrection and I am Life."

Lord, you consoled Martha and Mary in their distress; draw near to us who mourn for Noel, and dry the tears of those who weep. Hear us, Lord.

You wept at the grave of Lazarus, your friend; comfort us in our sorrow. Hear us, Lord.

You raised the dead to life; give to our brother eternal life. Hear us, Lord.

You promised paradise to the thief who repented; bring our brother to the joys of heaven. Hear us, Lord.

Our brother was washed in Baptism and anointed with the Holy Spirit; give him fellowship with all your saints. Hear us, Lord.

He was nourished with your Body and Blood; grant him a place at the table in your heavenly kingdom. Hear us, Lord.

Comfort us in our sorrows at the death of our brother; let our faith be our consolation, and eternal life our hope.

The Celebrant concludes with the following prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, we commend to you our brother Noel, who was reborn by water and the Spirit in Holy Baptism. Grant that his death may recall to us your victory over death, and be an occasion for us to renew our trust in your Father's love. Give us, we pray, the faith to follow where you have led the way; and where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, to the ages of ages. Amen.

The Peace

[BCP, p. 360]

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.

Solo: "Wind Beneath My Wings"

[Performed by Ms. Shanta Ellis. Words and Music: Jeff Silver and Larry Henley, Copyright © 1982 Jeff Silver and Larry Henley. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #243608. All rights reserved.]

A Silent Reading of the Obituary

Noel Montgomery Alexander Moore Wheeler was born on December 10, 1943, in Trinidad & Tobago to the parentage of the late Derrick Wheeler and Ruth Moore. He transitioned from this earthly journey on Monday, September 18, 2023.

Noel grew up in Cocoyea Village, San Fernando, Trinidad. He played bass as a member of the Gondoliers and Silhouettes steel bands with his brother David, aka Jessie. Noel believed in education and carried a book everywhere he went. He taught and encouraged all the kids in Cocoyea to go to school. Noel graduated high school from St. Benedict’s in Trinidad and later from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science; and from Georgia Southern University with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.

Noel relocated from Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia to Savannah, Georgia to work with Gulf Stream Company as a Purchasing Agent in 1991. Later in his career, the City of Statesboro employed Noel as the City’s first Purchasing Coordinator. Although Noel loved education, his passion was cooking. He dreamed of opening a restaurant and after retirement, he and his supportive, loving wife Jocelyn opened the Caribbean Feast in 2009. Due to Noel’s health, the restaurant was eventually closed.

Noel was a member of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Savannah for over 30 years, where he held various positions as Treasurer, Men’s Club member and the Vestry. He was also a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.

Noel leaves behind to cherish his memory a loving wife of 27 years, Jocelyn Poole of Statesboro, GA; three daughters: Shawn Wheeler, Lauren Wheeler, and Courtney Wheeler and one grandson, Jeremiah Wheeler, all of Minnesota; five brothers: Franklin Wheeler (Angela), David Wheeler (Vero), both of Toronto, Canada; George Wheeler (Shirley) of Atlanta, Georgia; Rurick Wheeler (Yvonne) and Winston Wheeler, of Trinidad; and two sisters: Eulaine Charles (Milton) and Jane Clouden (Anthony), also of Trinidad.

He also leaves behind his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Earnest and Florine Poole of Surry, VA; brother-in-law Earnest (Phyllis) Poole, Jr. of Williamsburg, VA; sister-in-law Shonda Poole of Surry, VA; and godchildren: Wade Hardy of Surry, VA, Genevieve, Nnedi, Chichi Okafor all of Atlanta, GA; and Uche Okafor of Statesboro, GA. He also leaves behind a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and beloved friends. Noel was preceded in death by a brother, the late Charles Vanley Wheeler.

Public viewing for Noel will be held Friday, September 29, 2023, from Noon until 5:00 PM. The family will receive guests from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM at the Matthew H. Lovett & Son’s Funeral Home.

Per Noel’s wishes, his final disposition will be cremation.

The Eulogies

[Dr. Saba Jallow, Ms. David Wheeler, and Mr. Merville Cumberbatch]

Words of Comfort

[The Rev. Francys Johnson, Esq., Pastor of Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church, Statesboro, GA]

The Commendation

[BCP, p. 499]

Give rest, O Christ, to your servant with your saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.

You only are immortal, the creator and maker of humankind; and we are mortal, formed of the earth, and to earth shall we return. For so did you ordain when you created me, saying, "You are dust, and to dust you shall return." All of us go down to the dust; yet even at the grave we make our song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Give rest, O Christ, to your servant with your saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.

Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant, Noel. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive him into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.

The Blessing of the People

[Adapted from Enriching Our Worship 1, p. 71]

Live without fear: your Creator has made you holy, has always protected you, and loves you as a mother. Go in peace to follow the good road and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.

The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 366]

Let us go forth in the name of Christ!

Thanks be to God!

"Amazing Grace"

[As performed by Trinidad Steel Band]

Permissions and Credits: This service is reproduced from The Book of Common Prayer 1979 (BCP), Enriching Our Worship 1 (EOW1), The Hymnal 1982 (Hymn), Lift Every Voice and Sing II: An African American Hymnal (LEV), and other sources cited. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture readings are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible.

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