NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It is said, a picture is worth a thousand words. Those capturing the smile of Marianne Wheeler, are now worth a lifetime.
“She was the most caring, helpful person I’d ever met,” said David DePriest, Band Director at McGavock High School. “Always smiling, always hugging.”
Marianne Wheeler was the Band Director at McMurray Middle School. According to the school’s Facebook page, she passed away suddenly on April 16. “I was shocked,” DePriest said. “I knew that she had been sick for just a little while.”
Susan Waters is the Band Director at Oliver Middle School. She often worked alongside Wheeler in the school community. “There was not a more kinder soul on this earth. She cared about her kids as her children. She was more like a mother to them,” said Waters.
Waters says Wheeler was set to retire this spring and had plans of moving to Florida. “I think that’s what I regret most. She gave so much of herself teaching for so many decades, that one month before she’d retired, she didn’t even get to see retirement.”
Eleni Miller is Director of Bands and Orchestra at John Overton High School. She sent the following statement to WKRN News about her friend and colleague.
“It is no secret that Marianne Wheeler had a passion for music education. She dedicated herself to modeling love, kindness, and compassion in the classroom. Her students absolutely loved her and always spoke about how kind Mrs. Wheeler was and how she made them feel important, successful, and cared for in band class. Mrs. Wheeler went above and beyond for her students making sure they were provided for even if that meant taking her own time to transport them to and from after school band events. She gave what she had so that every child had the same opportunities. No matter what was happening in the world or at school on a particular day, you could walk into Mrs. Wheeler’s classroom and see joy, love, and fun on each child’s face.”
There is no doubt “Mrs. Wheeler” made a long-lasting, musical impact on all of those she touched.