10/21/1922 - 2/1/2017
Gordon Harlan Woolley, 94, went home to glory on Wednesday,
February 1, 2017. Funeral service will
be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 4th at Oak Lawn Baptist Church,
2105 Behrens Circle in Bellmead. Burial
will follow at Oakwood Cemetery, 2124
South 5th Street in Waco.
Gordon was born on October
21, 1922 in Waco (TX) to Gordon Sr. and Irene Woolley. After a modest childhood, including a short
stint in the U. S. Navy, Gordon returned home where he worked at an auto garage
on Elm Avenue. It was at this auto
garage where he met the love of his life, LaNora Ann Corley, and they were
married in 1947.
After working on other race
cars, Gordon decided to try his hand at auto racing. In 1946, Gordon began his long, extensive
auto racing career at the old Suicide Bowl in Waco. After early successes, Gordon took his skills
and became one of the original “Outlaw” race car drivers, driving for anyone
who called him. Among many of the famous
car owners that Gordon drove for were Chet Wilson (owner and builder of the #25
Offy Killer), Hector Honore (Black Deuce), Sam Weinberger, Jerry Gilbert and
Gordon gained a number of
nicknames on racetracks across the United States. He was often called “Rim Rider” for his
ability to run at the top of the race track.
He always said, “That’s where the cushion is and I knew how to handle my
car. All the other guys were running at
the bottom of the track and that’s where all the wrecks happen.”
The pinnacle of his racing
career came in 1963 when he won the IMCA Championship. Still, after all the miles and victories,
there is not an accurate count of all the races and trophies he’s won. Over the years, he often gave trophies away
to his fans across the United States.
Today, the trophies are scattered at some of the 6 Halls of Fame he was
inducted into and in giving to his numerous fans.
Gordon was preceded in death
by Ann, his wife of 65 years in 2012. He
is survived by his daughter Pamela Woolley of Waco; daughter Patricia Yamada
and her husband, Earl of Castle Rock, CO; daughter, Lisa Matthews and her
husband, Jason of Waco; 5 grandsons, 3 granddaughters,4 great-grandchildren and
2 great-great grandchildren.
The family would like to
thank Wesley Woods Health and Rehabilitation, Royal Manor Nursing Home and
Senior Care of Hewitt for the exceptional care they provided Gordon over the
last few years. Senior Care of Hewitt
went above and beyond to ensure that Gordon was given the care and attention he
needed. We love you all.
In lieu of flowers, a
GoFundMe.com account has been set up under “Gordon Woolley funeral cost.”
Please sign the online guest
book at www.bellmeadfuneralhome.com