Wheeler, who had headed Georgia’s veterans agency since 1954, dies

The longtime commissioner of Georgia’s veteran affairs department died Tuesday at the age of 92.

Pete Wheeler became commissioner of the Department of Veterans Services in 1954 and was Georgia’s longest-serving agency head, working for a dozen governors stretching from Herman Talmadge to Nathan Deal.

He was an Army infantry instructor during World War II and later joined the National Guard, where he rose to become brigadier general.

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson said Wheeler made an “immeasurable contribution” to more than 750,000 Georgia veterans. Deal said he “worked tirelessly” for Georgia veterans and their families.

“His legacy is one of which we are all proud,” the governor said. “I am grateful for his service and he will be deeply missed.”