Carla DeYon (Wheeler) Poepsel
October 16, 1968 - July 15, 2019
Carla DeYon Poepsel passed away quietly in her sleep in the morning of July 15, 2019, after a seven-month battle with cancer. Carla was born to Robert and Charlotte Wheeler on October 16, 1968, at Kirksville, Missouri. She was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of two but the condition never held her back. She grew up to be a tall and strong woman to the dismay of her physicians. After graduation from Elsberry High School in Elsberry, Missouri, Carla attended college at the University of Missouri with bachelor’s degree in education specializing in Special Education, Learning and Behavior Disorders. She received her Masters degree in Education Administration at Missouri Baptist University before beginning her career in education at Winfield High School at Winfield, Missouri. She also taught special education at Wright City High School, Wright City, Missouri, at Washington Middle School, Washington, Missouri, and at Borgia High School, Washington, Missouri. The hundreds of testimonials from her students reflects the passion she had for teaching and mentoring youth.
With diminishing lung function, but a strong passion for her community, Carla initiated a successful campaign to raise the sales tax in her resident County of Franklin, Missouri, for the purpose of helping disadvantaged children in the local community. With the new sales tax revenue, Carla helped found Grace’s Place Emergency Shelter for children and youth ages 0 to 18. Grace’s Place provided temporary shelter to children in need and supported families in need.
Her cystic fibrosis caught up to her during her early 40s culminating in a double lung transplant on her father’s birthday, February 6, 2014. Her lung function increased from a low of 14% before surgery 108%. Her renewed energy led her to a new passion which was coffee and entrepreneurism. She opened Jennie & Grace Coffee Shop in Washington, Missouri, where she was able to express her creative talents in culinary arts in a stylish, vintage décor. She was most proud of hiring challenged youth and providing them mentoring and life skills training.
Carla was diagnosed with Cancer in December of 2018. She is survived by her loving parents, Robert and Charlotte Wheeler of Atlanta, MO; two aunts, Ethel Torri and Shirley Weber; two uncles, Carl Wheeler and wife Linda and Gerald Wheeler; four cousins, Jace Weber, Carl Torri, Art Wheeler, and Chris Wheeler; and thousands of dear friends including the last love of her life, David Repp, Des Moines, Iowa.
Celebration of Life services will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday, July 20, 2019 at the First Baptist Church in La Plata, MO. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Burial will be in the Mt. Tabor Cemetery east of Atlanta, MO.
Memorials in memory of Carla DeYon (Wheeler) Poepsel may be made to Grace’s Place Crisis Nursery. They may be sent to or left at Travis Funeral Chapel, 125 S. Church St., La Plata, MO 63549.