University News

Wehrly Memorial Service Set

June 19, 2014

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MACOMB, IL -- A memorial service for Western Illinois University Counselor Education Professor Emeritus Bea Wehrly will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, June 23 at Wesley Village in Macomb. Wehrly, 88, passed away June 15 in Macomb.

Recognized as a pioneer in her field, Wehrly was the first woman at Texas A & M to earn a Ph.D. in the Department of Education. She joined the faculty at Western in 1969 as a part-time elementary counselor at the WIU Laboratory School and a half-time instructor in the College of Education. When the lab school closed, Wehrly became a full-time faculty member in the WIU Counselor Education graduate program, where she taught multicultural/interracial counseling, counseling children and lifestyle and career development. She was promoted to full professor in 1976. Wehrly remained active in her profession, including post-doctoral studies, which included her 1982-83 sabbatical at Harvard University in cross-cultural counseling and many other professional development institutes.

She was program director, organizer and leader for six WIU international summer study programs from 1977 to 1987, which took her and her students to several countries including England, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Hong Kong. In 1991, she represented WIU on a recruitment trip to the Far East, and she made numerous presentations at professional meetings at national and international locales throughout the years. Over her career she authored over 35 professional publications.

While she retired from WIU in 1994, Wehrly continued working as a consultant, adjunct teacher and researcher, and authored three books.

She is survived by her husband of 66 years, James, who was a longtime agriculture professor at WIU; sons Dave and Don, and daughter, Dot.

In lieu of flowers, donations can made to the Bea Wehrly Scholarship at Western, in care of the WIU Foundation, 301 Sherman Hall, Macomb, IL 61455-1390, or online at Please designate donations as "Bea Wehrly Memorial."

A full obituary will be available at

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