Michelle Jeanne Wherley-Hanks

April 25, 1952 - November 21, 2020
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Geib Funeral Home & Crematory
Marlene Daniels
Jenica (Shull) Smith
Dana Cowardin (Obermiller)
Susie Weber Arnold
Brad Rippel
Vicki Fisher Page Light a candle


Michelle Jeanne Wherley-Hanks of Dover (Parral) Ohio, died peacefully, surrounded by her family on Saturday, November 21, 2020 at Dover, Ohio.

A daughter of the late Henry Eugene (Gene) and Charlotte Culbertson Wherley, she was born on April 25th, 1952 at Dover, Ohio. On April 20, 2001, she married William D. Hanks…

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Michelle Jeanne Wherley-Hanks of Dover (Parral) Ohio, died peacefully, surrounded by her family on Saturday, November 21, 2020 at Dover, Ohio.

A daughter of the late Henry Eugene (Gene) and Charlotte Culbertson Wherley, she was born on April 25th, 1952 at Dover, Ohio. On April 20, 2001, she married William D. Hanks, who survives.
Michelle was a 1970 graduate of New Philadelphia High School, where she was active as a majorette and cheerleader.

Michelle went on to teach dance alongside her mother, Charlotte, and then owning Wherley’s Dance Studio for over 25 years. Charlotte and Michelle taught nearly every girl in Dover and New Phila to dance during the over 60 years of the studio. Never one to shy away from work, she was also Majorette Advisor for the Dover Marching Band for many years, and a welcomed employee at Union Country Club and Dover Buehler’s, where everyone enjoyed her cheerful personality and quick wit.

With the heart of a warrior, Michelle never lost her zest and upbeat determination for life while battling multiple brain surgeries and being a two-time breast cancer survivor. She faced and overcame all odds with grace and good humor. As a child she loved to spend time at the family farm hiking and riding ponies. Throughout life she loved music and attending concerts, riding her motorcycle, attending motor-cycle events with Bill, taking trips to Putt-in-Bay with friends, and watching NASCAR Races. Most recently, she enjoyed daily rides through the country to look for deer.

In addition to her parents, she is predeceased by her mother and father-in-law, Betty and Herb Hanks and her beloved dog, Odie. She leaves behind her loving and devoted spouse, soulmate and caretaker Bill, sister, Elizabeth (Beth) A. Wherley of Columbus, Ohio, brother Eugene (Carol) Wenger of Phoenix, Arizona, cousin, Elaine A. (Jeff) Wherley-Tedrow of New Philadelphia, Ohio, brother-in-law, Brian Hanks, of New Philadelphia. Also surviving are a niece, nephew, great-nephews, and a host of dear friends.

Graveside services will be held at 1:30 P.M. on Friday November 27, 2020 at Dover Burial Park, 5651 N. Wooster Ave., Dover, OH with Pastor LuAnn Youngman officiating. Due to COVID 19, safety precautions will be taken. Social distancing will be honored and all guests attending the graveside service are asked to please wear a mask.

Memorial donations in Michelle’s name can be made to: Winfield United Methodist Church, Hospice, Breast Cancer Society, Dover Marching Band, American Heart Association, Quaker Foundation, or the Humane Society.


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Service Information

Service Information

Date: Friday, November 27, 2020

Time: 1:30 pm

Dover Burial Park


N Wooster Avenue, DOVER, OH, 44622

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Life Event Timeline

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Timeline for Michelle Jeanne Wherley-Hanks

Born: April 25, 1952
January 1, 2017
Classmates get together: Dover Canal Days
Classmates get together: Dover Canal Days
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January 1, 2017
Class get together : Dover Canal Days
Class get together : Dover Canal Days
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Died: November 21, 2020

Condolences for Michelle Jeanne Wherley-Hanks

Geib Funeral Home & Crematory

On behalf of the Geib Family and Staff, we offer our most sincere sympathy for your loss. We are honored to have been called upon to serve your family.


