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Ruth Wooley (born Seely)

Personal

Gender: Female

Date of Death: January 13, 2007

Birth Place: Dearing, KS

Death Place: Claremore, OK

Ruth Seely Wooley

Wooley, Ruth Seely – January 13, 2007 – Claremore, OK

Ruth Seely Wooley, 90, retired Chelsea city clerk, died Saturday. Visitations 4-6 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m.-noon Friday, Chelsea Funeral Home, Chelsea, and graveside service 2 p.m. Friday, Chelsea Cemetery, Chelsea.

Published in the Tulsa World (OK) – January 17, 2007, page A10


Ruth Seely Wooley, longtime Chelsea resident and former City Clerk, died early Saturday morning at Claremore Regional Medical Center. She was 90 years old.

Born near Dearing, Kan., Ruth grew up in the Winganon area, where her father, G.B. Seely, worked on an oil lease. She often told how, during the worst days of the Dust Bowl, her father would go into town and buy the same staples for the neighbors as he did for his own family, impressing upon her children an early appreciation of the necessity of sharing what you have with those who need it.

A 1934 Chelsea High School graduate, she headed to the West Coast with two of her friends in the early ’40s, where she worked several clerical jobs-and once danced with Frank Sinatra. Employed by a physician, Dr. Kauffman, she not only did clerical and secretarial work, but sometimes functioned as a de facto nurse. Her years with Dr. Kauffman gave her a knowledge of medicine she used for the rest of her life.

While in Southern California, she met John MacFarlane Wooley, who was finishing up his graduate work at the University of California in Berkeley. They married in 1947 and eventually moved back to John’s hometown of St. Paul, Minn., where he worked as a high school administrator. They had two sons, John and Mark, before her husband’s death from polio in 1953.

Ruth never remarried. She moved back to northeastern Oklahoma, where many of her relatives still lived, and raised her sons in Chelsea. She began working as an assistant to Chelsea City Clerk, Pauline Sharp, in the 1960s, and became City Clerk herself in the late ’60s. She continued at that position through the early part of the ’70s. When Rosa Adair succeeded her, Ruth stayed on as her helper for a number of years.

After her retirement, Ruth took particular delight in helping to raise her grandchildren, Jonathan MacFarlane and Steven Jay. Even when macular degeneration rendered her legally blind a few years before her death, she took pride in being able to prepare snacks whenever they-and their friends-dropped by her house for a visit.

She was a valued member of First Presbyterian Church in Chelsea, and, earlier, served as the secretary of Chelsea’s First Baptist Church.

Ruth is survived by her son John Wooley and his wife, Janis, of Chelsea; son Mark Wooley, who currently resides in Thailand; brothers Walter Seely of Claremore, Fred Seely of Big Cabin, and Jim Seely of Pryor; sisters Bettie McClary of Muskogee, Norma Jo West of Tulsa, Glendola Barnes of Tulsa, Irene Martin of Tulsa, and Edna Hartness of Noble; grandchildren Jonathan Wooley of Chelsea and Steven Wooley of Stillwater; and many nieces and nephews including Phyllis Reagan of Tahlequah and Tom Seely of Claremore.

Graveside service will be 2 p.m., Fri., Jan. 19, at Chelsea Cemetery under the direction of the Chelsea Funeral Home & Crematory.

Memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church, c/o Peach Dye, Bank of Commerce, P.O. Box 29, Chelsea, OK 74016.

Published at the UltimateTributes.com