Rolf Teal Westly

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Rolf Teal Westly Rolf Teal Westly of Visalia passed away Friday, March 29, 2013. He was 87 years old. Rolf was born to Rolf Johan Westly and Ella Adeline Teal Westly on August 28, 1925 in Hilo, Hawaii. When he was five, his family moved to Honolulu, Oahu. Rolf spent his childhood in Honolulu until shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor when he moved to Redwood City, California to finish high school. In 1943, Rolf attended Stanford University. His education was interrupted in 1945 when he was drafted into the Army. Rolf was honorably discharged in 1946 and returned to Stanford to earn a BA in Economics in 1947 and an MBA in 1949. In March of 1953, Rolf came to Visalia as a pharmaceutical sales representative for Parke-Davis. He enjoyed and was successful in his work at Parke-Davis, receiving numerous sales awards and promotion offers. He remained with the company, which was purchased by Warner Lambert in 1970, until his retirement in 1989. In August of 1954, Rolf married Joan Agnes Crocket of Fresno. They had four children: Rolf, Wayne and twins Rollan and Lila. Rolf was a very proud and involved father who showed his children's pictures and talked about them at every opportunity, and was always in the stands cheering them on in their various athletic pursuits. Rolf took every August off from work and the family would travel and camp throughout the Western United States, touring every college campus they encountered. During these years, Rolf was active in Rotary and worked extensively with the Visalia YMCA and was a Charter Director of the COS Foundation. Rolf and Joan later divorced. In 1959, Rolf purchased 40 acres of bare ground outside Terra Bella. He transformed the property into an orange grove. Rolf was a persistent rancher and worked his piece of hardscrabble into a productive orange business. Rolf truly enjoyed "life on the ranch," and had his children share in the work; they have many memories of those days. In 2005, Rolf sold the grove but maintained an active life, serving in his church and in several local charitable organizations. Rolf continued his participation in the Visalia Rotary Club, was a Charter Director of the Tulare County Library Foundation, a Board Member of the Pregnancy Care Center and regularly donated his time and funds to various other charities throughout Visalia. Rolf spearheaded the effort to install book boxes in low-income schools so children who could not travel to Visalia's beautiful library could check out and return books. He also delivered dictionaries donated by the Rotary Club to local grade schools and sometimes stayed to tell children about the importance of education. Above all, over the last many years, Rolf valued his Christian faith, to which he devoted much of his time and energy. He was a quiet believer who sought to live his life as testimony to his faith and in service of others. Rolf is survived by his four children, his only sibling, Marian Moynihan, and his four grand-children: Brianna, Taylor, Hannah and Henry. Rolf could frequently be seen on the sidelines, in the stands or audience, watching his grandkids competing in their sport of choice or musical performance, as he did with his children. He was a supportive father and grandfather who extended himself to be present with his family, and we will all miss him dearly. In lieu of flowers, the Westly family requests donations be made to Rolf's favorite charities in his memory. (1) Tulare County Library Foundation, 200 W. Oak Avenue, Visalia, CA 93291 (559) 713-2709 www.tularecountylibraryfoundation.org. (2) Pregnancy Care Center, 169 N. Clark Street, Fresno, CA 93701 (559) 237-0683 www.care4pcc.com. A memorial service for Rolf will be held on Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 10:00 at First Christian Church, 1023 N. Chinowth Avenue, Visalia 93291 (559) 732-6623. Condolences can be sent to the church. Please join us in celebrating the life of a beloved family man, Christ follower, philanthropist and true Visalian!

Published in Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Adv-Register on May 22, 2013
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