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Home arrow News arrow Obituaries arrow Obituaries for April 11, 2011

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Obituaries for April 11, 2011


‘Bill’ Woolard
Bill Woolard, 69, of Baker City, died April 8, 2011, at his home surrounded by his family after a sudden courageous battle with cancer.
There will be a celebration of his life at 2 p.m. Friday at Quail Ridge Golf Course.

His life, which began in Jackson Hole, Wyo., on April 24, 1940, was bound for adventure, as proven by his experience as a 9-year old working on a family operated gold dredge mine in the interior of Alaska. The skills learned working and surviving as a young boy in the harsh Alaskan environment lasted him a lifetime.

Hard work and a heart of gold paid off for Bill as he won the attention of Karen Smith in Silverdale, Wash., his family said. This was the start of both his family and a drywall business. With three children (Lorri, Ron and Randy) and a never-give-up attitude, Bill moved his family to Baker City in the early winter of 1971.

Tough times forced most of the 24 relatives who had joined the move to return to Washington.  Bill’s tenacity proved worthy as his business struggled to gain a foothold in the region’s construction market.

Bill gained considerable community support as his family and business grasped a precious hold on opportunity in the tightly woven town. He and Karen proudly raised  three children with laughter and enough confidence to last a lifetime. Bill fully supported all school activity, noted with endless hours donated to the upkeep of sporting facilities and programs.

Bill eventually sold out to his business partner and brother, Danny Woolard. As the helm for Woolard Drywall changed, Bill was selected to manage the Baker School District maintenance program.

His construction background was well-suited for demands of the new position, especially when the high school building burned shortly after he started the job. Bill’s career path left many with a deep respect for his leadership ability and compassion for quality.

Bill avidly loved hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, baseball, football, and especially golf. He enjoyed going south each winter after retirement in 1998. He was known for his wood projects and his ability to fix almost anything.

He enjoyed teaching his children and grandchildren life values and shared his opinions without reserve. He had a love of life that matched his size and he was often called “Big Hummer.” He will be greatly missed by his family and friends, family members said.

Survivors include his wife, Karen, and their three children and their families, Lorri and Dennis Hackney, Ron and Sydney Woolard and Randy and Linda Woolard; grandchildren, Tabor Woolard, Seager Pence, Jessie and Austin Woolard and Nicholas Hackney; a sister, Marylee Lindquist of Lewiston, Idaho; and several nieces and nephews; and his loving schnauzer, Cheyenne.

He was preceded in death by his father, Joseph W. Woolard; mother, Merna Query Woolard; and brothers, Lionel T.  and Daniel D. Woolard.

Memorial contributions may be made to Karen Woolard at Sterling Savings, 1990 Washington Ave., Baker City, Oregon 97814 for a golfing memorial at the Quail Ridge Golf Course.

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