COLUMBIA — Dr. Otis V. Wheeler Jr. ("O.V."), age 88, passed away on May 1st, 2014 in Columbia, Missouri. O.V. was born 10/1/1925 in Silex, MO, to Otis and Pearlie Wheeler. On 6/7/1947 he married Virginia "Ginger" Rogers. O.V. Served as a Naval Aviator from 1943-1952. He began a career in the Columbia Public Schools in 1961 and became principal at Ridgeway Elementary School in 1963. The Individually Guided Education program (IGE) was inaugurated at Ridgeway in 1972 and O.V. was recognized as a Nationally Distinguished Principal in 1985. In 1987 he received the University of Missouri, College of Education Alumni Citation of Merit Award and was named Columbia Public Schools' Outstanding Administrator of the Year 1989-90. Dr. Wheeler retired from the Columbia Public Schools with 30 years of service in 1991 and was inducted into the Columbia Public Schools Foundation Hall of Leaders in 2000.
He is preceded in death by grandson, Nathan in 1984, grandson, Chris, in 1985, and son, Mark, in 2000. He is survived by his wife, Ginger; daughter Jan; grandson Nicholas; granddaughter Emily; and 3 great grandchildren.
A graveside memorial service will be held in Columbia at 2pm on Saturday, May 17th at Memorial Park Cemetery with a reception to follow at the Wheeler Residence.
Donations in Dr. Wheeler's honor may be made to Ridgeway School to support the IGE concept through curriculum materials and staffing. Checks made payable to Ridgeway School, memo line: Autonomous School Fund.