About Us

My name is Paul Wheelock and I am a lifelong resident of the Leelanau/Grand Traverse area.  My late wife Becky and I met back in January of 1985, my senior year in high school.

 I spent the first ten years of my life in Traverse City while Becky lived in Leelanau County her entire childhood.  My father was born and raised on the Old Mission Peninsula and after a few years in the “big city” he’d had enough.  And out to the country it was.  My mom was a “city girl” (TC) but was quite excited about the idea of getting away from the town she was born and raised in and enjoying the peace and quiet that only Leelanau can offer.  I went on to graduate from Glen Lake High School.  Becky’s mom and dad have similar stories.  Her dad was born and raised in Leelanau while her mom was also a TC city girl.  Becky, her dad and 4 of our six sons have all attended and graduated from Suttons Bay High School.  Becky and I were married in 1987 and have worked very hard to raise 6 wonderful sons, 2 of whom are still at home.  We have lived in Leelanau County most of our married life together, with only a brief stint in Grand Traverse early in our marriage. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Wheelock name goes back to Benzie County to about 1862 when Addison Wheelock and his wife, Ann McBride Wheelock, my great great grandparents, moved to Elmira Township and were one of the first families to homestead there.  Addison acquired lots of land around the Lake Ann area and actually became the first sheriff of Benzie County in the late 1860’s.  Lake Ann the lake, as it’s known today, was named after Ann McBride Wheelock and was originally just called Ann Lake.      

 

 photo by Sally Arnold

 Becky’s maiden name is Boone and the first Boone to live in Leelanau County was her great great grandpa, William “Doc” Boone.  He and his wife Susanah moved to Bingham from Indiana in 1878 with the purpose of building railroads.  He helped establish a sawmill in Bingham in 1879 as well as the building of a plank road to carry the lumber down  from Carp Lake (Lake Leelanau) to the Grand Traverse Bay at Bingham.  He only lived a few more years and died in 1889.  Susanah died May 1st, 1927 and she is buried in Bingham Cemetary.    The Boone family has been here ever since.                                                             

photo courtesy Library of Congress/Detroit Publishing Co (somewhere in Michigan in late 1800’s)

Becky and I worked in the service industry all of our adult lives.  From working as a dish washer and cook at Sugar Loaf, to picking and shaking cherries as teenagers, we have always enjoyed working to serve others.  I have an extensive history in HVAC/R sales with some time behind the wheel of an eighteen wheeler traveling the entire country as well.  Becky, as part of a joint decision back in 1989 just a few weeks before our oldest was born, made the decision to make being a stay at home mom her top priority.  We adjusted our budget for a single paycheck and took off from there.  Later on, after the kids were much older and doing very well in school, Becky joined me working for a large pest control company as Customer Service Representative.  I managed the operation.  We did that for a few years and then became increasingly aware that our future earnings, being predictably fixed, were in no way, going to be able to meet the demands of 6 potential college educations along with the hundreds of other things that come along with that many children.  I had driven truck over the road for over a year just a short time before this and decided to give that a try again with the idea of becoming an owner/operator.  I tried this for about 6 months and realized why I had left it once before……..Becky and the kids.  It was just too hard being gone for so long regardless of how good the money was.  We realized we were sacrificing the emotional well being of our boys and the health of our marriage for a bigger paycheck.  And so, here begins the journey to where we are today. 

We began to brain storm about things we could do here at home to generate an income that would take care of what we were seeing on the horizon.  Many ideas were tossed around but we kept landing on pest control.  I was still a certified technician through the state of Michigan and Becky still enjoyed working on the customer service end of things.  We had a small room we could set up for an office and more importantly, a relationship with dozens of folks, many of whom had already inquired as to our whereabouts, with whom to build a business around.  We didn’t want to be like our former employer or many of the other companies in the area by trying to be everything to everyone.  With over 24 other pest control/lawn care companies in Leelanau and Grand Traverse alone, we knew we would have to set ourselves apart from the pack in the form of customer service and fair pricing.  We wanted to pick a few things we knew we could do well and open up as a seasonal operation, focusing on those key services.  Spiders, mosquitoes, mice, ants, wasps etc.  These became the focal points that first season. 

Over the past eleven seasons we have added a few services, mole work being one of them.  In the fall of 2009 I decided it was time to figure out a way to generate some cash flow during the winter months. We sent out an inquiry to our large and fantastic customer base to see who may be interested in snow plowing.  The response was awesome and so the decision to purchase another service truck capable of carrying a heavy duty plow was made.  And it was a decision that we would not regret.  2009/2010 was a slow season for snow but a good one for learning the ins and outs of snowplowing.  2010/2011 would go on to confirm the benefit of putting our minds and equipment to work. 

We have had the great privilege of having our sons come on board and work with us as they became of age.  Timothy, the oldest of the 6 boys, has been full time with us for some time now.  His youngest brother, Jonny, came on board full time with us as well and will be a new face for everyone to see the summer of 2015.  All four of our other sons are certified applicators as well and have helped us out part time here and there over these past several years.  What a joy and a privilege it is to work as a family toward a common goal. 

Becky was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in May of 2009.  She battled unbelievable odds and persevered through extraordinary pain and suffering due to multiple surgeries, multiple rounds of chemo, broken bones and in the end, a failing liver due to overwhelming effects of cancer and medications that were used to try and keep things knocked back while not killing her themselves.  In the end it proved to be too much for her body to handle.  She made it to our 30th wedding anniversary and two weeks later we celebrated with a vow continuation ceremony and reception.  It was 3-1/2 days later that she breathed her last and parted this earth for heaven.  The impact she has had on this business is immeasurable and her legacy will live on in me and our six amazing sons.  She will be missed by many but no one more than me.  This business was our avenue to experience our dreams, dreams we were finally realizing after raising our sons to be godly and honorable men.  Those dreams will wait until heaven and me and the boys will continue her legacy for years to come.