Oscar Herman Woolfolk
Surrounded by his family, our father Oscar Herman Woolfolk passed away at home on Feb.7 2022 at 102 years of age. Pop as we called him was born on Jan 6, 1920, in Bisbee Arizona to his parents Jose Angel & Josephina Woolfolk. The family lived in Bisbee for many years due to the Mexican Revolution and worked in the Copper Queen Mine. At the end of the war the family returned to Hermosillo Sonora, when our father was 9 months of age, as the family continued to grow with 4 brothers and 5 sisters.
Our father who went by Herman had many memories and adventures growing up in Hermosillo and we grew up listening to all his adventures and tales of growing up there, with all the enthusiasm of his life. So many memories working as a shoeshine boy and a boxer and winning numerous dance competitions with his sister Velia and much more.
In 1941 at age 21 our father decided he wanted to visit family in Santa Barbara. So, he traveled by bus to Santa Barbara and stayed with his aunt. Everything was very different to him especially not knowing English. He worked odd jobs but found it hard to find meaningful work. He had heard of the KP, which was a union hall, and they would hold dances, big bands from L.A. Seeing he loved music and dance he decided to go. He said he was immediately attracted to a beautiful girl who was chaperoned with her older sister, and that there was a line young men and soldiers wanting to dance with her. Her name was Julia Solis and they ended up dancing the night away. Our father said he would visit her at the family home on the small porch and talk often.
After many months he became very disillusioned with not being able to find meaningful employment as he had hoped and returned home to Hermosillo. Once back home all though he had several job opportunities he said he kept thinking of that girl Julia he had left behind. The following year he decided he would return to Santa Barbara with hopes of seeing Julia again.
Our father worked many jobs throughout the city that didn’t pay much and began courting our mom, Julia. They married in 1943 and both worked at the El Paseo restaurant. Shortly after with their first child on the way, our father joined the labor union Local 591 because it paid much better and enjoyed the work because he worked with all the tradesmen and found the work challenging, dangerous but rewarding. They had 3 sons Oscar Jr., Joseph, and Eduardo.
For us growing up in Santa Barbara was an adventure, it wasn’t like it is today. We were fortunate that we had 2 parents. Our pop was very strict but caring. And together with our mom they made up a pretty good team. Pop retired at 55 from the union. He was a simple and private person and very proud. He would say “home was for family” friends you see out on the street. Our parents took daily walks in the evenings and made the most of simple things in life. We all enjoyed the family camping trips and road trips especially the trip in 2005 to his birthplace Bisbee and Hermosillo. Our pop would seem standoffish but once you got to know him, he would just open with all the stories of his life. Boxing and playing pool with his friends and having a beer or two. No matter what age he could show us what he could still do physically and say “Man of Mans “as he flexed his muscles. He was very active and always offered to help with building projects. He began a part time job as a crossing guard for 16 years at Cliff Dr and Shoreline Dr. He took this position very seriously and never missed a day’s work. Many afternoons he would ride his 3-speed bike with his stops sign, 5 miles to and from. He retired from that position at 85 but kept riding his bike and walking with our mom.
In 2018 our parents celebrated their Diamond Anniversary 75 years of marriage. Our beloved mother passed away the following year. It was very hard for pop to remain home but with the help of caregivers and his sons we managed to keep him where he wanted to be, home. Our Pop celebrated his 100th birthday at Harrys surrounded by family. On his 101 birthday he was so happy to take his picture at the freeway, which said POP 101 on 101. This year he turned 102 but he never stopped being our Pop. But knowing his time was near, his deep-rooted faith in God, only empowered that we would all be together again and with our mom Julia.
As we look back at our Pop’s life or legacy, it’s not what he acquired in life, but rather what he accomplished in life. His legacy should be that he married his first love, for over 75 years through the good and bad, and that together they raised three great sons, Oscar, Joe & Eddie, that’s family. Gracias’ Por Todo Pop AMEN
He is survived by his 3 sons Oscar Jr. (Marcie) Joe (Linda) & Eddie (Enedelia) 4 grandchildren 7 great grandchildren and numerous others that considered him grandpa.
We wish to thank all the caregivers and Visiting Nurses Ass. Services by McDermott Crockett Rosary 2/17/22 at 2020 Chapala St 7:00pm Mass 2/18/22 Our Lady of Guadalupe Church 10:00 am.