Betty Whiteman posted on 12/23/20

I just heard Bill. Im so sorry for your loss. She was a fantastic lady. Shell always be in our hearts.


John Deemer posted on 12/5/20

The world has lost one special lady. Even though we only saw each other once or twice a year I always looked forward to that wonderful smile and her kind heart. And yes the cocktails and the home made treats.. You made my world a better place Michelle


Deb Contini Marshall posted on 12/2/20

Dear Bill, Beth, Eugene and family, I am so very sorry to hear about Michelle. Beth may be the only one to remember me. I took 8 years of acrobats, tap and ballet from Charlotte at the suggestion to my mom from our next door neighbor, Virginia Fisher, Vicki Fisher Page's mom. Vicki and Michelle and Beth danced together and wow, did I look up to the big girls! They were magical to me, especially during recitals, and seemed like the Rockettes or something! Michelle always had a smile and kind encouragement for me! The Wherleys are remembered with fondness. My deepest sympathy to you all.


Brenda & Jim Utter posted on 12/2/20

Bill and family, our deepest love and sympathy to all of you on the passing of Michelle. She was an outstanding woman and a character for sure. Our love and prayers are with all of you.. Brenda & Jim Utter and family


Sky Sylak posted on 11/29/20

Michelle was the toughest woman I've ever known. Nothing could get her down. During the last few months, she often said "I'm not done having fun with you guys." She endured more than any person I've known and was always ready to brighten the day for anyone with which she had contact.Beth and Bill, you've been through a lot, and were with her during her hard times. You are both saints.Love you all.


Chrysanthe Vassiles posted on 11/29/20

My mother and I were so saddened to hear of Michelle’s passing. I took dance lessons from her for 10 years, and she advised The Dover Dance Factory during my senior year of high school. No matter what she endured, Michelle faced life with enthusiasm and positivity, and we always admired her for that. During later years, we so enjoyed running into her at Buehler’s, where we could catch up for a bit, hear her latest naughty joke, and have her remind us how much she enjoyed my grandmother’s pasta salad. The world is a little darker today without her in it. Marta Farbizo Vassiles (mother) Chrysanthe E. Vassiles (daughter)


Marlene Daniels posted on 11/28/20

Oh my dear Michelle. Heaven is in its glory having you home. You dear soul you have been through so much and always with a smile on your face!!! You faced evrrything with such positivity that the rest of us were humbled in your presence. We will always love you and will miss you forever. God bless Bill now and always. In this life ee've been lovedby yousnd have been so blessed to have had you in our lives. Light up the sky, dear girl and dance one dsnce for me.


Jenica (Shull) Smith posted on 11/28/20

I worked with Michelle at Buehler's years ago and I loved talking with her about motorcycles (which I went on to learn how to ride). She was a joy to be around and an inspiration to many. She will be missed greatly.


Randy & Dian posted on 11/27/20

We are so sorry for your loss Bill. We loved Michelle's vivacious laugh and her wonderful stories. Will remember her always as "the life of the party". R.I.P. dear Michelle.


Artie Kegler posted on 11/26/20

Michelle, you were a memorable friend. You've helped many people dance with joy. May the light in you continue the wonderful dance you had in this life !


Kim Kate Edgar posted on 11/25/20

To Bill, Beth & family, Sending prayers & sympathy. Michelle was one special lady! From, CloeAnn Kate, Kim Kate Edgar & daughter Jess Edgar, Yvonne Kate Zesiger & Melissa Kate


Mark Fortney posted on 11/25/20

Michael you were one very special person and please say hi to my mom in Heaven as know will love talking to her. Bill am sending you a big hug until getting to give you a real one this Friday buddy as you are one of a kind my friend. Mark Fortney


Dana Cowardin (Obermiller) posted on 11/25/20

Michelle and I spent many years dancing and twirling our batons together. She was very talented and so fun to be with. She touched so many lives with her dancing instruction. I will always cherish my many fond memories of her. Dance with the angels, my friend.


