Sarah Louise Woolrich
Sarah Louise Woolrich
  • June 6, 1919 - September 2, 2016
  • Houston, Texas

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Sarah Louise Weaver Woolrich (Sally) passed away in Houston, Texas on Friday, September 2, 2016 at the age of 97. She was born in Donna, Texas on Friday, June 6, 1919, the second of six children to Walter Gerald Weaver and Sarah Minier Sanborne Weaver. Sally graduated Cum Laude from the University of Texas Austin in 1939 with a degree in History & Education and as a member of Pi Lambda Theta. She did graduate work at University of Texas, University of Houston, and then Early Childhood training at Texas A&M University. Upon graduating from college, Sally taught in Donna Public schools before marrying Willis Raymond Woolrich Jr. on July 4, 1942 while he was on transfer leave from Jacksonville Naval Air Force base to Dallas, Texas.

During World War II, Sally followed her naval aviator around the country from Kansas to Michigan to California until he went to serve in the Pacific arena. While in Carmel, California, their son Ray was born. Following the war, they returned to Texas and lived in Corpus Christi where daughter Sarah was born, then to Harlingen, Austin, and finally settling in Houston in 1952.

Although while in college, Sally considered journalism and law school, education has been her life. She helped to begin several Episcopal church pre-schools in Austin, Corpus Christi and Harlingen where she was the founding head and teacher. She also taught at Zilker Elementary in the Austin public schools, the Houston Independent School District, as well as Ridgecrest and Memorial Drive Elementary schools in the Spring Branch Independent School District. After one year of absence from the classroom in 1959, she became the first grade teacher and principal of St. Francis Episcopal Day School. She remained headmistress of that school until retiring in 1986. Under her leadership and nurturing, the school grew to include preschool through eighth grade.

Sally was involved with the formation of the Houston Association of Independent Schools Headmasters, the Texas Association of Non-public Schools, was on governing boards of the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES), Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools and the first woman president of Texas Episcopal School Association. She was a charter member of Houston's Orton Dyslexia Society and traveled throughout the south and the state speaking, evaluating, and consulting for private schools. Sally was a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma, Eta Chi Chapter, and was its first recipient of the chapter award for achievement. She has been included in Who's Who for school district officials, elementary principals and the Who's Who in the Southwest.

Throughout her life Sally belonged to many organizations and boards including: Eastern Star, American Association of University Women (AAUW), the Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts of America as a leader, PTAs, the Markette Booster club at Memorial High School, Parents League, YWCA, the Institute of International Education (IIE), Auxiliary for ASPE, Church Guilds, and Houston Metropolitan Ministry. As an educator in public schools and St. Francis, she believed in field trips to teach students history. She was a member and held offices in Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) - San Jacinto Chapter; National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) - Alexander Love chapter; National Society of Women Descendants of Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company; National Society of New England Women; and the P.E.O. Sisterhood, Chapter BA.

Traveling and genealogy were passions of Sally's. She and Ray would travel whenever possible. With his job at GE, they traveled to pre-Castro Cuba, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Bermuda and Nassau. Through both the Flying Longhorns and on their own they went to Norway, England, Russia, Australia, and Turkey. Mexico was a love of theirs and family trips to that country even ended with meeting long distant relations. In their retirement they spent winters on the Alabama Coast with family and friends. It was often said that Sally found kin all around the world.

Sally is preceded in death by her parents; her husband Ray; three brothers: Walter Gerald Weaver Jr., Bruce Sanborne Weaver, and Clyde Gates Weaver; and sisters Imogene Minier Weaver and Jane Redfield Harmon. She is survived by her son Willis Raymond Woolrich III and wife Marinel of Bartlesville, Oklahoma; daughter Sarah Woolrich Dikeman and husband Dr. Matt Dikeman of Houston, Texas; grandchildren Ranelle Woolrich of Houston, Texas, Jennifer Woolrich of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Neal Dikeman and wife Karen of Houston, Texas, Dr. Rebecca Turney and husband Dr. Mark Turney of Tennessee Ridge, Tennessee; great-granddaughters Kaitlynn and Madelynn Turney and Gwendolyn and Clara Dikeman; sister-in-law Fay Woolrich and numerous nieces and nephews.

We would like to extend very special thanks for the care given to Sally by her companion and sitter of the last 10 years, Alpearl Okopie, the staff of The Abbey at Westminster Plaza, and LifePointe Hospice.

Family and friends gathered to honor and celebrate this wonderful woman's life during a memorial service at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 17th in the sanctuary of St. Francis Episcopal Church, 345 Piney Point Road in Houston, Texas 77024.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution would be appreciated to any of the following that were special to Sally's heart:

The "Sarah Woolrich Faculty Fund" at St. Francis Episcopal Day School, 335 Piney Point Rd, Houston, TX 77024

The "Sarah W. Woolrich Fund" at The University of Texas at Austin College of Education, 1 University Station D5000, Austin, TX 78712, or online at

P.E.O. Cottey College in Nevada, MO

NSDAR DAR SCHOOLS (checks made out to the Treasurer General NSDAR, 1776 D Street NW, Washington D.C. 20006-1776).