Dr. Lewis B. Woolner
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Dr. Lewis Benjamin Woolner died on June 13, 2016, in his Rochester home. He was 102 years old. He went peacefully, surrounded by the love and care of his family. Dr. Woolner was an extraordinary man who touched many lives.

He grew up in North Rustico, Prince Edward Island, Canada, acquainted with the hard work of a farming life, plowing the fields of his father's farm with a team of draft horses in the days before the arrival of the tractor. He attended Prince of Wales College in Prince Edward Island, Canada, and then went on to earn a degree from Dalhousie Medical School Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he met his future wife, Laura Stanley.

Dr. Woolner came to Mayo Clinic in 1945, joining the staff in 1948, where he worked as a surgical pathologist for 33 years until his retirement in 1981. Over the years, he made significant contributions to the field of pathology, and was recognized worldwide by specialists for advances in his field.

Endowed with an exceptional memory, he was able to recognize hundreds of species of cancer cells and identify new ones. This outstanding memory also enabled him to recite long passages of Shakespeare, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Milne, etc. Dr. Woolner had an infectious charm that touched countless people whom he would regale for hours with anecdotes, jokes, memories, poetry and advice. He loved to travel the world and made many enduring international friendships.

Although Rochester was his second home, Dr. Woolner never broke ties with his boyhood home of Prince Edward Island, and he spent most of his summers there during retirement. In addition to his medical gifts, he was a proud and meticulous gardener and entertained many visitors over the years with healthy meals he cooked himself from his own organic produce and fresh-caught Prince Edward Island fish.

Dr. Lewis B Woolner was preceded in death by his wife, Laura Stanley Woolner, and grand-daughter, Katherine, and is survived by his five children and their spouses:  Elizabeth Anne, Nancy, Lewis Allan (Krisanne), David (Meliza), and Stanley (Sophea). He has six living grandchildren:  Maia, Leah, Clara, Ted, Nadia and Abraham.

We are so thankful for the years he shared with us, and we will never forget his warm humor, his wit and his generous, kind spirit. Dad, you were one in a trillion!

The Woolner family would like to thank the staffs of Home Instead and Mayo Clinic Hospice for their tender devotion and exceptional care they gave to comfort us all at this difficult time.

There will be a memorial service at 2 p.m. Monday at the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Rochester, followed by a reception at the same location.



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Published in The Post-Bulletin on Jun. 15, 2016.
Memories & Condolences
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12 entries
June 20, 2016
Our family extends deepest condolences for the loss of your father, a truly great man, both gentleman and scholar.
Cindy Wright-Dellanave and Bill Wright
Rochester, Minnesota
Cindy Wright-Dellanave
June 19, 2016
How well I remember his dinner parties. He was a great host and so was Laura. She and I would always talk about our cats as she was as big a fan as I was. Sorry to see him go. My husband Robert and I are sorry for your loss.
Nancie & Robert Stevenson
June 18, 2016
My most sincere sympathies to Dr. Woolner's family and friends. I had only met him a few times during his visits to North Rustico. I so enjoyed his visit when I had the one room North Rustico school as a museum.
Megan Skinner
June 18, 2016
Great friends--Woolners, Beahrs, McConaheys, and Hayles
To Anne, Nancy, Lewis, David and Stanley,

Please accept my condolences at the loss of your father. He and Helen Beahrs, who died in February, were the last of a dear group of friends who enjoyed so many great times together over the years.
I know how much my parents admired your father's intelligence and wit. No doubt they would be amazed to learn that he lived 102 years! What a remarkable, full life, rich with memories of Prince Edward Island, Rochester, family and friends.
My thoughts are with you all,
Marsha Hayles
Marsha Hayles Schieber
June 18, 2016
Woolner family: Although I had never met Dr. Lewis personally, we had corresponded and I felt I knew him well. I'm saddened that he has passed away, but what an extraordinary man. Rest in peace, Sir.

Paul Woolner, Ottawa
Paul and Margaret Woolner
June 18, 2016
My most sincere sympathies to David and family. I only met your father once but was as intrigue with him as I was with his Cirtoen.
Jim Fisher
June 17, 2016
He was an extraordinary man and will long be remembered.
Elsa Stanley
June 16, 2016
My sincere condolences to the family. He had a long and exceptional life and I'm glad Aunt Lolly had such a wonderful husband.
Sue Stanley
June 16, 2016
My sincere condolences to all the family. He lived a long and exceptional life and I'm glad Aunt Lolly was blessed with such a good husband.
Sue Stanley
June 16, 2016
Our hearts are with you Anne, Nancy, Lew, David, Stanley, and families, wishing you many happy memories. Robin Stanley
Robin Stanley
June 16, 2016
What an extraordinary man Uncle Lewis was! I have such wonderful memories of him.....like the summer of 1951. He picked up 7 yr. old Doug and me, 8 yrs. old, in Chicago and drove us to Rochester. Anne was quite young at the time and she sang "Old Soldiers Never Die" for most of the trip. She had a wonderful voice even then! Uncle Lewis was, indeed, an old soldier and we shall not soon forget him. Rest in Peace and may his spirit float to Prince Edward Island.
Sheila Stanley Moore
June 15, 2016
I worked with Dr. Woolner in my first employment at Mayo in 1967 and so cherished his wisdom, wit, and kindness. I just remember him fondly and with we could keep men like him around longer.
Ellie Gray
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