Robert Woolrich

Obituary of Robert Woolrich

Bob Woolrich, 74, passed away unexpectedly on July 4, 2023.  A loving father, brother, cousin, and friend, Bob leaves behind his son, Aaron Woolrich; daughters, Heather Haynes and Cynthia Gibson; brother, Brad Woolrich; sister, Jackie Jones; his life partner, Chris Zipperer; three grandchildren; and many friends and extended family. 


Bob was born and raised in Wyoming by his parents, Jack and Hallie Woolrich.  In high school, Bob was a member of the boys’ basketball team that won the state championship in 1967.  He left Wyoming to attend Colorado State University in Fort Collins, on scholarship as a member of the CSU track team and graduated with a degree in Environmental Health, while also working as a professional carpenter.  After Fort Collins, Bob lived and worked in Durango, Colorado, for San Juan Basin Public Health.  Bob moved to the Olympia area in 1988 and spent the remainder of his career with the Washington State Department of Health, primarily as the Shellfish Growing Areas Section Manager.


Anyone who knew Bob knows he was happiest when outdoors.  He was passionate about fly fishing and could often be found fishing and canoeing the rivers of the Western U.S. and Canada.  He also enjoyed visiting and experiencing other cultures through trips to Ecuador, Mexico, Bhutan, Portugal, and Italy.


Bob found purpose and joy in quietly contributing to his community. Examples include volunteering as a youth sports coach several times, serving on the River Park Community Club board and, during retirement, tutoring for the Reading Buddy Program at Peter G. Schmidt Elementary School.


A Celebration of Life memorial will be held on Sunday September 17, 2023, 2:00 p.m. at Lord Mansion, 211 21st Ave. SW, Olympia, WA 98501.  Directions and parking instructions can be viewed HERE.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Western Rivers Conservancy HERE or the United Way of Thurston County HERE.



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