James Richard Wolf (Jim to family and friends, JR to co-workers) passed away at his home on Friday, January 14, 2022 at the age of 94. He was born on March 24,1927 to Jacob George and Elizabeth Cecelia (Otto) Wolf in Electra, Texas, the youngest of four children.
Known for his big voice, big laugh, and big heart for service to others, Jim was always easy to find - and hear - in any crowd. After graduating from Electra High School, Jim joined the Navy, lying about his age to get enlisted, even though his dairy job was considered necessary and would have prevented him from being drafted. A Yeoman First Class, he served aboard several ships during World War II, including the USS Maury and the USS Bowditch, taking part in Operation Crossroads which conducted nuclear bomb tests at the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands in the mid to late 1940s.
After his honorable Navy discharge he moved to Borger, Texas in 1947 to work at the Phillips 66 refinery. He held several jobs there, including maintenance gang worker, gauger, instrument man, area maintenance foreman, working his way up to be the Maintenance Superintendent at the Phillips refinery. He retired in 1985 after 38 years. Soon after moving to Borger, Jim met his future wife, Patricia Ayling. They married in 1950 and Jim started building their home, which he added onto four times, the third being a basement that he dug under the house, and the last an addition to that basement. Jim and Pat were blessed with 5 daughters: Theresa Riggs (Doug) of Arlington, Texas, Christy Bush (Bruce) of The Woodlands, Texas, Dr. Patti White (Jay) of Lubbock, Mary Tyler (Brad) and Laura Stark (Johnnie) both of Borger. He was very proud of his wife and girls and also very protective of them, especially when his daughters started dating – that is where his booming voice really came in handy.
Jim was very active in St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, working at the annual spaghetti dinner almost every year for 64 years and being the chairman or co-chair for several years. He was a founding member of Council #3558 Knights of Columbus, a Fourth Degree Knight, a member of St. John’s Mens’ Club, and he volunteered countless hours helping at the church, roofing elderly peoples’ homes, and doing anything that needed to be done on the church grounds. He repaired and rebuilt bicycles donated to the children’s home in Panhandle, Texas, and despite having no sons, Jim was a Boy Scout Troop leader, which gave him a chance to get out of a house filled with females. He built houses with Habitat for Humanity, volunteered at the literacy program at the Hutchinson County Library, was a member of the American Legion and the VFW and was an associate member of the local Vietnam Veterans group. For all his volunteer work, Jim was named Borger Citizen of the Year in 1998. When he actually had extra time, Jim enjoyed hunting, woodworking, golfing, teaching his girls how to maintain their own cars, and he was the maintenance man for Borger’s Pleasure Island keeping the train, carousel, paddle boats and the hammer rides working properly.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Antoinetta McKenna & her husband John McKenna, his brother William E. Wolf, his brother J.O. Wolf & his wife Vivian, his mother-in-law and father-in-law Alma and Chet Ayling, his sister-in-law Bette Joy Ayling Roby & her husband Jimmy Roby, and numerous aunts and uncles. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Pat Wolf, his five daughters and their husbands, thirteen grandchildren: Krista Villarreal Moore (Fred), Marcus Villarreal (Faith), Christopher Grant (Grace), Shannon Steinmann (Mark), Melanie Lindahl (Kris), Zak White (Amber), Tyler White (Katy), Samantha Wilson (Jerrett), Holly Tyler, Chelsea Tyler (Skyler Lanham), Alyssa Contreras (Chris), Stephanie Mayers (Jared), Jessica Stark (Matt Rocco); eighteen great-grandchildren: Abby, Maloreigh and Will Moore, Sailor Villarreal, Nick and Anna Steinmann, Ellie, Liv and Quinn Lindahl, Couper and Annabelle White, Madison, Barrett and Elizabeth White, Marley, Gracyn and Reid Contreras, Jameson Mayers; sister-in-law Ardith Wolf, sister-in-law Donna Murrow and her husband Gary, and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life visitation will be held in the Franciscan Room at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 201 St. John’s Rd. Borger, Texas, 79007 on Wednesday, January 19. 2022 at 6:00 PM, followed by the Rosary at 7:00 PM in the church. The Funeral Mass will be held in the main sanctuary at St. John’s officiated by Fr. Shane Wieck on Thursday, January 20 at 11:00 AM with a Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus Honor Guard. Pallbearers will be Bruce Abbe, Ralph Batenhorst, Alan Bonner, Tim Cooper, Johnny Rodriguez, Mike Savage and Mike Wiseman. Honorary pallbearers are Jim’s sons-in-law, grandsons, grandsons-in-law, and Matt Rocco and Skyler Lanham. Interment with military honors will follow at Westlawn Cemetery under the direction of Minton-Chatwell Funeral Directors
The family respectfully requests that masks be worn on all occasions.
Donations may be made to:
St. John’s Catholic Church, 201 St. John’s Rd., Borger, TX 79007
St. John’s Knights of Columbus #3558, PO Box 841, Borger, TX 79008
Food For the Poor, 6401 Lyons Rd., Coconut Creek, FL 33073