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Friends in Knoxville of former University of Tennessee Provost George W. Wheeler have learned of his recent death in Eugene, Ore.

Wheeler, who served as UT-Knoxville’s chief academic officer in the 1980s, died of heart failure March 9. He was 77.

A Massachusetts native, Wheeler came to UT in 1983 from Temple University where he was dean of arts and sciences. He earned master’s and doctoral degrees in physics from Yale University.

In addition to his tenure at Temple, Wheeler also served as dean of sciences at City University of New York in the Bronx and was with the Atomic Energy Commission and Brookhaven National Laboratory. He was a World War II veteran who received the Purple Heart and three bronze stars.

He is survived by his wife, Margaret, a daughter and a sister.