Obituary — Douglas R. Woolley


Douglas R. Woolley, a former University of Michigan associate registrar and retired registrar, died April 3 at age 94 in Ann Arbor.

Douglas was born Nov. 3, 1929, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. To help support his family after his father died, he went to work full time at the age of 15. He moved with his mother and brothers to Detroit, continuing to work full time until he enlisted in the Air Force during the Korean War.

A photo of Douglas Woolley
Douglas R. Woolley

He was stationed at Keesler Air Force base in Biloxi, Mississippi, where he met his wife, Jeri. They were married Feb. 7, 1953, at the Fort Myers, Virginia, Army base after Doug was transferred to the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

After he was discharged with honors, he and Jeri moved to Lansing, where he attended Michigan State University. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree while working full time and starting his family.

After graduating from MSU, he began work in the Registrar’s Office at Central Michigan University. He left CMU to work in the Registrar’s Office at U-M. He was hired by Washtenaw Community College as the first registrar until 1968, when he was recruited back to U-M, where he served as associate registrar for many years until his retirement as registrar in 1992.

He was president of the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers from 1973-74. In 1975, he was instrumental in creating CRISP, one of the first computerized registration systems in the country.

He was proud of what he accomplished during his time at U-M and the students he helped. Many students were able to complete their degrees because he helped them resolve hold credits or whatever was needed to keep them in school.

He received his master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University.

Woolley was elected to the Pittsfield Township Board in 1972 and served as trustee for more than 20 years. During that time, he helped create the township’s master plan, and many of the amenities residents enjoy today.

In 1995, after he retired from U-M, he became supervisor of Pittsfield Township where he continued to improve services to residents while keeping taxes low. He was active in Pittsfield Township’s Historical Society. As supervisor, he obtained the donation of the historical Sutherland-Wilson Farm.

He was active in many organizations and elected to serve in various capacities, including as president of the U-M Retirees Association from 2003-10, on the executive committee of American Legion Post 46, and as chair of the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments, where he was recognized for developing the Governmental Seminar Series.

Woolley received many awards for his contributions, including a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for Outstanding and Invaluable Service to the Community, Regional Ambassador Award for Outstanding Service to Southeast Michigan Council of Government, and the award for Outstanding Community Administrator from the Michigan Society of Planning Officials.

He was a huge U-M football fan, attending several Rose Bowls, and held season tickets and attended games long after he retired. He loved animals, especially his Great Dane, Simon, his dog, Buffy, and many other rescue pets.

Doug is survived by his children Debra Woolley, Patricia Woolley (Bob Sawyer) and Douglas Edward Woolley (Colleen). He was preceded in death by his wife, Jeri, in 2016.

He was truly inspirational in the man that he was and all that he accomplished in his life, and he is missed.

Per his wishes, he has been cremated. A memorial service will take place later this summer at Pittsfield Township’s Woolley Park, named in recognition of his work for the township and Jeri’s work on the Pittsfield Township Parks Commission.

Submitted by Patricia Woolley


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