James Frank Wheeler, age 76, died Friday, December 1st, 2023 at home in Lincoln. He had recently moved back to his home state with his wife Barbara. From his birth on July 21, 1947 to his death on Friday he was known as a hard working entrepreneur, always looking for a new challenge.

He was born in Hastings to James F Wheeler and Mary Grovenburg Wheeler/Elliot and was the second born of five children. As a child he enjoyed hunting and fishing with friends. After graduating from Auburn High School, he studied at Midland College and UNL before joining the Navy, serving from 1966 to 1968.

Jim fell in love with his high school sweetheart Barbara Jeanne Rarick. They married on September 9, 1967 in Auburn. He was a sports enthusiast especially enjoying watching his sons and grand children’s events. He and Barb owned and operated The Wheeler Inn, Dairy Queen, and Candlestick Motel, located in Auburn; The Town & Country Motel and Lounge and Safari Lounge located in Lincoln. They then moved on to managing several RV/Golf Resorts in Arizona and California for over 10 years, later retiring in Palm Springs.

Left to honor James and remember his love are his wife, two sons James (Jim) Alex Wheeler and William (Bill) Ryan Wheeler; four grandchildren; Daniel (Dani) Alex Wheeler, Chaselyn (Chase) Sierra Wheeler, William (Liam) James Wheeler, and Samuel (Sam) Ryan Wheeler; a sister, Nancy Marie Nelson; two half-sisters; Jan Raver and Jackie Moran, cousin and childhood friend Joe Ingersoll and many nieces and nephews. James was preceded in death by his parents and his half-sister Vicki Marshall.

James will be remembered as the consummate host, providing hospitality to all who were in his presence. He was known for his contagious laugh and providing opportunities for people to meet and become lifelong friends. A celebration of life service will be announced at a later time. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in James name to Vietnam Veterans of America or Children’s Nebraska.

Services were entrusted to Hemmingsen Funeral Home of Auburn.

Nemaha County Herald

PO Box 250
Auburn, NE 68305
PH: (402) 274-3185
FAX: (402) 274-3273