Terry  Sheesley


Terry Sheesley, 76, of Oskaloosa died peacefully on Sunday, July 14th, 2019, at Northern Mahaska Specialty Care Center after a lengthy battle with Parkinson's disease.
He was born on November 28th, 1942, in Oskaloosa, Iowa, the son of Max and Marjorie (Zach) Sheesley. Terry graduated from Oskaloosa High School in 1960. Following graduation, he attended Eastern New Mexico University twice for several degrees and graduated from Northern Missouri State University. Upon returning to Oskaloosa, he married Connie Ray and would have celebrated 51 years of marriage in August.
Terry was a respected teacher at Oskaloosa High School for 34 years, taking his profession very seriously as well as a privilege, leading many students over the years through his creative and knowledgeable methods.
He earned many honors and awards during his early years. He distinguished himself at the state level as a young golfer himself and also as a coach. In addition to Terry himself being an outstanding athlete, he instilled that dream into many young adults over the years. He was also a celebrated coach for 16 years for both basketball and golf, taking his golf teams to 11 Conference Titles, six teams to state, winning the 4A State title twice, and one team finishing 2nd once. Terry received a high honor by being elected to the Iowa High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 2012 for his golfing career.
In addition to his enthusiasm for sports, Terry loved to read and write. He composed all of his research papers for his degrees on his manual Smith-Corona Typewriter, and he enjoyed using it long past the advent of computers. He cherished his ability to express himself through the written word, and even after his illness began taking its toll, Terry continued to practice his writing skills. For three seasons, Terry mowed at Forest Cemetery. During that time, he became interested in the history of some of the people buried there, taking the time to research their lives and write a book.
He is survived by his wife, Connie, and his younger brother, Rob Sheesley of Des Moines, a sister and brother-in-law, Patt and Pete Bennett of Arizona, several cousins, as well as many multigenerational nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his beloved 7-year-old great niece, Alexandria "Lexie" Gaston, to Osteogenic Sarcoma (bone cancer) in 2000.
Terry and Connie have attended the Nazarene Church for over 40 years. It was his faith that gave him the quiet courage that carried him through the years that he endured Parkinson's Disease. He will be greatly missed and was loved and respected by many.
A Celebration of Life Service will held at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, July 18, 2019, at the Gateway Church of the Nazarene with Rev. Darren Melton officiating.
Private burial will be in Forest Cemetery before the Celebration of Life Service. Open visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday at Langkamp Funeral Chapel. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, any contributions can be directed to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa, in memory of Alexandria Gaston and Terry Sheesley.
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Published on July 15, 2019
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11 posts

Harold Westra
Jul 24, 2019
Very sorry to hear of Terry’s death. He had a very positive influence on many students.
Phil Griffin
Jul 16, 2019
I student taught under Terry in the 1st trailer! I learned a lot from him and became a good friend and colleague over 14 years of teaching at Osky High. We played 'pick up basketball', went to movie night, shared a sidewalk in the early days and a hallway when the administration finally decided to allow the Social Studies Department space in the school, taking over the old math wing.

Terry was always very professional and put the kids first, working long hours to provide them the best education he could give. He tried and succeeded to instill a love of history in many, many students.

I could share so many memories but will confine it to a two word phrase 'trailer wars'! Osky was expe
...riencing the baby boom and we were overcrowded, thus four mobile classrooms were brought in. Mr. Sheesley, Mr. Heiting and Mr. Griffin each had a trailer, side-by-side, and occasionally we would pull pranks on one another, such as rearranging the classroom furniture or surrounding the building with students and simultaneously pounding on the tin siding during class! Lots of fun, learning and I miss those times.

Phil Griffin
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Steve Moore
Jul 16, 2019
As my teacher and golf coach, he created an atmosphere of learning and treating others with respect. Such a smart, soft-spoken, and kind man. RIP Coach.
Debbie Diaz
Jul 16, 2019
Mr. Sheesley was absolutely one of the best teachers I ever experienced in all of my lifetime of education. It was easy to see that he truly cared about those who felt marginalized in this world. I was among the first group of his high school student mentors in the program he launched in 1977. I have no doubt that he is in heaven.
Bill and Kathy Ulmet
Jul 15, 2019
Terry was a special friend and co-worker who will be greatly missed. He was a brilliant and talented guy with a great sense of humor combined with a compassionate and caring heart. We cherish so many memories of our times with Terry and Connie. Love, Hugs, and Prayers to you, Connie~
Deb Leppert
Jul 15, 2019
Basket of Joy was purchased for the family of Terry Sheesley by Deb Leppert.  Send flowers
Jul 15, 2019
BALCONY PEOPLE! 38 years ago upon entering high school I met Terry, Steve,Marvin and Paul. My only parent had just died and I was lost and angry at the world. Terry explained to me that BALCONY PEOPLE are the ones that sit back over your shoulder and try to silently help guide you through the rough spots in your life. Terry and Connie became almost like parents to me. I was never a great son because I never knew how a son was supposed to be. But they loved me unconditionally and never judged me. To every student that was taught by Terry I just hoped they realized that he actually cared about each of them and the quality of the lesson. He never phoned it in or never put less than 100% into ...anything he set his mind on. I am so honored to have had him as a mentor and a friend. I'm glad Connie called so I could go say goodbye one last time.Read more
Rita Sims
Jul 15, 2019
You was my favorite Teacher.
Jill (Atkins) Grandia
Jul 15, 2019
Mr. Sheesley was one of my teachers at Oskaloosa Senior High School Class of '77. His style of teaching was to present the material in a methodical way that kept me engaged. He was one of my favorites! And his tedious attention to detail as he printed on the board inspired this student to follow suit. In fact, I have in the past been complimented on my neat printing and I have freely admitted: "I owe it all to Mr. Sheesley!"
God bless you, Mr. Sheesley, as you transition into heaven!
Dan Sheesley
Jul 15, 2019
Terry and I were only a year apart in age. Our fathers were business partners. We were close until high school graduation and college and careers took us different directions. Although we seldom saw each other later in life, I know we always shared a mutual respect and admiration. I will miss him.
Owen West
Jul 15, 2019
An inspiration and role model to me as a teacher, coach, and man when I was an immature adolescent, his influence will continue to be felt for the remainder of my life.