Robert Edward Wooldridge was born to Lysle A. Wooldridge and Elgia Fern Reese on December 25, 1922 on a farm east of Maynard, Iowa. He was the second child, Ilene was born January 14, 1922 and Gene Lysle arrived on April 16, 1924. At age five, the family moved to Fayette, Iowa, where Lysle opened a blacksmith shop, and operated it until his death on April 28, 1982. Elgia died on February 8, 1962. Robert spent his school years in the Fayette school system and graduated on May 18, 1939. He was active in music and sport programs at the school. He attended Upper Iowa University in 1939-40 and 1940-41. In the fall of 1941, he was employed by the Consolidated Aircraft Company in San Diego, CA. He returned to Iowa in 1942 to work for the tank arsenal in Bettendorf. He met Thelma Ione Sones, and they were married in the Bettendorf Presperterian Church on February 21, 1943, and was sent to Williamsberg, VA, and Thelma moved to Des Moines. Donald Wayne was born on January 5, 1944. Robert Served on Adak with the 67th and 5th SP NCB units and with the 66th & 145 NCB units on Okinawa. He was discharged 12/10/1945 at Minneapolis, MN. The family moved back to Bettendorf, IA, and he returned to work at Farmall. He went to work with the operating engineers on the Alcoa building project. Barbara Kay was born on July 29, 1947. Later, he was employed by McCarthy Improvement Co. and Linwood Stone Products. December 4, 1947 they purchased their first home in Davenport, IA. Connie Lee was born there December 29, 1950. September 28, 1954, and they moved to their new home also in Davenport, IA. March, 1961 they moved again to 2117 Hayes, Davenport, IA. January 1966, Robert left Linwood Stone Products to be assistant administrator of the newly opened Ridgecrest Retirement Village. On June 1, he became a partner in the Riverview Care Center, Guttenberg, IA, and he and Thelma managed it until it was sold in 1983. He then became a regional manager for a group purchasing program serving hospitals and long term care facilities. During his time in the long term care systems, he was president of the Iowa Health Care Association and also a vice president of the national nursing home association. August 1991, they moved to Chandler, AZ, to continue with HPSI and on October 1, 1992 retired again, after having traveled the state serving long term facilities.
November 21, 2001, they moved to the Meadows Senior Park in Tempe, AZ, and became very active and enjoyed living in the park. There were dances, parties and the opportunity to make many new friends. After four years, they decided that they should start looking for a situation that would lower their everyday work load while still giving them all the things they were looking for in life.
They moved to the Springs of East Mesa on November 13, 2005. This was a very nice facility, again parties, dances and the dining room was very nice and the meals were excellent. However, it became evident that they were going to need daily health care so they started looking for a place to meet their oncoming health needs. All the family was in on the decisions, so they decided to move to The Village Oaks where there was to be more care available on call.
On Saturday, February 24, 2007 they made the move and all the family helped. They became active again in all the things going on within the facility. Robert was involved in many card games and Thelma had many friends and they loved to visit. By this time, Thelma’s eyes were getting worse and it got to the point that she could no longer read anymore and she was having some other health problems coming on the scene. They finally decided that the facility was ready to fill all the needs that we were going to have as Robert had been having more back problems, and walking was becoming harder for him as was spending a lot of time on his feet.
On November 30, 2007, the family admitted Thelma into the nursing center at the Citadel, in Mesa. On the next day, the family moved Robert into a studio apartment that was located on the Citadel property-adjacent to the care center where Thelma was located. This was a good arrangement because Robert could spend each day with her. Robert will be placed to rest with his loving wife, Thelma, at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Mesa, Arizona.