JEFFERSON CITY - JoAnn Wheeler of Jefferson City, formerly of Risco, passed away on April 5, 2005, at Capitol Region Medical Center in Jefferson City.
She was born July 2, 1941, in New Madrid County to Fred and Nadine Taylor. Visitation and funeral services were held at Bradshaw Funeral Home in Malden on April 7 and 8 respectively. JoAnn's nephew, Matt Sheckles of Lebanon, Mo., officiated the service that was very much a celebration of her life. Her family was greatly moved by the number of people that came to pay their respects and for the outpour of support received by so many friends and relatives.
Below is a portion of the words written about JoAnn by her daughter--in--law, Janine Wheeler, that made up part of the service:
"JoAnn lived a happy and fulfilled life, always striving to better herself and her family for the overall good. She married the love of her life, Harold T. (Bud) Wheeler of Risco on Feb. 17, 1959, and moved to Jacksonville, Fla., where JoAnn gave birth to her first child, Linda. Together they moved to Indiana, purchased their first home and Bud enrolled in Purdue University to better support the large family the two of them planned.
"Born in Indiana were Charles Theodore, John Patrick and Kathy Jo. JoAnn was an active parent at school serving as the PTA president of Glen Park and the school liaison for the Greater Gary District School Board.
"A few years after Bud's graduation, the couple moved their family of six back to their roots in Missouri where JoAnn gave birth to three more children: Gary Michael, Nancy Carol and Joseph Douglas. Once again, she became an active member of the community having membership in the Rural Independent Club and St. Ann's Church, serving as the Risco 4-H leader, Risco PTO and as den mother for the local Scout troop. After JoAnn was sure that all her children were on their way to a confident and promising future, she continued her own education receiving her associate degree in her early fifties using it to substitute teach and enriching the lives of even more children. Her own children enjoyed a nurturing, fun-filled childhood with music, dancing, gardening and family vacations and all the while being taught the importance of values and hard work. JoAnn accepted each and every one of her children for their individual talents, character traits and dreams, always encouraging them to be their very best. She was a mother and a confidante, not only to her children, but also to their friends and others in the community. "As a result of her diligence in parenting, her children pursued educat
ion and a variety of degrees at various universities including Harvard University, George Washington University, Delta State, Murray State, and the University of Missouri, and became positive role models for their communities."
JoAnn is survived by her husband, Harold Wheeler of the home; three daughters, Linda Walsworth of Leawood, Kan., Kathy Jo Burrow and her husband Randy of Jefferson City and Nancy Wheeler and her fiancÚ Ryan Jones of Charlotte, N.C.; four sons: Major Charles Wheeler and wife, Beth, of Troy, Ill., John Wheeler and wife, Janine, and Gary Wheeler and wife, Elizabeth, of Jefferson City, and Joseph Wheeler of Cleveland, Miss.
She also leaves one sister, Lesa Sheckles of Nashville, Tenn.; and four brothers including Jack and wife Shirley Taylor of Canalou, Jim Taylor of Kankakee, Ill., Sherman and wife Wanda Taylor of Marion, Ill., and Terry and wife Bobbie Taylor of Murray, Kentucky. Her grandmother, Flora Wallace of Malden, also survives.
Her 13 grandchildren and many nieces and nephews will miss her family dinners, kind words of advice and fun sense of humor. She was definitely a gift from God and she is now returning to Him to rest and be in peace.
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Memorials in memory of JoAnn may be made to:
JoAnn Wheeler Education Fund, 11701 High Drive,
Leawood, KS 66211,
which will be used to support the children of the Risco School District.