After graduating from the University of Missouri, she moved to Kansas City, where she married John J. Pickard on June 23, 2001.
She was a reporter for a short time after graduating and then earned a master’s degree in counseling, becoming a counselor for children with terminal cancer and adults with terminal cancer and AIDS. Her next career was a school teacher; she started teaching first grade and then graduated to the second grade. She finally found the career that she loved. The hobby she loved was painting and she developed into an accomplished artist.
She is survived by her husband, John of Prairie Village, Kansas; her parents, Steven and Lillie Wheeler of The Villages, Florida; her brothers, David L. Wheeler (Tara) of Nixa, Missouri, and Mark S. and D’joana of Rochester Hills, Michigan; her sister, Sharon K. Stroburg of Thailand; stepchildren, Stacy Elefritz of Overland Park, Kansas, and Jay Pickard (Stephanie) of Lees Summit, Missouri; two nieces, Jennifer Godwin and Audrey Ricci; nine step grandchildren, Zachrey, Valerie, Jacob, Joey, Justice, Jacob, Zein, and Zoey; one great-nephew, Tryston; one great-niece, Gabriella; along with numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.
A visitation was held from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, November 20, at Johnson County Funeral Chapel, Overland Park, Kansas. A funeral service was held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 21, 2017, at Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home, Mountain Grove, Missouri, with Daunice Bethke officiating. Burial was in Hillcrest Cemetery, Mountain Grove.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 6811 Shawnee Mission Pkwy. #202, Mission, KS 66202.