Mary Kay Wheeler

Mary Kay Wheeler, age 57, of Yankton, South Dakota, died Monday, June 13, 2022, at her home in Yankton.

The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, on Friday, June 17, 2022 at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton.

Mary Kay was born December 28, 1964 in Rolla, Missouri to Lee and Mary (Wyatt) Counts.  She grew up in Steelville, MO where she graduated from high school. She had many jobs in her younger years ranging from a waitress and head start teacher to working with domestic violence victims. On October 7, 2004, Kay married Rick Wheeler in Steelville. After their marriage, they lived in Steelville and Sullivan, MO.  In 2010, they moved to Yankton, where Kay worked at L & M Radiator for three years, managed the Lewis and Clark Boy Scouts Kitchen for 2 summers while working at the Yankton Middle School cafeteria where she later became manager. Her health forced her to end the 2021 school year early. Kay loved hunting and fishing with her husband.  She enjoyed cooking for her family and was an avid reader.  Kay also loved camping and working in her garden.  She loved the company of her dogs, Montana, Bubba and Hazel. Kay enjoyed spending her free time with her kids and grandkids and relaxing on her backyard swing.

Kay is survived by her best friend and husband, Rick Wheeler of Yankton; four children: Kaylyn (Dane) Hansen of Yankton, Casey Kuhl of Vermillion, SD, Nykki (John) Richards of Wichita, KS and Dan (Michelle) Dulany of Cuba, MO; ten grandchildren: Anja, Maja, Collin, Saige, Macie Mae, Kylie and Adelyn, Alynna, Ciera, Dylan; three brothers and sisters: Rick (Angie) Counts of Steelville, MO, Ray (Mary) Counts of Steelville, and Jennifer (Kim) Myers of Cuba, MO; and many nieces and nephews.

Kay was preceded in death by her parents; and two brothers, Terry and Jerry Counts.


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8 response to "Mary Kay Wheeler"

  1. By: Pauline Rhoades Posted: June 14, 2022

    I am so sad to learn this news about Kay. I have had the pleasure of knowing her and working with her at YMS for the past 10 years. Nicest, kindest, hardest working person who was so good to me and everyone at YMS. To Rick and family…my deepest sympathy. Hold the memories close…she was so proud of and loved you all dearly. I will miss her. Peace.

  2. By: Tayler Wilson Posted: June 15, 2022

    I am so sad to hear of this news – I absolutely loved working alongside Kay at Yankton Middle School the last 7 years. She was fierce, determined, loved the kids so much, and always had a good joke to make me smile every day. I truly loved working with her. She will be greatly missed by all. To Kay’s family, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, and may you find comfort in the difficult days to come.

  3. By: KACIE J JOHNSON Posted: June 15, 2022

    Kay had a big heart for ALL students at YMS. I am so sad to hear of her passing. She was one of a kind!

  4. By: Kim Olson Posted: June 15, 2022

    Kay was one of the most down-to-earth, kind, and dependable souls I’ve ever known. We will miss her at YMS. Peace to her family now and in the days ahead.

  5. By: Jessica Anthony Posted: June 16, 2022

    Nykki and family, I’m so sorry for your loss. My sympathy, thoughts, and prayers for everyone.

  6. By: Brenda counts showers Posted: June 16, 2022

    I am so sorry to hear about kay ,I haven’t seen her in a long time but we had great memories growing up ,I am her cousin from house springs mo, sending prayers for your family ❤️

  7. By: Mary Lea Weber (White) Posted: June 17, 2022

    I’m so sorry to hear this – K was like my best friend in fourth grade— she was so sweet to me as we just moved there in Steelville when I was eight — she was very nice to me a good, sweet and thoughtful person

  8. By: Stacy Penniston Posted: June 20, 2022

    So sorry to hear of Kay’s passing. I had the pleasure of working with her at YMS. What a great lady! I have good memories and great times with her. She will be truly missed. Thoughts and prayers to the Wheeler family.

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