Paul Woollett '52 October 25, 2023 4:58 PM updated: October 25, 2023 5:09 PM
Paul Robert Woollett
December 3, 1931 - October 6, 2023
On October 6, 2023, Paul Robert Woollett of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, left this earthly world and was received into the loving arms of Jesus. Paul was born on December 3, 1931, in the home of his German grandparents in Saltillo, Mexico, to his parents, Donald and Paula Woollett. They returned to the US with baby Paul and his sister Adelle, to Victoria, Texas, and soon moved to Laredo, Texas, where he grew up.
Paul lived an adventure-filled childhood in an era where kids were allowed to run free — swimming in creeks and irrigation canals, hopping on the backs of horse-drawn road graders that smoothed the unpaved streets, and chasing the ice truck to cool off by catching a ride on the rear bumper. He spent days riding far and wide on his beloved horse, Daisy May, with citrus fruit, fresh vegetables, and watermelons readily available.
His first jobs shaped his strong work ethic. He planted tomatoes for 25¢ a 12-hour day and delivered telegrams on his bicycle during World War II — many of them starting with the grim words “We regret to inform you…”. At sixteen, Paul graduated from high school and left home to attend Texas A&M University, graduating in 1952 at age 20 with a degree in Chemical Engineering and a commission in the US Air Force Reserve Officers Corps. He remained a devoted Aggie throughout his life. Gig ‘Em Aggies!
Paul accepted a position with Phillips Petroleum Company, but within two months was called to active duty with the US Air Force, serving during the Korean Conflict. In 1954, he returned to Phillips, remaining in the Air Force Reserve, ultimately achieving the rank of Colonel. Phillips sent him to Borger, Texas, where he worked as a process engineer. While there, he met Beverly Morrow. They fell in love, married, and remained devoted to each other for 67 years.
Paul and Beverly were blessed with three children, Donald, Lyda, and Lilla. Paul greatly enjoyed being a father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. No matter how hard he worked during the day, he always made time for his children and grandchildren. He treated them to piggyback rides, and taught them to love swimming, how to play baseball, and to enjoy the outdoors. He included them in trips to the hardware store and the bank, and all the chores around the house and yard, and managed to make it fun.
Throughout his career with Phillips, he also lived in Pasadena, Texas; Orange, Texas; Bartlesville, Oklahoma; Toledo, Ohio; then returned to Bartlesville, where he made his home for the last 42 years.
An avid athlete, Paul ran in many road races, including the Marine Corps Marathon in memory of his son Donald. He was active in the Bartlesville Pedalers Bicycle Club for years and rode the Oklahoma FreeWheel across the state nine times. He made many friends throughout his lifetime while pursuing these interests.
Paul loved gardening and shared his harvest and knowledge with neighbors and church family. He was a devout Christian and active in the Bartlesville First Baptist Church. He had the heart of a servant and helped family, neighbors, and many others in need. He served in the Baptist Disaster Relief Ministry and Men’s Service Ministry.
Paul was a member of the Reserve Officers Association, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Bartlesville First Baptist Church, and the Bartlesville Pedalers Bicycle Club.
Paul is preceded in death by his son Donald Woollett, who was killed in Beirut, Lebanon, on October 23, 1983.
He is survived by his wife Beverly Woollett; his sister Adelle Gray; daughters Lyda and her husband Robert Guz, and Lilla and her husband Charles Haverstick; four grandchildren Elizabeth Campbell, Kevin Abbey and his wife Kristi, Emily and her husband Derek Dake, and Jeffrey Abbey; and three great-grandchildren Faith, Benjamin, and Andrew Campbell; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, please donate contributions to On the Rock Ministries (www.ontherockministries.com), a ministry that provides recreation, mentoring, and tutoring for students in 3rd through 12th grade. Please indicate “In memory of Paul.”
A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 22, 2023, at Woolaroc (www.woolaroc.org), 1925 Woolaroc Ranch Rd, Bartlesville, OK 74002. If you have any questions, please call 512-771-7149.