Date of Birth
Friday, March 5th, 1920
Date of Death
Wednesday, September 15th, 2010
Ralph W. ?Jack? Woolner
Shrewsbury ? Ralph W. Woolner, 90, of Shrewsbury, MA died at home on Wednesday, September 15, 2010. He leaves his wife of 61 years, Ivon M. (Keller) Woolner; a son, Bruce W. Woolner of Shrewsbury; a daughter, Caroline E. and her husband John F. Williams of Phillipston, MA; two grandchildren, Nathan R. and Rebecca M. Williams both of Phillipston; and nieces and nephews. Three brothers predeceased him, Frederick ?Ted?, Frank, and Richard Woolner.
He was born in Worcester to the late Frederick L. Woolner and Martha M. (Matthews) Woolner and lived in Shrewsbury most of his life. Jack graduated from Major Beal High School, Shrewsbury. In his youth, he was a competitive bicyclist winning many track and road races.
Mr. Woolner was a WWII veteran serving with the 9th Air Force, 10th Photo Reconnaissance Group in England, France and Germany. He retired as Public Information Officer with the Law Enforcement division of the Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Mgt. in 1982. Jack worked for many years with the Mass. Division of Fisheries and Game, and developed the state Sportfishing Awards Program.
Jack initiated and publicized research identifying the safety value of the florescent color, Hunter Orange, carried out at Fort Devens, MA in 1959. This color is now used internationally to prevent hunting accidents and for other safety purposes.
Mr. Woolner produced and appeared on several TV programs covering the New England environment and outdoor activities, broadcast on Boston stations and elsewhere in the state from the 1950?s through the 1970?s. He was a frequent guest on the children?s TV show, Boomtown. Jack created a weekly telecast for 13 years on the WHDH-TV Dateline Boston series, receiving awards for the best conservation program in the U.S. and Canada for three consecutive years. The author Rachel Carson requested his film footage for use in the 1963 TV special "The Silent Spring of Rachel Carson".
For many years, he participated in activities with sportsmen?s groups throughout the northeast U.S. Mr. Woolner was a life member of the Massachusetts Beach Buggy Association and the New England Outdoor Writers Association.
Jack enjoyed traveling, fishing, and hunting with his wife and family throughout New England and Maritime Canada as well as gardening. He shared his love of nature, while promoting nature conservation through speaking engagements, television, writing, photography and as a professional film maker.
Burial will be in Mountain View Cemetery, Shrewsbury. A private memorial service will be held at a later date. The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations in Jack?s memory may be made to the Congregational Church of Phillipston - Renovation Fund, 60 The Common, Phillipston, MA 01331. For directions and Mr. Woolner?s memorial guestbook, please visit, www.brittonfuneralhomes.com
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