So upgraded to a smart phone by letting my wife get a new one and taking her old one. I did not want all of her contacts so I deleted many of them. Well thought the magic of computers they got deleted on her phone as well. Is there a way to retrive them though Verizon Cloud/iCloud/iTunes/Backup assitant and in the future stop having them deleted.
If the contacts have been deleted from iCloud then they are permanently gone. When your wife gave you her old phone she should have disabled find my iphone and then reset the iPhone so that it could used fresh for you.