Gordie Woollard’s wife Margaret died in August 2020, just eight days before their 70th wedding anniversary. A golden ring still sits on his left hand.
The Times asked what he misses most about her.
“Her undying love and affection,” said Woollard, voice quivering. “She never wavered through all the nonsense I put her through.”
Woollard said he still dreams of her.
“Just like magic, she appears,” he said. “And it’s as if she’s always been there.”
Woollard said he dreamed of the two of them driving on water, and they reach the end, and can’t go any further.
“Isn’t that something?” he said. “But I always wake up happy. She always appears in a friendly way.”
The couple never had any children, but Woollard said that might have been for the best.
“That was of course a blessing in a way,” he said. “Being posted from place to place — I feel so sorry for some of the military families.”
Woollard — who is set to turn 99 in August — served as a sergeant in England and Holland during the Second World War. He entered the army at 17 by claiming he was an adult. By the time they checked his birth certificate, he had turned 18.
“I must’ve used most of my nine lives by now,” he said. “My life has been a complete adventure right from start to finish.”
Woollard was born in Dominion City in 1923 where he was raised by a single mother. He started working at an early age. He made five dollars a month herding sheep, and 25 cents an hour as a tugboat’s deckhand. He eventually joined the army after the navy rejected him.
“Everything’s an adventure,” he said through giggles. “That’s what keeps you young I guess.”
Woollard retired 44 years ago. He and Marg moved to the Golden Age Manor in Emo 28 years ago where he still resides.
The Times asked what advice he’d like to pass on.
“Follow whenever your nose leads,” said Woollard. “If you see a hole, cover it up, walk over it, and carry on because it usually turns out for the best.”