Dothan great, Hugh Wheelless, dies at 74

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Hugh Wheelless a businessman, developer, and friend of the community passed away Sunday in Flowers Hospital.

According to a post on the Houston County Republican Women’s Facebook page — his widow Barbara is president of that organization — his death was due to COVID-19.

He will be remembered not for his death, rather for all he accomplished throughout his life. Namely for donating 400 acres of land to develop the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course in Dothan and Highland Oaks.

“Hugh Wheeless is someone that was full of life,” said general contractor and friend, Hayne Hollis said. “He was always positive, and no matter what the situation was he had a great outlook on everything.”

“One of the great things about Hugh was his visionary outlook on things,” said Dothan Mayor Mark Saliba. “He could see out and dream of things that could be possible and they would come true.”

According to his friends, he would brighten the room just by walking through the door.

“You can’t miss Hugh’s energy, his charisma, his personality,” said Saliba. “He most of the time was upbeat, happy, and loved life, and a great storyteller.”

“Hugh was very entertaining,” said Hollis. “He would always say something that got someone laughing. And would always brighten up the room he entered, especially the rooms where I was with him.”

After everything Wheelless has done, not just for his family, but his friends and community, there’s no wonder the people of Dothan are going to miss him so much.

“He lived to the fullest he gave to the community and he was just a big part of a lot of people’s lives here in Dothan,” said Saliba.

“If you ever met Hugh Wheelless, you would never forget him,” said Hollis. “And I have lost a great friend in Hugh.”

A celebration of life will take place for Wheelless Thursday morning at 10 a.m. At the high Wheelless Pavillion at Haddington Park in the Highlands. The family requests that all attending wear casual dress and short sleeves, also to wear a mask, and socially distance.

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