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Mary Wheeler Zelle

Mary Wheeler Zelle of Hillsboro, Tennessee, passed from this life on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, at Vanderbilt Harton Hospital in Tullahoma, Tennessee at the age of 88 years. No services are planned at this time. 

Mrs. Zelle, born in St. Louis, Missouri, was the daughter of the late Paul Allen and Lydia Frances Russell Wheeler. Along with her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, John David Zelle in 2015. She was also preceded by one sister, Carol Bell and two sons-in-law, Bobby Smith, and Wayne Fuller. 

She grew up in Houston, Texas and raised her family in Hendersonville, Tennessee.  She was a medical transcriptionist at Memorial Orthopedic Group for several years. She then lived in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where she returned to school and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts.  Mary was an artist. She loved to paint, to knit and to play bridge. She was always willing to share her completed art and knitting projects with those she loved. She was the best mother and will forever leave a void in our hearts that will never be filled.  

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Survivors include four daughters, Susan Zelle (Randy) Cawood of Beaufort, South Carolina. Margaret Zelle Smith of Hillsboro, Tennessee, Katherine Zelle Fuller of Berea, Kentucky and Jean Marie Zelle of Nashville, Tennessee. She is also survived by six grandchildren and five great grandchildren. 

Online condolences may be made at

Daves-Culbertson Funeral Home is assisting the family.

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