James Douglas Wheeler
Wheeler, James Douglas 66, of Camden SC, formerly of Kirkwood, MO, peacefully passed away Sunday, May 1, 2016. Beloved son of the late Elmer Perley Wheeler and Marion Noble Wheeler; dear brother of Alan Clement Wheeler (Christy James) of Kirkwood and Jean Wheeler Redfearn (Townley) of Camden; favorite uncle of Erin Wheeler Boyle (Will), Tyke Redfearn (Shanna) and Abbey Redfearn Plexico (Ryan); always fun great uncle of Caitlyn and Alana Boyle; of Towns, Laine, and Mac Redfearn, and of Ryan Haddock and Ada Marie Plexico; special brother of Marilyn Jenkins of Camden; dear nephew, cousin, and friend of many. He also leaves behind his fluffy children, Pele and Tori. Jim's family wishes to thank Dr. Carl Kearse, Dr. Phillip Baldwin, and their nurses for the special care and compassion for him during his illness. Jim was born in St. Louis, was raised in Kirkwood, and earned his undergraduate degree in music and his graduate degrees in music education and secondary administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He then taught music for many years at Saint Elizabeth's Academy in St. Louis and at several schools in South Carolina, where he also sponsored the music honor and the art honor societies. He enjoyed teaching private lessons on every instrument at every level of ability. Throughout his lifetime, he played music for parties for young and old, including for many charitable events. Sunday mornings he played in the orchestra at First Baptist Church in Camden. In his 20's Jim competed in the United States Master Swim Meets and finished in the top ten in the nation for breaststroke events. For more than two decades, he coached the Greenbriar Hills Country Club swim team in Kirkwood and posted over 200 meet wins. He also served in the Missouri National Guard. To honor Jim, teach a child to play a musical instrument and then listen to a great rock guitarist/vocalist; encourage a swimmer to excel in his or her stroke and then jump off the high board; care well for cats, dogs, and wild geese; and do fun things with family and friends, like singing and playing instruments together, going for a boat ride, shooting bottle rockets, or just sitting by a blazing fire with a cold Busch. Services: A funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM, May 21, 2016, at First Baptist Church in Camden. Burial will follow in Quaker Cemetery. The family will receive friends at 10:00 AM, prior to the service, in the Church Fellowship Center. A memorial event will also be held in St. Louis July 30 at a location to be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Jim's memory to Thiel-Meyer Pet Adoption Center, 128 Black River Rd, Camden, SC 29020, First Baptist Church Choir and Orchestra, 1201 N. Broad St, Camden, SC 29020 or Kirkwood Orchestras, 625 E. Madison, Kirkwood, MO 63122 (Kirkwood Orchestras.com). Kornegay Funeral Home, Camden Chapel, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to the Wheeler family by visiting www.kornegayfuneral.com.
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Published by St. Louis Post-Dispatch on May 15, 2016.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
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Funeral services provided by:
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I miss you very much.
Mom
Joyce Helton
May 19, 2016
Jim and I competed against each other in high school during the late 60's in water polo(Kirkwood vs. Ladue)for 3 years, but worked together as "life guards" every summer at the St. Louis Bath & Tennis Club in Ladue under Kirkwood's famous swim coach, Wilson Stocker.
We also played rock & roll guitar together as well(Jim was always obviously better). Lost track of each other when I went into the Navy after college for 8 years during the Viet Nam era.
The internet brought us together later in life when he returned regularly to St. Louis and later for "concerts in Kirkwood" at his famous "regular" tavern. Know brother Alan. He will be missed by his many friends over the years.
May he rest in peace with his classic R&R guitar music playing in heaven.
Best regards to his family,
Lansing Hecker
May 18, 2016
Jim sang at my wedding as a special favor to my husband and Jim's room mate and good friend. You were truly loved by all of us.
Sharon & Greg Pfitzinger
Greg & Sharon Pfitzinger
May 18, 2016
Mr. Wheeler was my orchestra teacher at St. Elizabeth Academy in St. Louis, Missouri and I am deeply saddened to hear of the loss of this great man. He has touched many lives including my own. I offer my deepest sympathy and condolences to all of his family and friends.
Desiree Koczan
May 17, 2016
Alan and Jean, thinking of you today as I read the wonderful memorial to him in the St. Louis Post. I cannot think of better ways to memorialize someone wonderful than those which you suggest. I know he is gone too soon, but resting now in peace and love. Condolences to your entire family.
Leslie Vander Meulen Richards
May 16, 2016
Mr. Wheeler (J-Dub, as I affectionately called him) was my favorite teacher while at both Crayton and AC Flora.
When I transferred schools to Crayton in my 7th grade year, Mr. Wheeler's orchestra class was an intimidating place, since all the other students had known each other for a while. But Mr. Wheeler made me feel welcomed and comfortable, and taught me so much more than music.
I was in his orchestra class for a total of 5 years, even when I no longer had the desire to play. I stayed because I loved him as a teacher and as a person. He was the most genuine person I've ever met. He always had a joke, and he was always finding ways to challenge his students. He convinced me to keep up with playing my cello, and convinced me to audition for Honors Orchestra, which led to an audition for the Junior Philharmonic with the USC School of Music.
He taught me that passion for music is something that comes from deep within, and it can enrich your entire life. I still think about him often, and remember him fondly.
I was extremely lucky to have such a wonderful and caring teacher, who turned into a wonderful and caring friend after I graduated.
I am so sorry for his family and friends' loss, and I am keeping his sister in my prayers.
Sarah Alvey
Student
May 10, 2016
Jim was a wonderful addition to the Crayton faculty. His love of music and teaching was always evident. Hiis easy manner, quick smile, and patience will be remembered. Our condolences to the family.
Susan Childs/ Crayton Middle
May 7, 2016
I was privileged to have Mr. Wheeler as my high school music teacher at St. Elizabeth Academy. He was an excellent educator who made learning fun. My deepest condolences to his family and "fluffy" children.
April Brown
May 7, 2016
I was privileged to work alongside Mr. Wheeler for four years at SCVCS. He was a fine educator and better person. Blessings to the family and all who loved him.
Russ Merritt
May 7, 2016
To the family,
I did not personally know Mr.Wheeler, however an Orchestra teacher in my school district forwarded me his obituary. He sounds like a wonderful person and teacher, and I wish I'd had the opportunity to know him. He obviously had a profound impact on Richland One Schools' music programs. The statement about the best way to memorialize Mr. Wheeler (teach someone to play and listen to a great singer) really touched my heart. So, although I didn't know him personally, I will forever be inspired by his life, and I hold your family in my prayers. Nancy Pope, Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts, Richland One.
Nancy Pope
May 6, 2016