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James Godfrey Woolery

James Godfrey Woolery, 77, passed away on December 18, 2014, in Raleigh, NC. Born in Raleigh on May 7, 1937, he was the son of James Myron and Grace Godfrey Woolery. “Jim” was a resident of both Blowing Rock, NC and Raleigh, spending the warmer months in the mountains.

Jim attended school in Raleigh, but received his last three years of secondary education at Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg, VA, graduating in 1955. He made many life-long friends at VES, and the relationships lasted until he passed away. After receiving a degree in Mathematics from Duke University in 1959, Jim joined the Army and became an MP. Jim received a Masters of Actuarial Science degree at University of Michigan. Jim was a retired actuary, having spent the majority of his career working for the NC Department of Insurance.

In retirement, Jim loved Duke sports, gardening on his wonderful Blowing Rock property, attending Rotary, and especially lately, talking with old friends on the phone.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents. He is survived by his sister, Martha Woolery Sneed, of Pensacola, FL; niece Anne Kelson, and husband Russell, of Walnut Hill, FL; step-grandniece Jeanette Kelson, of Tampa, FL and step-grandnephew Charlie Kelson and wife Jamie, of Pensacola, FL; nephew Michael Sneed and wife Marizol, of Raleigh; grandniece Annabelle and grandnephew Adrian, both of Raleigh.

Jim would have certainly liked to thank all the medical staff who cared for him, including those of Rex Hospital. Also, his caregiver for the past several months, Solomon Burnette, who made sure Jim was cared for, and transported him to his beloved Blowing Rock. Jim attended St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Parish in Blowing Rock, and The Church of the Good Shepherd in Raleigh, and had many friends at the churches.

A graveside service will be held Monday December 22 at Oakwood Cemetery, 701 Oakwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27601, at noon. A memorial service is planned for Friday January 23, 2015 at The Church of the Good Shepherd in Raleigh, time to be announced.

Condolences may be made at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home at 300 Saint Mary’s Street in Raleigh, online at In lieu of flowers, contributions should be made to VES, The Church of the Good Shepherd, or St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Parish.