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July 12, 2020
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Woolery loves a clean environment

By: Irene Hilsendager
May 17, 2019

Ninety-one-year-old Ken Woolery checks, cleans and putters around the outside of the Rohnert Park Senior Center every day to make sure weeds, cigarette butts and other garbage is picked up as he is a neat and clean environmentalist.

He was born and raised in Colorado with nine other brothers and sisters, Ken being the youngest. He remembers moving four times in six years and later in life he figured out the cause; Mom could never pay the rent so it was off to another area.

At the age of eight he was skinning bricks; breaking and cleaning the mortar off old bricks and was paid ten cents for skinning 100 bricks.

There wasn’t much supervision in the home so Ken did whatever he wanted. he never was in any trouble but school was extra hard flunking out of three different grades in elementary school.

Woolery did a tour in Korea-not a very happy time for him. A jeep ran over his foot and was injured so he was delegated to the motor pool. He even was AWOL for a length of time, but not knowable.

It took him many years to get the paper work fixed properly but he did receive an honorable discharge. He mentioned he even had purple heart paper work but the Army still considered him AWOL.

Thirty years later and with many foot problem, he discovered that he was eligible for disability. With the help of the Veterans Administration and the disabled veteran program, he was able to receive a check for a goodly amount in back pay. 

Ken and his wife have traveled for the last 30 years and says it was a history lesson along the way. 

Ken is a great pool player even though he loves all sports but at the age of 91, you have to slow down a bit in life, but he loves to keep the weeds pulled, cleans out the cracks in the sidewalks and rakes and sweeps up around the building. Thursday morning found him fixing a little tin can with wires attached to it to hang near the senior center so the cigarette butts get put in the can instead of the sidewalk. He loves to putter and keep the pool room clean to fill his days.