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Sandy Wheeler - Family Memories

Sandy Wheeler began her career as the executive director of the Rail Golf Classic (LPGA) in 1980. In 1993 the State Farm Insurance Company stepped forward as the title sponsor. She finally stepped down in 2005, after 27 years at the helm of the longest, continuous-running LPGA tournament in the country.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

Full Time Job

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Early life + work & theatrical career

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

Years as the Executive Director of Rail Golf Classic

Interview Session 03 (Audio)

The tournament with State Farm as title sponsor

Interveiw Session 04 (Audio)

Reminiscences of the Rail Golf Course

Transcript

Related Materials

Veterans Remember - World War II Project

See also Sandy Wheeler's Veterans Remember interview about life during WWII while her father was at war.

Videos





Photos

Caption

Sandy and Bill Wheeler on the beach at Lincoln Lakes while they were dating.

Where:

Lincoln, Illinois

When:

1957

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

Sandy looking lovely, accompanied by her date, David Boyd, at her junior/senior prom.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1957

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

Sandy and Bill Wheeler walking down the aisle on their wedding day.

Where:

Unknown

When:

August 21, 1958

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

A family portrait taken for an article written by Julie Cellini for the Springfield Journal-Register. From the left are Bill, Sandy, and their children, Lee, Liz, Kim, Brad, and Missi.

Where:

Unknown

When:

circa 1968

Ownership:

ALPL Audio-Visual Curator

Caption

Sandy at the Springfield Muni Opera, in "Bells are Ringing" playing the lead, Ella Peterson.

Where:

Springfield, IL

When:

1969

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

Sandy played the title role the Springfield Theater Guild production of "Mame,". The article appeared in the Springfield Journal-Register.

Where:

Springfield, IL

When:

February 15, 1970

Ownership:

ALPL Audio-Visual Curator

Caption

Sandy appeared as a model at Bunn Barn for world-famous designer Oleg Cassini when he visited Springfield.

Where:

Springfield, IL

When:

1970s

Ownership:

ALPL Audio-Visual Curator

Caption

A flier for a YWCA style show, one of the many civic activities in which Sandy participated.

Where:

Springfield, IL

When:

April 1972

Ownership:

ALPL Audio-Visual Curator

Caption

This article and picture appeared in the Lincoln Courier, informing the public of Sandy's portrayal of Maria in "The Sound of Music" at the Springfield Muni.

Where:

Unknown

When:

August 3, 1972

Ownership:

ALPL Audio-Visual Curator

Caption

Sandy sits for makeup and hair for the NBS/Warner Brothers TV movie, "The Awakening Land".

Where:

Unknown

When:

1977

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

Sandy with actor Hal Holbrook on the set of "The Awakening Land".

Where:

Unknown

When:

1977

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

One of Sandy's publicity shots by Jennifer Girard, as she launches her professional theatrical career.

Where:

Unknown

When:

January, 1978

Ownership:

ALPL Audio-Visual Curator

Caption

Sandy relaxes at the Rail Golf Course.

Where:

Rail Golf Course, Springfield, Illinois

When:

in the early 1980s

Ownership:

ALPL Audio-Visual Curator

Caption

Sandy and Rail Classic board member Curtis Tillett make the cover of the Springfield Magazine,

Where:

Unknown

When:

circa 1990

Ownership:

ALPL Audio-Visual Curator

Caption

Board members John Slayton, Steve Patton, Bill Foster with champion Michelle McGann. Sandy is on the right in the photo.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1996

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

Crowds follow Mi Hyun Kim, the State Farm Classic Champion.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1999

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

Nancy McCabe is named 10 year volunteer, with comedian Bob Hope on hand. The ladies, from left to right are Sandy Wheeler, Nancy McCabe, Lauri Merten, Cindy Hill and Sandra Palmer.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1985

Ownership:

ALPL Audio-Visual Curator

Caption

A framed plaque of the first 25 years of champions sold at auction at the 25th Anniversary of the State Farm-Rail Golf Classic.

Where:

Unknown

When:

2000

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

State Farm Vice President, Jack North (right) with LPGA Greats. From left are Sandy Wheeler, Betsy Rawls, Pat Bradley, Carol Mann, Kathy Whitworth, Betsy King, Mi Hyun Kim, Sandra Palmer and Judy Rankin at a two-person shoot-out on the 25th Anniversary.

Where:

Unknown

When:

2000

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

Cindy Figg-Courier, 1997 State Farm Classic Champion, with Sandy and Bill Foster, a tournament board member.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1997

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

Governor Jim Thompson and Bob Hope with Sandy before the tournament's 10th Anniversary pro-am.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1985

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

Site Development Plan for The Rail Country Club, in the early 1970s, showing an overview of the entire golf course and plot locations.

Where:

Unknown

When:

early 1970s

Ownership:

ALPL Audio-Visual Curator

Caption

This photo of the Rail Golf Course in the early years before landscaping began on the property.

Where:

Rail Golf Course, Springfield, Illinois

When:

late 1969

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

The Rail Golf Course before the major landscaping efforts began. The land has been sculptured, but little else.

Where:

Rail Golf Course, Springfield, Illinois

When:

1968

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

Sandy Wheeler being interviewed by Mark DePue at the entrance of The Rail Golf Course in Springfield, Illinois.

Where:

Rail Golf Course, Springfield, Illinois.

When:

July 6, 2009

Ownership:

ALPL Audio-Visual Curator

Caption

A close-up of Mark interviewing Sandy.

Where:

Unknown

When:

2009

Ownership:

Unknown

Caption

Sandy during her interview at the Rail Golf Course.

Where:

Rail Golf Course, Springfield, Illinois

When:

2009

Ownership:

Unknown

Caption

The final stop of the interview tour, with Sandy sitting on the green with the main house in the background, Sandy recounts the finishing details and memories of her time at The Rail.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unkown

Ownership:

Unknown

Caption

Long time friends Jim Johnson (left) and Sandy Wheeler (right) take a moment to pause for a photo. Jim has worked at the Rail since its inception in the 1970s, and in 2009 served as the General Manager.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Unknown

Caption

Volunteers man a lonely post by the leader board. Over the years, Sandy could always count on dedicated and loyal volunteers to run the tournament. She started with 400 volunteers, and in the 2000s, the tournament volunteer ranks had grown to 1200.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

The golf course as it is maturing.

Where:

Unknown

When:

circa 1994

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

The golf course as it appeared in the 1990s. The addition of the signage in the lake, provided by State Farm, was a big plus according to Sandy. The crowd, golfers and more advertisements can be seen in the background.

Where:

Unknown

When:

in the 1990s

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

Just some of the hundreds of volunteers that turn out, year after year, and "make things work."

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

Volunteers in August of 1997 get ready to rope and stake the course.

Where:

Unknown

When:

August of 1997

Ownership:

Narrator's photo

Caption

Mr. & Mrs. Leonard Sapp greet fans in an 18th green skybox. The Sapps, along with Jake Bunn, founded the tournament in 1976.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator's photo



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