Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Grandpa Woolf's Obituary
Wilbur Coombs Woolf passed away in the 91st year of his life on November 1, 2008. He was surrounded by his children Mac, Bill, James, Bruce and Paul Woolf and his daughter Arleen Wilson who cared for him with devotion and tenderness through his last illness. Wilbur Woolf served in many positions of responsibility with humility and dedication. He practiced as a dentist and then as an orthodontist in Mesa for over thirty five years. His trademark Woolf smile graces the faces of many local residents. He was a Rotarian, a scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts of America, a bishop for the 9th ward, stake president in the Mesa South Stake, mission president for the Suva Fiji Mission (1984-1987), and a stake patriarch for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, his most important calling and accomplishment was that of husband, father, grandfather and great grand father. His little ones did not know him as Dr. Woolf, or Bishop Woolf or President Woolf but as Dad or Grandpa. When his beloved wife Wanda died in 2001, his last and most difficult challenge was to go on without her and to follow her advice to “circulate not hibernate”. Wanda knew that Dad was more naturally reticent than he was outgoing. She had exemplified that charming and warm personality trait in abundance. Wilbur, true to her advice, soldiered on. He attended the far away weddings of grandchildren, visited with his children and shared stories of his life, traveled to Canada to visit family there, enjoyed and shared the cabin the in the Arizona pines that he and Wanda built, traveled to Fiji with a son to visit those he loved and had served on his mission and worked in the Mesa, Arizona temple. His children loved the stories of his Canadian youth, of his years in France when he and his brother and sister accompanied their parents on a mission for their church. Grandpa Woolf served in World War II as a naturalized citizen of the United States and loved his country. He is a beloved man who is well described by a former Fijian District president in a letter of condolence who wrote, “President Woolf always had a verse of scripture to share; ‘Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” Wilbur Woolf, Dad, Grandpa, did not weary in well doing, At the very end of his life, he expressed his love to the sister, friends, children, grandchildren and great grand children anxious to speak with him for the last time. He blessed them and affirmed his love for them. He endured his last illness patiently. His last ten days gave his children the opportunity to attend to his physical needs as his life ebbed and to stand at his bedside at the moment of his death knowing that they had loved and served a father who was and is a supreme example of a humble and willing servant of God and family. We celebrate the life of Wilbur Coombs Woolf and his legacy of faith, love and gentle determination to finish his course well.Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, November 8th at 10:00 a.m. at the Mesa South Stake Chapel located at 1415 E. Southern Avenue between Stapley and Gilbert Drive in Mesa, Arizona. A visitation will be held at the same location, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Friday, November 7th and again on Saturday, November 8th , 8:30-9:30 a.m., preceding the funeral service. Internment, Mesa City Cemetery .