W. Carl Wooten, Jr., 92, passed away in peace on Nov. 8, 2014 in Raleigh. Carl was born on March 9, 1922 to W. Carl Sr. and Orie Lee Wooten, He grew up in the small South Georgia town of Homerville, the oldest of three brothers. He discovered a life-long passion for chemistry as a child and was fortunate to have built a distinguished and successful career in the field he loved. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a BS degree in Chemistry in 1943. He served his country in WWII in the US Army where he was part of the Mars Task Force, using mules to transport large weapons across Burma and China.
When he returned home, he enrolled in the Chemistry doctoral program at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where he graduated with his PhD to become Dr. Carl Wooten. He met his future wife Nancy Walker in Chapel Hill and they were married in 1949 at the Home Moravian Church in Winston-Salem, NC. Carl was hired by Eastman Kodak and spent a career spanning 42 years, the majority working for Tennessee Eastman in Kingsport, TN. He enjoyed a great respect from his peers and associates in his field of polymer chemistry research, where he managed the research lab. He was involved with many significant innovations and was a prominent figure in his field, including service as the Chairman of the Polymer division of the American Chemical Society and the Gordon Research Conference. Carl held 18 patents and published 14 articles in the field of polymer chemistry.
Carl and Nancy raised three daughters in Kingsport, where Carl was an avid bridge and tennis player. After his retirement, he and Nancy moved back to Chapel Hill as true UNC lovers do. They enjoyed traveling and all aspects of Chapel Hill life, including UNC sports, cultural events and seminars. Carl was honored by the UNC Chemistry department when he was appointed as an adjunct professor, where he enjoyed interacting with students and sharing his experience and knowledge. He was a member of the Methodist Church the majority of his life and most recently a member at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, NC.
Carl was predeceased by his wife Nancy and his parents W. Carl Wooten Sr. and Orie Lee Wooten. He is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law, Jane Wooten and husband Michael Allen, Ellen Vail, husband Robert Vail and their daughters Leigh Vail and Katie Vail Peters, and Martha Adrian, husband Mark Adrian and their sons Stuart and Drew Adrian. One great grandson, Zachary Peters, was born to Katie Peters and her husband Drew on Oct. 22, 2014. Also surviving are two brothers, Fred Wooten of Jackson AL and Perry Wooten of Plant City FL, along with many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Carl's life is planned for a date in the spring (to be determined) at Holden Beach, NC, his most favorite place on earth.
Should friends desire, memorials may be sent to Community Hospice Foundation, 3124 Zebulon Road, Rocky Mount, NC 27804.