Margaret Wheland Couch

Margaret Wheland Couch, age 77, was born on August 27, 1941 and died on July 30, 2019. She
was the daughter of George Willard Wheland, a professor of chemistry at the University of
Chicago, and Betty Clayton Wheland. She grew up in Chicago and then moved to Durham, NC
where she attended Duke University and was granted a BS degree in Chemistry in 1963. At
Duke she met her future husband Leon Couch II, the son of a Methodist minister in the North
Carolina Conference. Both of them moved to Gainesville, FL in Fall trimester of 1963 to attend
graduate school at the University of Florida. Margaret and Leon were married in 1964.
Margaret earned a MS, and then a PhD in organic chemistry in 1969 from the University of
Florida. She worked at the VA hospital in Gainesville, and at UF. She was a research chemist
for 36 years. Among other things, she synthesized nuclear pharmaceuticals, which were designed
for individual patients, to go to specific organs of the body for imaging.
She enjoyed singing and was a member of the Gainesville Civic Chorus, Capella Nova and a
long time choir member at First United Methodist Church, Gainesville. In retirement since
2005, she enjoyed quilting and was a member of several quilting groups.
Margaret is survived by her husband Leon Couch II of Gainesville, FL; son Leon Couch III of
Temple, TX and his child Elizabeth; Jonathan Couch and his wife Amy Aiton Couch and their
childern Noah, Noel, Luke, and Cassie of Simpsonville, SC; Rebecca Couch Wolfson and her
husband Brian Wolfson of Gainesville, FL; and Margaret’s brother Robert Wheland and wife
Leslie Stanford of Wilmington, DE.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00pm on Sunday, August 4th , at the First United Methodist
Church in downtown Gainesville, FL. A reception will follow the service. In lieu of flowers
the family suggests a donation in her memory to the First United Methodist Church, 419 NE 1st
Street, Gainesville, FL 32601.