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1949 John 2024

John Wheeler

February 15, 1949 — March 16, 2024

Johnnie Lynn Wheeler

2/15/49 - 3/16/24

Johnnie Lynn Wheeler, 75, of Council Bluffs went home to be with Jesus on March 16, 2024.

John was born Feb. 15, 1949, to J.C. and Edith (Connor) Wheeler in Blytheville, Ark. He spent many of his younger years in Caruthersville, Mo., before moving to Council Bluffs. He attended Edison Jr. High School and Thomas Jefferson High School before spending his junior year back in Caruthersville. He returned to Council Bluffs to graduate from Lewis Central High School in 1967.

He later loved to talk about his childhood days in the South: walking barefoot on the dirt roads, enjoying his grandfather's big garden and warming up to the heat of a potbelly stove.

As a student in Council Bluffs, he was a high jumper for the track team and played football.

John started working at a young age - apparently too young. He was employed at Mortensen's Grocery Store until they realized he was only 14 and had to let him go. In high school, he worked at Vickers gas station.

John and Pat (Wearne) were married on Oct. 6, 1967. They had two sons, Jeff and Jim.

John earned an associate's degree from Iowa Western Community College, and a bachelor's degree from Bellevue University.

Shortly after they were married, John started selling shoes at Peoples Store. He was then offered a store management position in Springfield, Ill. The Wheelers lived there for one year before returning to Council Bluffs. John then worked at Union Pacific Railroad for 16 years, first in accounting and then in computer programming. Next he worked at Mutual of Omaha for 11 years.

While working full time in the late 1980s, John opened West Oak Archery in their home's basement, selling archery supplies. He later partnered with friends Mick Brown and Doug Clayton, moving the business to downtown Council Bluffs and adding an indoor shooting range.

John and Pat moved to Cheyenne, Wyo., where John worked for the U.S. Federal Court, first as IT support for the judges, and then as systems manager for the U.S. Probation Office. This was the career he enjoyed the most.

He retired in 2010, and the Wheelers moved back to Council Bluffs in 2011.

John loved playing bass guitar for church praise bands. He also loved collecting model trains. He was a member of the Nebraska Iowa Railroaders train club that met at the Mall of the Bluffs once a week.

John also loved reading about history, walking, fishing, and going to family reunions at Lake McConaughy. In his younger years, he enjoyed biking and playing on softball and bowling leagues.

John was preceded in death by his parents.

In addition to his wife Pat, John is survived by his two sons: Jeff Wheeler and Jim (Susan) Wheeler; four grandchildren: Jon (Stephanie) Wheeler, Mitch (Breanna) Wheeler, Mia Wheeler, Macy (Mason) Mower; six great-grandchildren: Maddix, Nakoda, Logan, Lincoln, Haizley, and Maeven; three sisters: Karen (Craig) Lauver, Sandy (Dave) Foster, Tammy Puterbaugh; and one brother, Scott Wheeler.

There will be no services. The family will direct memorials.

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