Our beloved dad, Richard “Dick” Leeoness Woolums, passed away on Friday, February 24, 2023 due to complications from esophageal cancer.
Dick was born November 23, 1937 in St. Petersburg, Florida to Winnie Agnes Nipper and Louis Cedrick Woolums. As a child, their family moved to Muncie, Indiana where he graduated from Muncie Central High School in 1956. Throughout his teen years, he excelled in school, played basketball, and enjoyed spending time with his friends and brothers.
He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1956 and served as a Radar Technician in Japan. After an honorable discharge in 1960, he attended and earned a bachelor’s degree from The University of Oklahoma, where he became their biggest life-long Sooners fan. Often donning Sooners hats and shirts, he’d remind us every season regardless of the outcome that “in your heart, you know they’re #1.”
After joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as a young adult, a church activity brought him together with his high school crush, “the most beautiful cheerleader he’d ever seen”, Patricia Jean Michael. They married on November 22, 1958 and have 6 children, 19 grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren. Dick loved and cherished the spouses of his children and grandchildren, and looked forward to every opportunity to be with his family.
Dick’s jobs at Westinghouse and the US Postal Service took him and his family around the country, allowing them to build homes in Muncie, Indiana; Lake Charles, Louisiana; Norman, Oklahoma; and Sandy, Utah. After his retirement in 1996, he wanted to find a way to stay active and chose to become an independent contractor where he fixed, restored, built and did just about anything his clients needed to make their home perfect. He had every tool and could fix nearly anything. Every Christmas he searched tirelessly to find the perfect new tool for each of his sons-in-law, which became a tradition and a special memory we’ll continue on.
He served faithfully in a variety of church callings. He was called to be Scoutmaster early on in his married life and continued to serve in the Boy Scouts of America for decades. In 1998, he became a proud recipient of the Silver Beaver award for his service. Dick and Pat had the opportunity to serve as inner-city missionaries in Salt Lake City, and member and leader support missionaries in Sandy, Utah. Together they met people that had a tremendous impact on their lives and made friends they will never forget.
Dick was the kind of person that lit up a room. Whether it be his white hair, smile, booming voice or sense of humor, he was pretty unforgettable. He loved Coca Cola, chocolate and trips to Maverik. He leaves behind countless friends, neighbors, colleagues and family that will miss him dearly.
Dick is survived by his wife of 64 years, Patricia, his children Jennifer (Gary) Arndt, Julie (Lynn) Pierce, Janis (Brian) Birch, Jeff (Julie) Woolums, Jody (David) Plehn, and Jill (Tyler) Curtis, 19 grandchildren & their spouses, and 8 great grandchildren. He is survived by his siblings, Bud (Jan Reed) Woolums, Mike (Sandy) Woolums, Linda (John) Hall and Elaine Browning as well as many nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by his parents, brothers Terry and Robert, and sister, Jean.
We will gather to honor and remember his legacy on Friday, March 3, 2023 from 9:30 - 10:45 am at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meetinghouse at 10975 S Prescott Drive, in Sandy, Utah. Funeral services will follow at 11:00 am. Interment will be at Larkin Sunset Gardens, Sandy, Utah.
The service will be livestreamed on the Goff Mortuary Facebook Page at the following link:
(The livestream video will appear when the service starts.)