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Dorothy E. Woolley

Dorothy E. Woolley died at her home in Davis on December 29, 2021, at the age of 92. Dorothy was born on the family farm on February 2, 1929, in Wapakoneta, Ohio, and was the oldest of three children born to Urban Schumann and Esther (Starr) Schumann.
Dorothy started first grade in a one room country school which included eight grades and 20 total students in Freyburg, Ohio. In high school, she was active in 4-H, the Girls Athletic Association, the Photography Club, played the violin in the school orchestra and co-edited the school news section of the Wapakoneta Daily News.
After graduating from Blume High School in 1947, she enrolled at Bowling Green State University as a Music Instruction major and played the clarinet in the school band and the violin in the school orchestra. She changed her major and graduated in three years from Bowling Green in 1950 with bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Chemistry. She met her future husband Robert J. Woolley at Bowling Green and they married after graduation in September, 1950.
Dorothy worked as a reporter at the Wapakoneta Daily News from 1951-1953 while Robert served during the Korean War. She received a Master’s Degree in Physiology from the Ohio State University in 1957 and received a PH.D. in Physiology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1961.
Robert and Dorothy had three children, Kenneth, Nikki and Randall. They purchased a home in Davis in 1965 when Dorothy joined the faculty in the Department of Animal Physiology and the Department of Environmental Toxicology at the University of California, Davis. She was a professor of neurobiology and physiology for over 30 years, created several courses, published approximately 100 research papers and was the Chair of the Department of Animal Physiology from 1978 to 1982. Dorothy was a pioneer in the study of environmental toxicants as well as a pioneer for women in science. When she started at U.C. Davis only 3% of the faculty were women. She was a dedicated teacher and retired from teaching at U.C. Davis in 2004.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents Urban and Esther Schumann, brother Orville Schumann, sister-in-law Lois Schumann and brother-in-law Paul Lane. She is survived by her husband Robert Woolley, children Kenneth (Angelena) Woolley, Nikki Efigenio, Randall Woolley, six grand-children (Christopher Efigenio, Ericha Woolley, Michael Woolley, Erich Woolley, Jacob Woolley and George Woolley) and sister Marjorie Lane.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

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A candle was lit in memory of Dorothy Woolley

Iman Y Mahmoud Feb 6 2022 6:47 PM

I was saddened by knowing that Professor Dorothy Woolley passed away on Dec 29, 2021.
I have known Dorothy over so many years. I first time when I started my graduate studies in the year 1978 at UCD. As foreign graduate students, with little experience in research, I was deeply concerned and anxious. During our first meeting, I explained to her the difficult position I was in. She realized my need for help, she was there for help. What a kind scientist she was, she approved my request that I join her lab team to conduct electrophysiology research. What a great choice that I had made. Her overwhelming moral and academic support enabled me to succeed.
Spending around 5 years working under the supervision of Professor Wooley, I got to know her very well Professor Wooley was a great scientist, an outstanding mentor, and a compassionate person. It is not that she spent most of her time in the laboratory helping me conducting research work, but she also had also a great human touch. She always treated me as one of her family members and invited me to have thanksgiving dinner along with her family during my stay at Davis. I was always touched and moved by the kindness, care and love of the Woolley's family. They were really very nice kind people, and I was overwhelmed by their compassion, care, and generosity. This just one of the great memories that I shared with dear Dorothy and her family, but there is much more.
While I'm so sad for the loss of my dear Dorothy, I have to say that I was homered and privileged that I have known and worked with her. I will always remember her kindness, compassion, help, and I greatly admired Dorothy as an amazing, wonderful woman and a great scientist.
Remembering our dear friend Dorothy, Iman and I are wishing all her family member's comfort and please accept our deepest and heartfelt condolences.
You will be missed Dorothy. Rest in
Zuheir Hasan

Zuheir Hasan Feb 6 2022 6:41 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Dorothy Woolley

Zuheir Hasan Feb 6 2022 6:40 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Dorothy Woolley

Zuhier Hasan Feb 5 2022 6:04 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Dorothy Woolley

Latisha 💜 Jan 13 2022 2:24 PM

I'll always remember aunt Dorothy's kindness particularly when I came to visit in 1975 and 1976. Aunt Dorothy and my cousins stopped their daily routines to show me the many wonderful sights of California. It was very special to me, and I'll always remember that.

Eric A. Schumann Jan 11 2022 12:05 AM