Phil and Lisa Bailey posted on 11/25/20

Dear Bill, Beth and family, Our deepest condolences! Michele always had a smile and infectious laugh no matter the trials. We hope that your tears soon turn to memories of all the good times you shared together! Love, Phil and Lisa


Susie Weber Arnold posted on 11/25/20

I have so many good memories with Michelle. Last time she was in for rehab my daughter works at Union we texted back & forth & I sent hers some pics of old recitals we had together & programs with Charlottes picture on them. Will miss her. Thinking of everyone & sending prayers.


BETH Powell posted on 11/25/20

Having met Michelle many years ago as the sister of my best friend Beth, she soon became my friend in her own right. We toured New Phil and Dover together, traveled to foreign lands, so many memories of happy times. And there were trying times but Michelle's spirit and outlook on life always shown bright. Rest in piece my friend.


Steve Gintz posted on 11/24/20

Michelle will live forever in the dance steps of her students and in the hearts all of us who loved her. I'm keeping you in my thoughts Bill. We were all better people for having known her


Lynnette Everett Sefcik posted on 11/24/20

I was lucky enough to have Michelle as both a dance and baton instructor as well as a Majorette Advisor my Jr and Sr years at DHS. She was remarkable and helped to take our majorette routines to the next level. Her work ethic was impeccable and fit right in with the DHS band! She was also so cool with the majorettes and was known to let us drive her VW bug around the HS parking lot so we could learn to drive a stick shift! Love you, and RIP Michelle; you definitely left your mark on the world!


Katie & Brandon Thomas posted on 11/24/20

We loved hearing tales of Michelle and growing up in New Philly from Beth. We know she will be missed by many. Many prayers to Beth and Bill during this time.


Diane (Gibb)Loomis posted on 11/24/20

My sincerest condolences to Michelle's family. I spent many years in the dance studio with Michelle and 4 years with her as part of the Dover Dance Factory. I loved dancing she made classes so enjoyable. I have many fond memories of her and I will carry those with me.


Prairie Prince posted on 11/24/20

Bill, I send my deepest sympathy with love and affection to you for Michelle's loss. Please know she dances with the stars


Bob and Cindy Mathias posted on 11/24/20

Bill and family, we send our deepest sympathy to you for the loss of dear Michelle. No matter what was happening with her health she always had a genuine smile for everyone. And took an interest in what was happening in their life. We should all be more like Michelle. We know that she is resting in peace in the loving arms of our Lord. Bob and Cindy


Sara (Daley) Whitener posted on 11/24/20

Michelle taught me (and my sister, Abby) to dance for nearly a decade. We enjoyed tap, jazz, and acrobatics. I can still see her dancing to The Beach Boys! Condolences to all of her family and friends; Michelle was a treasure.


Cindi Evans Swartzwelder posted on 11/24/20

Remembering you, your great personality and your little Volkswagen 50 years ago that ran us all over the boulevard for .25cents a gallon....a special gal for sure...all the trials and tribulations this earth had to offer you but always a positive spirited person...may you Rest In Peace now...condolences to your family?


Patrick family posted on 11/24/20

Sincere sympathy to Bill and family and friends ..she had a positive impact on so many lives. That smile and laugh will never be forgotten.


Ella Marshall posted on 11/24/20

Michelle was such an inspiration; always her beautiful smile; & upbeat no matter what health issue she was dealing with. My memories are of all the fun we had in aquacize class!!! Oh, my . . . she would work us hard but made it soooooo much fun. We formed close relationships & 1 year had an 'end of season' luncheon gathering!!! At the last class that season, we all took silly sunglasses & a small boat (which I still have!). When she came in, well . . . let's say it was the 1st we saw her speechless!!! Fond memories. She was a very strong lady, compassionate. Some people are here to show us how to live a positive life no matter the circumstances . . . she was definitely one of them. She blessed both my daughter and my lives.


Debbie Corwin posted on 11/23/20

I took dance from your mom And Michelle taught our 3 daughters-- what wonderful memories!! Beth sorry for this loss- my youngest daughter a nurse took care of her once Michelle ask her if she ever took dance lesson from her--- my daughter answered of course I did!???


