|Honored by:||Thomas D. Wheelock|
|Brick location:||G:22 map|
Edra Violet Smith was born on January 11, 1928, at Spencer, West Virginia, to Charles Roscoe Smith and Nancy Hazel (Wright) Smith. Edra attended public schools in St. Albans and Clendenin, West Virginia and was the valedictorian of her class, which graduated from Clendenin High School in 1945. She continued her education at the University of West Virginia where she majored in Education, with teaching fields in English, Latin and Speech. She received a B.S. degree in 1949 and an M.A. degree in 1952. While a student at the University, she was elected to several honor societies, including Kappa Delta Pi, and at graduation she served as Marshall for the College of Education.
In 1949, Edra Smith started a career teaching English and Latin in secondary schools in West Virginia. Her first position was at the high school in the historic coal mining town of Bramwell. Two years later she moved to the Charleston area, where she first taught at Dupont High School and then Thomas Jefferson Junior High School.
In 1952, Edra Smith married Thomas David Wheelock, a chemical engineer and a 1949 graduate of Iowa State College, who was employed in the Charleston area. When Thomas Wheelock returned to Iowa State College in 1954 to undertake graduate study in chemical engineering, Edra received an appointment as an instructor in the English Department. She continued teaching English while Thomas completed a doctoral program and joined the Chemical Engineering Faculty.
Her teaching career was interrupted in order to devote more care and attention to her children, David and Ann, who were born in 1960 and 1963, respectively. In 1972 Edra returned to teaching English on a part-time basis at Iowa State, and she continued teaching until 1985 when a need arose to provide more care for her father in West Virginia.
Edra Smith Wheelock has devoted much of her life to caring for her family, developing language skills in high school and college students, and improving the community in which she lives. She has enjoyed seeing former students and her children develop successful careers; David and Ann graduated from Iowa State University in 1982 and 1985, respectively. Furthermore, through volunteer work and by participation in a number of church and community activities, she has helped make her community a better place.