Tributes for

Woolley, Joseph

Joseph Aloysius Woolley was born on June 30, 1919 in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He is the youngest of six children born to immigrant parents. He was the first child in his family to graduate from high school. At that time, children of poor families would typicallyt leave school after third grade and go work in the textile mills of New Bedford. His sister Theresa wanted more for him, so she sent money home so he could stay at Holy Family High School and receive his diploma.

Dad was a Petty Officer, 1st Class; Radarman in the Navy during World War II. He was one of the first radarmen in the world. He served on the U.S.S. Cole. the Cole was a destroyer and assigned to escort duty during the war. I remember my dad telling me that when the crew would be granted Shore Leave, my dad, being in his late 20's married and much older than many of the sailors would volunteer to be an M.P. His job was supposed to be keeping the sailors under control. His interpretation of that, was to collect the crew from bars and the like and deliver them back to Cole without incident. He was proud of the fact that he never arrested any of them.

He was employed in the fastener business his entire life.

He married "His little French girl", as he affectionately referred to mom, on October 11, 1941. No greater love have I ever witnessed then the love they had for each other. Even as recently as a few weeks ago, they could be found sitting in their apartment holding hands. They would be sitting quietly and suddenly one of them would say "I love you, Babe." And the other would reply,"I love you too." This is the foundation of the Woolleys- love of family. We are a close knit, loud giggly family because our folks made sure we saw joy and value in each other.

My brothers would tell you that our dad was always there for them. I have been reminded, that at times, when they were playing football or baseball at Serra High School, they would look into the stands when it was raining cats and dogs and Dad was the only person sitting there.

Our parents were deeply committed to their children's Catholic education. They were always up at St. Joseph Elementary School- sometimes volunteering, other times, having a Coming to Jesus meeting with Monsignor Redahan. i never said we were angels! Just close knit, loud and giggly!

The University of Notre Dame football team never had a more loyal fan then they did in Joe Woolley. To this day, we al bleed blue and gold! I can remember dad watching the games, yelling at the t.v., kneeling on one knee. Mom would lovingly, but sternly say, "Joe! calm down! You're going to have a heart attack!"
I'd look at my dad, he'd smile and I'd see that twinkle in his eyes. He wasn't going to have a heart attack watching the Irish - he was having to much fun!

I don't believe my dad ever met a stranger. When he would be talking about someone, he would always refer to them as "My good friend,--." He genuinely took interest in people, their families and their lives. He would remember to send cards on birthdays, gifts for celebrations and phone calls to comfort them in times of sorrow.

Dad was a good faithful servant. We grew up in a faith filled home with prayer and the love of God always front and center. As long as I can remember, my parents prayed the rosary. At night, growing up, they could be found praying. dad would always be on his knees. As he got older, he would be religated to praying in his chair. Then, as time and age took their toll, some decades would end up with only 7 or 8 Hail Marys. Even later still, they might have fallen asleep while praying. He carried his rosary everywhere.

dad believed completely in the promises of Christ. He tried to live his life as an example of a just and honorable Catholic man of faith. I have faith that he is now on the arms of the angels. This faith is what gives me the courage and conviction to know that I will someday, be reunited with my dad. We will hug and laugh and eat Haggen Dazs coffee ice cream. It will bring me great joy to hear him say, "Go Irish."

A vigil service will be held at 7p.m. Thursday March 6, 2014 at Brown Colonial Mortuary and his funeral mass will be celebrated 10 a.m. Friday March 7, 2014 at Holy Family Cathedral, Orange, CA,

 

Mortuary: Brown Colonial Mortuary

Florist: The Enchanted Florist