Natalie A. (Palk)'s Story

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Natalie A (Palk) Wheeler, 86, of Gloucester formerly of Waltham, passed away Saturday, March 25,2017 at the Ledgewood Nursing and Rehab Center in Beverly.
Natalie, who was born in Gloucester, on April 13, 1930, was the daughter of the late William and Ruth Palk. She graduated from Gloucester High School in 1947 and then went on and graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1951. Natalie was a member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority.

Natalie had an extensive work history. She was initially recruited by General Electric, in Schenectady, N.Y. and worked in the Power Tube Division and at Knolis Atomic Power Lab. While at Power Tube, Natalie worked as an Analytical Chemist, and at KAPL, Natalie was a member of a team that set up KAPL’s first computer center (IBM 704). Natalie joined the staff at Sperry Rand Research Center in 1962 and her duties there were scientific programming. Natalie’s final position in her work career was at Control Data Corp Center in Waltham, as a Senior Applications analyst. Natalie spent the next 11 years working on CDC’s largest main frame super computer in the country.

Natalie married the late George W. Wheeler in August of 1971; they were married for 20 years, residing in Waltham. During their 20 years of marriage they enjoyed square dancing, X-C skiing, genealogy, traveling and camping with their nieces, nephews and grandchildren. She held a special place in her heart for Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor Maine. George died after a short battle with cancer in August of 1991. Natalie continued these interests with her friends and family. She attended Elderhostel programs throughout the country and found a renewed interest in the University of Massachusetts and her Sorority. Natalie was and an avid photographer and her house was filled with photographs of her family and many trips around the country. Natalie was involved in Alumni association activities and was a member of the Schenectady and Boston Alumnae Chapters. She was actively involved with many of the senior programs in and around the Waltham area.

Natalie is survived by her son, George J Wheeler and his wife Margaret Wheeler; daughter, Maryanne Randall; nephews, William III, David and Robert Palk, and great nephews, Justin, Matthew and Ryan Woundy.
Natalie was fond of her nine grandchildren, Patrick Wheeler, Jessica Keefe, Ashley Travis, Colette Chandonait, Carrie Randall, Melissa Kessinger, Jennifer McCauliff, Ashley McCauliff, Anthony McCauliff and 3 great grandchildren. She also had three special, great- nieces, Emily, Julia and Jordan Palk.
Natalie was predeceased by her brother, William Palk Jr and a niece, Deborah (Palk) Woundy. She often described her niece, Debbie, as her best friend.
Natalie’s graveside service will be at the Cherry Hill Cemetery in Gloucester, on Tuesday, April 4th at 1 p.m. There will be no visiting hours. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the West Gloucester Trinitarian Congregational Church, or the Massachusetts Audubon Society. For online condolences and register book please visit www.pikenewhall.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Pike-Newhall Funeral Home, 61 Middle St., Gloucester.
Published on  March 30, 2017
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