Woelk, Randy, 91, retired teacher and Fuller and Harper Brush salesman, passed away on March 4, 2013. He was born August 4, 1921 in Goessel, KS to Henry and Anna Woelk (Schroeder) and was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Violet; daughter, Leeann; sister, Irma Peters; and brother, Ronald. He is survived by three sons, Richard of Seattle, WA, Lewis of Boston, MA and Larry of London, England; sisters, Gladys Esau, Walton, KS and Ruby Baresch and Norma Agatstein of New York City; 6 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandson. Funeral Service is at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 23 at Trinity Presbyterian, 2258 N. Marigold Lane, Wichita, KS. Family, friends and former students are all welcome. Randy was raised on a farm just north of Newton and graduated from Goessel High School in 1939. He ran a 4'29mile which broke the state record set by Glenn Cunningham and was thereafter known as the Goose from Goessel'. He then attended college in Emporia where he was instrumental in establishing Emporia's dominance in distance running prior to the outbreak of World War II. Although a Mennonite, Randy enlisted in the army where he received an officer commission. As a radio operator, he was on the first wave of US advances in New Guinea and Luzon in the Philippines before being decommissioned. After the war, and a brief spell of selling encyclopaedias, where he was the top salesman in the US for Compton, he began his career teaching chemistry at Montezuma High School. Randy moved the family to Wichita where he taught at North for 20 years before finishing his teaching at Beloit High School. In 1963 he was awarded a Fulbright Grant to teach at Kakamega Secondary School in Kenya. He also co-authored a Chemistry Textbook that was widely used throughout US high schools in the 70s and 80s. Randy supplemented his teaching income by selling Fuller Brush where he was often a top 10 salesmen in the United States. When he retired from teaching in 1986, he began selling Harper Brush products throughout Central and Northern Kansas where he again achieved top salesman awards. In addition to teaching and selling, Randy was an avid ham radio operator (W0DSY) where he received 6 County Hunting Awards by transmitting to a ham in all 3077 counties in the United States. He retired a second time, from Harper Brush, in 2006 at the age of 85.
Published in The Wichita Eagle on Mar. 17, 2013