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David Ray Woolery

A memorial service for David Ray Woolery, 87, of Branson, MO, is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 12, at the Branson United Methodist Church, with visitation 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Snapp-Bearden Funeral Home.

Dave Woolery

Woolery, regarded as a caring public servant, died Wednesday, May 5, in an accident at his home. Woolery collaboarated to launch 911 service in Taney County and served as director from September 1991 to January 2000. He also volunteered several years on the Branson Planning and Zoning Commission and boards for the local hospital and Taney County Airport.

He was born Dec. 22, 1933, to Oscar William and Irene (Inman) Woolery at the family farm close to Mullinville, KS, where he enjoyed sports as well as cowboy fun amid chores. He played football and basketball at York College his freshman college year before marrying his high school sweetheart, Doris "Jean" Lowe, June 20, 1953.

They re-located to Hays, KS, for college, where he worked on the police force and had their first daughter. Graduating with a math degree, he then taught and coached at Holyrood, KS, where their second daughter was born. Woolery joined the corporate world at Southwestern Bell Telephone before their third daughter was born, bouncing around Kansas with several promotions for 30 years.

Before he opted for an early retirement to live on Lake Taneycomo in Branson, he acquired licenses for real estate and auctioneering. He worked for Logan Real Estate and started Woolery Auction, Inc. He provided customer service training for various operations through the years and worked for the Department of Natural Resources as an ombudsman in southwest Missouri. He also served as Taney County Republican chairman and helped with the college Young Republicans.

Known as Grandpa Dave to many, Woolery thrilled many with free plane rides through the years after he obtained his private pilot's license in Branson. He was a steadfast volunteer at the NAIA basketball tournaments at College of the Ozarks, usually running the shot clock, and loved hosting guests at their home.

Always a man on a mission, Woolery often expressed gratitude for Christ's blessings and sought to reflect that in service to others, whether by a kind greeting to encourage or magnanimous generosity of resources.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Glen (Norma) Woolery of Marietta, OK, and Max (Sharon) Woolery of Sun City, AZ. In addition to his wife, he is survived by daughters Lana Woolery of Overland Park, KS; Marsha (Phil) Lilley of Branson and Shala (Barry) Rossheim of Venice, FL; brother, Sheldon (Nancy) Woolery of Princeton, KS; sisters Bonita (Roger) Graham of Wichita, KS., and Shirley (John) Keener of Satanta, KS, six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren as well as generations of beloved nieces and nephews.

Memorial gifts can be made to the Branson United Methodist Church, 1208 76 Country Blvd., or Elevate Branson, 310 Gretna Rd.

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