Connie Jo Wheeler

April 28, 1951July 3, 2020

Connie Jo Wheeler April 28, 1951 - July 3, 2020

Connie Jo Wheeler, daughter of Gerald and Carman Tilford, was born April 28, 1951 in Bellevue, NE. She grew up in Papillion with her brothers Gary and Dave Tilford and worked at the family printing business prior to attending the University of Nebraska, Kearney, to study education and fiber arts. Connie’s love for teaching, weaving, and spinning continued throughout her life. She shared her extraordinary talents with her students, friends, and the public through her unique educational curriculum, participation in local guilds, and demonstrations at Fort Atkinson.

Connie is fondly remembered for her kindness, humor, adventurous spirit, and appreciation for all of life. Like her lovely art, her life was a colorful living tapestry that wove together many kinds of people, ideas, and experiences.

Connie’s beautiful life will forever be cherished by her family: Brian, Sherri, Jace, and Jack (deceased) Wheeler of Papillion, NE; Jesse, Michelle, and Jada Wheeler of Boston, MA; Hilah Wheeler of St. Louis, MO; and Rachel and Lylah Wheeler of Papillion, NE. Connie’s family invites you to join them in a celebration of Connie’s life on July 17th, 2020. A funeral service will be held at 10:30 at Kahler-Dolce funeral home in Papillion and burial service at Cedardale Cemetery. Refreshments and reminiscing will follow at the Papillion Masonic lodge.

As an expression of sympathy, donations may be sent to Fort Atkinson, the Omaha Spinners and Weavers Guild or the charity of your choice. Fort Atkinson: Omaha Spinners and Weavers Guild:


  • Celebration of Life

    Friday, July 17, 2020


Connie Jo Wheeler

have a memory or condolence to add?

Rebecca Trenhaile

February 6, 2021

Delayed knowledge of Connie, knew from Ord, Ne, 80’s Beyond words to express prayers to family and friends, always love you, Becki

Patty Hansen

July 27, 2020

Connie and I crossed paths many times as OPS teachers... we both taught our students that there is more to sewing than just sewing ... the textile part was where the artistic expression was; and Connie was quite gifted in that area. I even crossed paths with her after we both retired at the Bernina sewing club! What a joy and inspiration she was... her spirit and light is bright in all of us who shared a path with her whether short or long...she will be missed... my sympathies.
Patty Hansen

Sheila Thompson

July 17, 2020

I worked with Connie many years at Blackburn. She was always a source of
positivity. She was truly a Christian.
God bless the family.
Sheila J. Thompson and Family

Cheryl Jensen

July 17, 2020

My heart goes out to Connie’s family and friends. I am so happy I got to see Connie at a guild meeting last November! We shared a big hug!
My connection to Connie is thru my sister Barb. Barb did not understand why I liked to spin. Connie asked Barb to go with her when she was going to spin at Whole Foods(or someplace like that). Barb spent the day watching Connie. So thanks to Connie, Barb finally understood why we enjoy spinning!

Donna Gillan

July 14, 2020

My daughter, Barb Gillan Glaser, was Connie's roommate at Kearney. They continued their friendship beyond their college days. Barb died in 2013. I am pretty sure those two girls are laughing together and catching up on old times! You have my deepest sympathy.

Donna Gillan

Thomas Brooks

July 13, 2020

I'm positive that Connie is with Jesus now. She was an exceptional lady who loved those around her and always did her best to be the most outstanding teacher she could be while she was at BB, I know she believed in Jesus as Lord and Savior, too. She always spoke highly of her family and earnestly supported them. May the Lord bless his meeting her as she enters Heaven and may He tell her what a godly lady she was in her life. I'll be glad to see her in Heaven. It's good to know that she's there waiting.

Dianne Hodge (Trost)

July 12, 2020

Connie and I had so many years of fun together. She was my mentor when I started my years teaching at Blackburn Alternative HS which turned into many years of a wonderful friendship. So many laughs and good times together!! Suppers, movies, and sewing projects that were way over my skill level.... always a fun time. Her ability to tell a joke or share a humorous story couldn’t be beat!!
I last saw her at my Bachelorette BBQ party where I will never forget sharing with others our times and adventures together.

She was a wonderful mother and so very proud of all her kids. Even more she was the bragging grandma , always sharing photos. She will be greatly missed by so many. My heart goes out to her family-thank you for sharing your amazing mom with not just her friends and colleagues but also with her students. Her kind heart and willingness to help others will always be what I remember most!

Tom Lazure

July 11, 2020

She came into our lives as a teacher forOPS.
Now we lament our loss as we lay Connie to rest!
Some worked with her for years, some just for awhile,
But one can never forget her infectous smile.
Saying good-bye is hard, saying hello in heaven-I'm guessing, not so bad.
While I'm betting the angels are rejoicing.
down here it's still really sad.
We miss you already Connie, you were and are, truly loved.
Say hi to Mary for us and pray for us from above!

Tani Spacher

July 10, 2020

Connie was a funny, kind and gregarious women, she was a joy to have as our neighbor. My heart goes out to her children, grandchildren and family, she will be greatly missed by many.

Jeffery Skinner

July 10, 2020

I worked for OPS Alternative Schools for the last 16 years of my career. I never worked in the same building as Connie, but had several staff functions together. She was always a kind and caring person that loved her job and the kids. I was so sad to hear she was sick and then really sad to hear she had passed. I am praying for her family and friends as they move forward without her here.