John Lawrence Wooley, 87, passed away into God’s loving hands at his home with his beloved wife Wanda at his side on October 21, 2023 after a courageous battle with cancer.
John’s life began in Pine Bluff, Arkansas where he was born Feb. 17, 1936 to beloved parents Loraine Wilson “LW” & Dorothy “Dot” Wooley who owned a local family business there for many years. Fond memories from his youth were as a Zebra attending Pine Bluff High School where he excelled in varsity tennis, drama, & was a varsity football standout. He was fondly remembered by his senior classmates for his athletic abilities, great personality, and “wittiest cut-up.” He loved going back for Zebra reunions where he served as master of ceremonies and kept them laughing through the decades. Upon graduation, John attended the University of Oklahoma, earning a bachelor’s degree in architecture and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity where he served as social chairman for 3 years and greatly loved his time as a Sooner! He also enlisted in the Oklahoma Air National Guard where he earned the rank of Staff Sergeant & served 6 honorable years.
During this time, John began a long & successful business career with the Kendall Company until his retirement and was honored with an induction into the Kendall Hall of Fame for his innovative work in their Regional Medical Division. John was a great friend and mentor to many in his career and life.
But, he would always say one of the best things in life he ever did was to marry the love of his life Wanda Joy. They met on the dance floor where he swept her off her feet…and they were married in Dallas, TX. on Feb. 2, 1960 & resided on Lover’s Lane in their early years of marriage, so befitting of these two…and they danced through a blessed 63 years of life together. They later established a home in Edmond, Ok. raising two wonderful children, enjoying family life, dear friends, their church, & a shared love of tennis. Throughout John’s life, he enjoyed so many great years playing tennis, and was a regular participant and member in OKC tennis circles. He was also a USTA member and a former top ranked District & Missouri Valley Singles & Doubles player back in his hey day. He even teamed up with his wife Wanda to win several mixed doubles titles and enjoyed hitting tennis balls with family & friends into his 80’s.
One of John’s most notable and fun tennis highlights was playing former pro tennis star Bobby Riggs in an OKC Charity Doubles final of Rigg’s famous tennis tour following his infamous Battle of the Sexes with tennis legend Billy Jean King. John and Riggs served up the laughs & the lobs to the delight of the crowd.
But, it was his wife, family, & friends, and faith in God that were John’s greatest joys in life, and he never missed an opportunity to express what a blessed man he was because of them.
John’s unwavering sense of humor, faith, love, warm smile and spirit was such a light in this world, which will be greatly missed.
John was a charter member of New Covenant Methodist Church in Edmond OK. John is survived by his beloved wife Wanda, a daughter Angie Fotopoulos (Sam) Prairie Village, KS.
a son John, ll “Johnny” Wooley (Shawna) Edmond, OK. and four grandchildren, Chris Fotopoulos Prairie Village, KS. & Mimi Fotopoulos Marina Del Rey, CA. and John, lll “Trip” & Jake Wooley Edmond, OK. a nephew Brad Wooley, (Rita) Little Rock, AK. and a niece Karen (Steve) Flora, Seattle, WA. and beloved nieces, nephews & cousins. He is preceded in death by his beloved parents LW & Dot Wooley and a beloved brother B.L. Wooley of Little Rock, AK.
A Memorial service for John will be held 1:00 pm Wednesday November 1, at New Covenant Methodist Church in Edmond, Ok. with a reception there immediately following. John will be laid to rest later that day by his family at Gracelawn Cemetery.