JAMES LEROY WOOLDRIDGE of Bella Vista, Arkansas | 1931 - 2023 | Obituary


December 17, 1931 - October 9, 2023

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James L. Wooldridge passed away on Monday, October 9, 2023. He was born on December 17, 1931, to Jefferson Lee and Vera L. Wooldridge in Kingman, Kansas. 

He attended grade school in Penalosa, Kansas and high school in Kingman, graduating in 1949. He attended Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas form September 1949 until January 1951 at which time he joined the U.S. Air Force during the Korean conflict. After four years of service, he returned to Southwestern College and graduated in January 1958. He was employed by First National Bank in Wichita from January 1958 to December 1989 at which time he chose early retirement (let the fun begin) as Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending Officer. 

He married Geraldine Mai in September 1959 who was also employed by First National Bank having moved to Wichita from WaKenney, Kansas. They moved to Bella Vista, Arkansas, in April 1990 at his retirement from First National Bank. Jim and Geri are members of Highlands Church, a Methodist congregation – they graciously made a donation providing for Christ’s Cross in the main sanctuary during initial construction of the church. 

In Wichita, Jim was active in the Y’s Men’s Club, Kiwanis Club, Midian Shrine Club, member of Albert Pike Lodge, and Scottish Rite. In Bella Vista, he was an active member of the Nomad Shrine Club and the Lakers Golf Group. He supported the Children’s Shelter, Cancer Challenge, Rally for the Cure, and other charities as a volunteer in Golf Tournaments and with financial support.

He was preceded in death by a first baby daughter in 1960; son, Jeffrey, 8 years of age in 1970; elder sister, Norma Geesling and husband, Don; and  elder brother, Edward and wife, Maxine.

Jim is survived by his wife Geri, of 64 years; son, Jon, of 59 years, of Bella Vista, AR; grandson, Nicholas, of 27 years, of Lake St. Louis, Missouri; as well as several nieces and nephews. 

A conservative gravesite service will be held on Saturday, October 14, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. at Hoosier Cemetery, Kingman, Kansas 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Jim’s name may be sent to St. Jude Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or the Nomad Shrine Club Transportation Fund, P.O. Box 5522, Bella Vista, Arkansas 72714.

Arrangements are under the direction of Bella Vista Funeral Home & Crematory. On-line condolences may be made at www.funeralmation.com. 

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