Mary Murray posted on 11/23/20

Michelle you touched so many in the community. Good dancer or not you made everyone you taught feel special. I took lessons from your mom and we meet and became friends. I am so happy you were a part of my daughter's life and that she had the privilege of taking lessons from you..We were friends outside of dance and when we found time to see each othet or ran into each other by chance you made me smile and feel special. You are loved by so many and will be missed my friend..Condulences to Bill and the family..until we dance again...R.I.P.


Allison and Lee Bechtol posted on 11/23/20

We only got to know you as a neighbor, and became a friend. You always had a watchful eye for us and our wellbeing. You were certainly full of life, even through adversity. Our deepest condolences to you Bill.


Elizabeth Hicks posted on 11/23/20

I am deeply saddened to hear of Michele’s passing. I spent many years learning dance from her amazing mother as did my mother. She was an eloquent teacher! I became friends with Beth and Michele on the dance floor and was a majorette with both of them. My daughter, Juliet took dance lessons from Michele as she continued her mother’s legacy. We all shared many great times together. Michele was a kind person who brought a bright light to Our world with her wonderful , giving personality. May God Bless the entire family at this time of sweet Michele’s passing. With deep admiration and love, Elizabeth Kirk Hicks


Brad Rippel posted on 11/23/20

The world will miss your ornery smile, your beautiful dance, and your friendship and laughter! My life is richer because of you, and I hope that you are receiving thunderous applause for your dance recital in Heaven! Break a leg, Friend! ?


Seena posted on 11/23/20

You were the sweetest most fun and loving person Michelle, when I think of you I smile!! I will always love you!


Vicki Fisher Page posted on 11/23/20

Michelle, Beth, and I danced together from about the age of 9 to 18 years of age. We had so much fun and danced in many recitals together. We went to a conventional in Cleveland and Charlotte took us to see Sonny and Cher in concert when they were just starting. Michelle was a good childhood friend and she will be missed. ??


Anita Davis posted on 11/23/20

This makes me so sad! I loved Michelle. She taught me to twirl and dance. Any time I saw her in recent years she was like a light! My condolences to her family


Sandy Shivers Scott posted on 11/23/20

My sincere condolences to Bill and the rest of Michelle’s family.


Lyle Tope posted on 11/23/20

To Michelle’s Entire Family, What a doll she was & still is!! From an old grade school pal at South Elementary all throughout graduation, she was always the same genuine & caring person. May you be consoled in your grief by our Lord, Jesus Christ.


Bart Herman posted on 11/23/20

This is a terrible loss for Tuscarawas County. My condolences to the family. I have the best memories at the dance studio. I think I was the only boy in dance classes in Tuscarawas County. My Mother was very good friends with Charlotte and asked me if I wanted to take dance. I did! I remember Michelle teaching baton while her Mother taught tap and Jazz. Michelle was always fun and an inspiration to me as a young student. When Charlotte retired, Michelle took over and taught all of my classes. I learned so much from her and she helped me in my professional dance career. You were always courageous in your life and career now you can rest in peace. Your legacy will live forever here in Tuscarawas County. Thank you, Bart


Kathy Newton Fishel posted on 11/23/20

She taught tap dance to both my daughters....I was always totally amazed how she never seemed to forget a name! She is definitely an icon in Tuscarawas County and will be remembered. Hugs....


Stephanie Sattoria posted on 11/23/20

Bill My deepest condolences to you. Michelle was always so much fun. I had many fun times with her and Amy. Michelle was always happy and upbeat no matter what she was dealing with. May all your happy memories get you through this tough time


The Van Sile Family posted on 11/23/20

So sorry Bill and Family Michelle worked for us in The Cherry Room and was one of the most Positive Upbeat people I have ever met. She will be truly missed.


Carmel Haueter posted on 11/23/20

Michelle brought light and happiness to this world, she will be missed. We are so grateful to Bill for loving Michelle through it all.


