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FORMER WFS FINANCIAL CORPORATION CHAIRMAN DIES

 FORMER WFS FINANCIAL CORPORATION CHAIRMAN DIES
 RICHMOND, Va., April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- James C. Wheat, Jr., a


dynamic business and civic leader who developed people as well as he developed ideas, died today. He was 71 years old.
 Mr. Wheat, who led Wheat, First Securities Inc. to prominence as one of the nation's leading regional brokerage firms, died at the Medical College of Virginia Hospital, shortly after suffering an apparent heart attack at his office.
 He became a clerk in his father's firm, J.C. Wheat & Co., after graduating from Virginia Military Institute in 1941. Through managed growth and the acquisitions of First Securities Corporation of North Carolina in 1971 and Butcher & Singer of Philadelphia in 1988, the firm has grown to more than 90 offices in 11 mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states and the District of Columbia.
 Mr. Wheat stepped down as Chairman of the Board of Directors of WFS Financial Corporation, the firm's parent company, in July 1991. He served as Chairman Emeritus and up to the time of his death was devoting his time to the investment banking activities of the firm.
 Just last month, he was honored as the first recipient of the Securities Industry Institute's Distinguished Achievement Award for his commitment to ethical standards and the betterment of the securities industry and its practitioners.
 He was prominent for his spirit of community involvement as for his business acumen. His many civic activities included serving on Richmond's City Council from 1964-1969, VMI's Board of Visitors from 1980-1984, the Board of Seeing Eye Inc. from 1980-1985, the Virginia Commission for the Visually Handicapped from 1966-1977, and the Board of Trustees of the Darden Business School sponsors, University of Virginia, from 1969 to 1980.
 "Jim was a legend in our industry, a great humanitarian and friend to us all," said Marshall B. Wishnack, President of WFS Financial Corp. "His vision and his uncompromising standards of business fairness and integrity will continue to inspire those who knew him for years to come."
 His son, James C. Wheat III, a director of Wheat, First Securities and John L. McElroy, Jr., chairman, were traveling together on business and could not be reached for comment.
 Mr. Wheat is survived by his wife, Wiley; their son, James C. Wheat III of Richmond; and two granddaughters.
 Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday May 2, 1992 at St. James Episcopal Church. Graveside services will take place at Hollywood Cemetery immediately following the funeral.
 -0- 4/29/92
 /CONTACT: Anna H. Gauthier, APR, Director of Corporate Communications, Wheat, First Securities Inc., 804-782-3534/ CO: Wheat, First Securities Inc. ST: Virginia IN: FIN SU: PER


DF -- CH015 -- 4616 04/29/92 17:21 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 29, 1992
Words:449
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