NANCY LYNELLE WHEELER BURROWS
Dr. Nancy Lynelle Wheeler Burrows, 68. of Tulsa, OK was a retired educator, school administrator, and former professor. Lynelle was born on December 6, 1952 and entered her Heavenly Father’s arms on January 29, 2021 following a two-year battle with multiple myeloma.
Lynelle is survived by her two wonderful daughters and their spouses: Kara Cooke and husband, Kris and Kory Coots and husband, Jerrad, as well as the loves of her life, her granddaughters: Kohen Perry Coots and Vanna Lynelle Coots all of Claremore. She is also survived by her brother Richard Wheeler of Raleigh, North Carolina, his wife Jade, and family; her sister, Jo Lynne Spencer of Broken Arrow and her family; David Burrows of Claremore, her former husband; aunts, Janie Hensley and family, Charlotte Thomas and family, and Nancy Wheeler all of Sallisaw; Myrna Dorsey and family of Verdigris. She was preceded in death by her father, Richard Perry Wheeler, and mother, Lenna Mae Wheeler, of Sallisaw.
Lynelle earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from her always treasured alma mater, the University of Oklahoma. The pursuit of education was critical so she subsequently earned her masters from the University of Central Oklahoma and her doctoral degree from Oklahoma State University.
She was an outstanding educator with true dedication. She was Claremore’s Teacher of the Year in 1998-99. Lynelle was ever committed to training the next generation of teachers and administrators in Claremore Public Schools serving as Assistant Superintendent and in Tulsa Public Schools serving as Director of Certified Personnel. After her tenure in the public school system, she joined the School of Education at Bacone College in Muskogee serving an integral role as a coordinator. Her students adored “Dr. B” and benefited both personally and educationally from her leadership, her concern for their well-being, and her teaching.
Lynelle was known to her daughters and granddaughters as Zsa Zsa. Beauty, grace, love, and kindness are the words that embody Lynelle. Above all else, she was a faithful encourager who helped many to better understand their faith in the Lord and their own potential to realize their life’s dreams.
She maintained relationships from elementary school throughout her entire life. To those, and countless others, she was truly a “dear friend”. A close-knit group from Claremore, the “Ya Ya Sisters,” raised kids, supported each other, and grew in faith together. Her long-time friend, Suzanne Sullivan, was there throughout her treatment serving as a constant support until her death. Two other dedicated friends near to her heart are Marsha Owen and Paula Wood.
Our mother was indescribably passionate about living life to the fullest even amid her stressful treatment. She always taught us to be loving, kind, respectful, open-minded, humble, generous, and so much more. She was intelligent, very creative, well read on a variety of topics, and we always looked to her for keen guidance. She was a tried-and-true Sooner fan for many seasons and rarely missed a game. Many summers and vacations were spent with family and friends at the beach--mom’s “happy place”. Lynelle was the most wonderful Zsa Zsa from creating Valentine Teas, interior decorating, preparing challenging daily lessons for her students at every level, serving as a long-time Sunday School teacher at First United Methodist Church in Claremore, and guiding her daughters, granddaughters, and others to achieve the very best in life.
Mom, we love you deeply and will miss your sweet presence here on earth but know we will see you again in Heaven whole and fully healed with a beautiful big smile on your face.
A private service of remembrance will be held at First United Methodist Church on Friday, February 5 at 10:00 a.m. The service will be livestreamed at First United Methodist Church Facebook page. Flowers may be sent to MMS-Payne Funeral Home, 102 W. 5th Street, Claremore, OK 74017.
Those who wish to honor Lynelle’s memory may contribute to one of the following:
Claremore Public School Foundation, P.O. Box 575, Claremore, OK 74018
Sallisaw Public Schools, 701 S. JT Stites Blvd., Sallisaw, OK 74955
University of Arkansas for Medical Services - Office of Institutional Advancement, 4301 W. Markham, #716, Little Rock, AR 72205-7199.