Cover photo for Rev. James D. Wheeler, S.J.'s Obituary
Rev. James D. Wheeler, S.J. Profile Photo
1923 Rev. 2016

Rev. James D. Wheeler, S.J.

July 19, 1923 — July 27, 2016

Rev. James D. Wheeler, S.J., 93, passed away July 27, 2016. Visitation on Monday, August 1 at 4 p.m. at St. Francis Xavier Church, 1001 E. 52nd Street, Kansas City, MO. Vigil service and testimonials will be at 6 p.m. followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 7 p.m. Private interment will be at St. Marys Cemetery, Kansas City, MO. Fr. Wheeler was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, W. Garrett Wheeler and John I Wheeler, Jr.; a sister, Catherine Campbell. He is survived by many nieces and nephews, and his fellow Jesuits. Fr. Wheeler was born July 19, 1923 in St. Louis, MO to John I. Sr. and Nan Wheeler. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1941 at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, MO. He was ordained into the priesthood June 16, 1954. In 1965, Fr. Wheeler received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Missouri Kansas City. Fr. Wheeler joined then Rockhurst College as Professor of Chemistry in 1956 and continued teaching at Rockhurst University until 2011. He was a longtime member of the Kansas City section of the American Chemical Society. In addition to his decades teaching courses in chemistry, Fr. Wheeler served more than one term as the chairman of the Rockhurst University chemistry department. For many years, Fr. Wheeler directed the Rockhurst University Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental/Pre-Veterinary Advisory Committee. He established the Pre-Med Scholars Program that facilitated the acceptance of qualified Rockhurst University undergraduates for admission to the St. Louis University School of Medicine. Fr. Wheeler was instrumental in helping to establish the Rockhurst University Department of Physical Therapy Education. Fr. Wheeler was an innovator in his classroom and laboratory, continuously researching and implementing new methods of instruction that assisted his students understanding of chemistry. Though a demanding professor, he was supportive to generations of students and was dedicated to helping them succeed. In his self-published Chemistry Newsletter, Fr. Wheeler updated hundreds of former students regarding one anothers activities and included stories about the many alumni who had visited him recently. Fr. Wheeler performed numerous weddings and baptisms for Rockhurst University alumni and their family members. Fr. Wheeler helped his fellow colleagues through the sharing of his vast knowledge of chemistry education. For many years, he was actively engaged with the efforts to attract prospective students to Rockhurst University. Through his frequent presiding at the liturgy Fr. Wheeler assisted in meeting the sacramental and pastoral needs of the Rockhurst University community. Condolences may be expressed to the family and the Rockhurst Jesuit Community at In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Rev. James Wheeler, S.J. Scholarship Fund, c/o Rockhurst University, 1100 Rockhurst Rd, Kansas City, MO 64110.

SERVICES Visitation
Monday, August 1, 2016 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
St. Francis Xavier Parish 1001 E 52nd Street Kansas City, Missouri 64110
Mass of Christian Burial
Monday, August 1, 2016 7:00 PM
St. Francis Xavier Parish 1001 E 52nd Street Kansas City, Missouri 64110

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rev. James D. Wheeler, S.J., please visit our flower store.


Visits: 0

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree