James Edward Wooldridge, 84, died peacefully at Oak Manor Nursing Home on May 14, 2018. The family will receive visitors on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. prior to a funeral service to follow at 11:00 a.m. at Commerce Funeral Home. Burial will take place at a later date at Mixon Cemetery near his birthplace in Booneville, Arkansas.
James was born on a humble farm in the hills of Arkansas on December 21, 1933, to the parentage of Noah Edward Wooldridge and Verna Camelia Godfrey Wooldridge. He was the last of eight children and was faithful to assist with the care of his parents until their death. James graduated high school from Booneville High School where he played football. He would speak fondly of an undefeated season throughout his life. James served his country in the United States Army during the Korean War. He married Dewanda Lois Ayers at First Baptist Church, Booneville, Arkansas on July 13, 1957. Together, they moved to Okmulgee, Oklahoma where he would graduate from Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology in 1958. Three children were born to this union; Farilyn Jayne Wooldridge Webb, Margaret Elaine Wooldridge and James Edd Wooldridge. The last move the family made was to Commerce, Texas where he was employed at East Texas State University as Chief Engineer in Educational Media and Technology. This move was instrumental in allowing the dream of his children to attain a higher education: Farilyn became an educator, Margaret became a registered nurse and James became an attorney. James enjoyed his family very much and put the responsibility of his family’s needs before his own most of his life. At his retirement, he was employed with Raytheon in Greenville, Texas. Christianity and education were important in rearing his children and grandchildren. He was of the Baptist faith. He loved working with his tractor in a garden and sharing produce with family and neighbors.
James is survived by his wife of 60 years, Lois; children, Farilyn Webb, Margaret Wooldridge and James (Jay) Wooldridge; grandchildren Noah Logan Wade Webb and Nathan James Walker Webb.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Noah and Verna Wooldridge; brothers Jesse Joe Wooldridge, Noah Newell Wooldridge and sisters, Gweneth Genelle Teague, Virginia Louise Wooldridge, Ruby Rachel Barnard, Earlene Kelley and Pearlene Wise.
Serving as honorary bearers will be his grandsons, Wade and Walker Webb, as well as a nephew, Joseph Wooldridge and brothers-in-law, Eddy Ayers, Teddy Ayers and Buddy Ayers.