James Willis Wheat Obituary

ames Willis Wheat, 78, Overland Park, Kansas, passed peacefully in his sleep at his home after a confining illness on November 11, 2006. He is survived by his fine children and their spouses: Jeffrey I. Wheat and Gloria of Parsons, KS, Kimberly N. Kreeger and Robert of Kansas City, MO, Ericke J. Wheat, of Olathe, KS, Rachinda MJ Keth and Richard of Holden, MO, Hallie D. Ingram and Steve of Gardner, KS and 10 grandchildren and many cousins. He was preceded in death by his mother, Eva Jewel Johnson Wheat, father Orville Decator Wheat, two brothers, O.D. Jr., and Eugene Bruce Wheat; wife and love of his life Eve Nannette, and one great grandson, Ryker Thomas James Wheat. Jim was born September 16, 1928 in a rural farm community near Parsons, KS. He attended school and junior college in Parsons. He attended the University of Kansas graduating with a Bachelors of Art Education in 1951 and a Masters of Fine Arts in 1959. In 1949 Jim married Eve Nannette Pottorff, his childhood sweetheart and lifelong companion of 45 years, until her death in 1990. 1951 began a 38 year Art teaching career in the original Shawnee Mission Rural High until his retirement from Shawnee Mission West in 1991. He was drafted into the US Army in 1952 serving with the 32nd AAA Brigade, stationed in Brigstock, England as a graphic artist and honorably discharged in 1954. From 1959-1995, he received many teaching and art-related awards; Outstanding Kansas Art Teacher from Emporia Teachers College, US Department of Education award of Excellence in Education; First place award in Textiles, Kansas Designer Craftsman Exhibit, won first place and the Purchase Award in the professional division at Parsons Art Fair with a purchase of $500.00, a limited print addition of 250 prints and a one man show. He exhibited his art in many area art fairs. Jim organized the first Parsons Art Fair in 1962 with the Parsons Business Woman's Club, securing Charles Banks Wilson, noted Oklahoma artist as the judge. This Parsons Art Fair continues each year. 1962 began an interest in his family genealogy and continued until his death. He continued the Wheat Family Reunion with his children. From 1975 until 1984, he and his wife, Eve, owned and operated the Tae-GleHa Indian Jewelry and Repair in Overland Park, KS. From 1983 until 2003, Jim was a vendor of antiques and collectibles at the Westport Flea Market in Kansas City, MO. He was a part of the "Bridges for Education", teaching English through conversation. In lieu of flowers Jim has requested donations to the Shawnee Mission West Library. His family would like to thank the Hospice Catholic Charities nurses and volunteers for their support and kindness. Celebration of Life Services, Rev. Henria Smith, officiating with family on Thursday, Nov. 16th at 2:00 pm. Location and Cremation services by Amos Funeral Home, 10113 Lenexa Dr., Lenexa, KS. Burial to be at Oakwood Cemetery in Parsons, KS. Online condolences may be expressed at www.amosfamily.com (Arr: Amos Family Chapel of Lenexa, 913-888-6611)