Gilbert, Ariz., formerly Sioux City
Elliott Wooldridge of Gilbert, formerly of Sioux City, passed away peacefully on July 27, 2019, in Chandler Ariz.
Please join us for a celebration of life to be 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, at the Sioux City Country Club, as we know he wanted to return to Sioux City to say goodbye to his old friends. There will be celebration of life to be held on Dec. 8 in Phoenix, Ariz.
Elliott was born on Dec. 20, 1920, to J Watt Wooldridge and Isabel Elliott Wooldridge. He married Marilyn Lasley in 1952 and they had three sons, Jeffrey, Steven and Neal. They later divorced and he married Nancy Hoberg Hartnett. She also had three children, Cindy, Patrick and Terry. This resulted in a blended family of six.
Elliott had an active childhood, including many wonderful summers at Lake Okoboji.
In his senior year at Central High School, he was voted homecoming king. He then attended the University of Arizona, where he was voted the first (and only) freshman homecoming king in 1939. His popularity was the result of his overwhelming and infectious positive attitude, welcoming smile and a gift for gab. As they say, Elliott never met a stranger.
When World War II broke out, he proudly went to serve his country as a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He flew A-20s (low level attack bombers) on several missions in the South Pacific during combat and always loved sharing his experiences in the corps. He became a member of the Iowa National Guard and finally retired in 1980 as a lieutenant colonel. His love of country and pride in our military and flag never wavered.
Back stateside, he continued his college education at UCLA and graduated with a degree in business (and a life-long love of California).
He returned to Sioux City and joined his father's business, Wooldridge Insurance, where he continued for many years as a successful business owner. There was quite an insurance dynasty with great-grandfather, CJ Wooldridge, then grandfather, J Watt Wooldridge, and then Elliott Wooldridge. Later on, his sons, Jeff and Neal, also joined the agency.
He was very active in his community as a member of the Elks Lodge, the Masons and Shriner's, including being a member of the Abu Bekr Shrine White Horse Mounted Patrol. He was a 20 year member of The Royal Order of Jesters Court 124. Elliott's father was also a member of The ROJ Court 124, as well as his son, Jeff. He was also very active in Mr. Goodfellow Charities and its Little Yellow Dog Auction.
Life was not all work and no play. Elliott indulged his life-long passion for golf into his 90's, whether he be home or traveling the country. His short game was his strength, and at his peak, he was a four handicap.
He had the pleasure of playing golf with his friend, Bob Hope, several times when visiting Bob and Delores's homes in California. He met Bob in August 1952 when he was asked by the Chamber of Commerce to escort him on his tour through Siouxland for a polio fundraiser. That trip to Sioux City began a life-long friendship between Elliott and Hope.
He was still asked to join many golf foursomes well into his 80's. Everyone that had ever played golf with Elliott knew his putting skills could bring them home in the money.
Later in life, when summers were spent at their cottage on Lake Okoboji, he had the pleasure of being part of the "Swingers," a group of guys that still enjoyed golf, cards and socializing. He was proud to call them his friends. Golf wasn't his only passion. He loved music and dancing, especially Big Band music. Elliott was blessed with a nice voice and enjoyed singing with or without a microphone. He broke into song daily.
Elliott is survived by his wife, Nancy; Elliott's three sons, Jeff (Melissa), Steve, and Neal (Patti); Nancy's three children, Cindy (Randy) Peters, Patrick, and Terry; his grandchildren, Jeffrey "LJ" Wooldridge, Jared Wigg (Teresa), and Neal's daughters, Nealy and Kelsey (Gill); also his grandchildren, Tiffany (Jerry) Hardiman, Adam Peters and his children, Savannah and Luke. He was also blessed with five great-grandchildren, Max, Leo, Mia, Lexi Gem and Jade Elliott Hardiman.
Memorials may be directed to The Shriner Hospital in Phoenix Temple or The Abu Bekr Shrine Temple in Sioux City.