Bill and Shari Dine posted on 11/23/20

Bill, we are so sorry for your loss. We will see Michelle again some day and she will be perfect.


Mike j Morris posted on 11/23/20

My thoughts are with Bill and the rest of Michelle's family. I worked with Bill but had the pleasure of meeting Michelle through my sister Vicki as they were friends. Michelle was such a kind and funny person who never met a stranger. Once she met you she was your friend for life. She was one special lady.


Lori Contini posted on 11/23/20

Bill and Beth, we are thinking of you both at this time. We will miss our dear and special friend. She was so loved by our family! We have so many special memories, we will keep close to our hearts! Sending love and prayers. Steve and Lori Contini & Family


Jen (Beitzel) Provenzano posted on 11/23/20

Blessings to Michelle’s family on this tragic loss. Michelle was beloved in the Dover dance and majorette world, and she and her mom were my first dance teachers. I also loved working with her up at the Country Club. You never saw her without that beautiful smile on her face, and she was an endless source of grace and cheer. She will be greatly missed. ??


Patty Keener Haynes posted on 11/23/20

Bill, so sorry to hear of Michelle’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Patty Keener Haynes


Connie Lansberry posted on 11/23/20

I am sorry to hear we lost this vibrant woman. I took aquatic aerobics from Michelle at the local YMCA. She made us work hard but she also made it fun. She was good humored and an inspiration to us. My deepest condolences to her family, friends and all of Tuscarawas county.


Jackie Lightner posted on 11/23/20

Sincere sympathy to all family and friends ..she had a positive impact on many lives. The smile,laughter will never be forgotten. RIP Michelle


Frank Leone posted on 11/23/20

to the family of Michelle, you all have my deepest sympathey ,your all in my deep thoughts and prayer ,in this time of grife and sorrow Frank Leone


Dena Provenzano posted on 11/23/20

Michelle changed my life as a young dancer and Dover Majorette. I learned the importance of discipline, hard work and integrity from her as well as always finding the good in everyone and in everything that I did. Michelle was never one to criticize but she would always tell her students something positive before correcting them at anytime during dance class. I absolutely loved all of my many years I studied tap, jazz and of course baton under her direction. I continued performing throughout college and later taught and choreographed throughout Chicago. I will forever be eternally grateful to Michelle and how she shaped my life growing up in Dover in the 70’s and 80’s. Michelle was also instrumental in finding me my very first job at Union Country Club during my summers and winter breaks home from college. I loved this job and especially my time working with Michelle. Anyone who knew her knew how much fun she was. I can still hear her laughing today. I may have taken many years of dance from Michelle but what I really took away from my years with her was being truly inspired by a dynamic teacher, mentor and friend. She richly blessed my life and I will always be grateful to her.


Joni Applegarth posted on 11/23/20

Sorry for your loss. Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers


John McCoy posted on 11/23/20

My prayers are directed to Michelle’s family during this difficult time. May God lift you up.


Tina & Kenny Trustdorf posted on 11/23/20

We’re so sorry for the loss of your beloved Michelle. Sending prayers to you & your family ????


Tina & Kenny Trustdorf posted on 11/23/20

We’re so sorry for your loss. Sending prayers to you & your family ????


Marlene Marsh posted on 11/23/20

Such a sweetheart. In spite of everything I never heard her complain. I had the pleasure of serving her and Bill at Lams for many years. I’m so sorry Bill for your incredible loss.


Sara Zurfley posted on 11/23/20

Michelle was such a great person. She was so full of life. Even on her difficult days she always had such a great attitude and spirit and never a complaint. She always had a kind word to say and a smile. Bill was so good to her and took such great care of her. Anyone could see the love they had for one another. Bill so sorry for your loss


Kim Rutter Calkins posted on 11/23/20

If we listen closely and in silence we will hear tapping coming closer and closer to our senses. We will recognize a joyfulness and a playfulness that echoes through our heart. We feel our beingness grow and glow with love for the funny girl we all knew. You certainly left a mark on all of us, dear Michele, a mark that will never be erased.