Funeral services to celebrate the life of James Douglas Wheeler, 66, of Camden, SC, formerly of Kirkwood, Missouri, will be held at 11:00 AM, May 21, 2016, at First Baptist Church, Camden, SC. Rev. Bruce Hancock will officiate. Burial will follow in Quaker Cemetery. The family will receive friends at 10:00 AM, 1 hour prior to the service, in the Church Fellowship Center.
Jim died Sunday, May 1, 2016. He was born in St. Louis, MO, the son of the late Elmer Perley Wheeler and Marion Noble Wheeler. Jim earned his undergraduate degree in music and his graduate degrees in music education and secondary administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He also served in the Missouri National Guard.
Jim’s students included those at AC Flora High School, Crayton Middle School, and South Carolina Virtual Charter School 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 many charitable events. He looked forward to playing in the First Baptist Church orchestra on Sunday mornings while he was able.
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.
Jim is survived by his brother, Alan Clement Wheeler (Christy James) of Kirkwood, MO; sister, Jean Wheeler Redfearn (Townley) of Camden, SC; nieces, Erin Wheeler Boyle (Will), Abbey Redfearn Plexico (Ryan); nephew, Tyke Redfearn (Shanna); grandnieces, Caitlyn and Alana Boyle, Laine Redfearn and Ada Marie Plexico; and grandnephews, Riordan Haddock and Towns and Mac Redfearn. He also leaves behind his fluffy “children”, Pele and Tori.
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 his favorite beverage.
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.
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, Camden, SC, or Kirkwood Orchestra, Kirkwood, MO (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.