Gordon Woolley
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 Herman Bellmire.

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




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