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Dr. Richard Patrick Wool  

Dr. Richard Patrick Wool

May 26, 1947 – March 24, 2015

Prof. Wool, age 67, of Newark, DE, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, March 24, 2015.

Born in Cork, Ireland, to Patrick and Nora Wool, he met his wife Deborah Fitzgerald Wool at University College Cork Ireland in 1969 and moved to the United States to marry the love of his life and start a family. During this time he also completed his B.Sc. in Chemistry (Honors Degree), Univ. College Cork Ireland (1970), plus his M.S. (1972) and Ph.D. in Materials Science & Eng. from the University of Utah (1974). After teaching at the University of New York and the University of Colorado, Richard and Deborah moved to the University of Illinois, where they lived for 18 years and started a family with their three daughters Sorcha, Meghan and Breeda. In 1995, the family moved to Delaware and Richard taught as a Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware until his passing.

Richard had many accomplishments throughout his personal and professional life. He brought great joy to everyone with his generosity, kindness, humor, music, wisdom, and love of life. A life-long sailor he treasured the times he could bring others with him to enjoy his favorite pastime. His guitar music sessions were special gifts enjoyed by many throughout the years. His daughters feel extremely grateful for such an incredible father, who always took care and time for them regardless of how busy he was with work.

Some of his professional accomplishments include; winning the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award plus being elected Fellow of both the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Physical Society, Division of High Polymer Physics. He has published over 150 papers, written 2 books, and holds 4 patents. He was a guest Professor in the Physics Department, Trinity College Dublin, 2002, the Ecole Polytechnique, Condensed Matter Physics, Paris, France, 1991and the Politecnico DiMilano, Natta Laboratory, Milan, Italy, 1984.

Richard is deeply loved by his wife, Deborah Fitzgerald Wool; daughters, Sorcha Wool Rocklein and husband Steve Rocklein of Miami, FL, Meghan Wool of Arlington, VA and Breeda Wool and partner Matt Friedman of Los Angeles, CA; sisters, Margaret Spencer and husband Richard Spencer of England and Chris Soltis and husband John of Salt Lake City, UT; and nieces and nephews, Dominic, Ciaran, Ian and Anna Spencer, Adrian Pattinson and Jacqui McLelland and John and Elizabeth Soltis.

Services and interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Dr. Richard Wool Award for Women in Green Chemistry, c/o the University of Delaware Development Office, Development and Alumni Relations Gifts Receiving and Processing Office, 83 East Main Street, 3rd Floor, Newark, DE 19716.

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Guestbook

  1. Sue Gardiner, March 28, 2015

    Deepest sympathies from the entire staff at Elkton Indoor Tennis. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during these difficult times.

    Reply
  2. Grace Pfeifer, March 29, 2015

    Dear Sorcha,I am so sorry that your father died, I pray that you and your family can find comfort with each other. I was so praying it would have been a better out come. What a wonderful life he led. Grace

    Reply
  3. John Abelson, March 29, 2015

    I very fondly remember Richard from his days as a colleague in the Department of Materials Science here at U. Illinois. His loss comes as a shock. My deepest sympathies to his family in this time of profound loss. – John Abelson

    Reply
  4. Lin Zhu, March 30, 2015

    I am still shocked by this sad news and want to give my deepest sympathy to my first American Family- the Wool Family-the family who is so generous to share their home with all Wool’s students, especially for the international students. There are so many good memories we had in that sweet home during thanksgiving, Christmas, and even Chinese New Year.
    To me, Dr. Wool is not just my advisor but also a friend and a mentor. Though he is not with us anymore, but I know his enthusiasm on research, his free mind and his love for life which have influenced me so much will continue to lead me through my life. I know the sailing trips, the “two-dynamic” weekends, and the Wool “Slangs” which have made me laugh in the past will still make me laugh when I think about it occasionally in my life. I also know my five years old still remembers his chopstick puzzle. The only thing different is that he can not give her free admission to UD now as he has promised though she can solve the puzzle independently someday.
    He told me I can go to any bar in Cork and get a free drink if I mention his name. I will definitely try it on my next trip and I know I will enjoy the drink with him.
    Salute, Dr. Wool!

    Reply
  5. Tom Runnels, March 31, 2015

    I have lost a dear friend and kindred spirit. Richard will no longer beat me at tennis. We will no longer share good libations. He will be sorely missed. May his family find comfort in the wonderful memories he created. Richard, rest in peace.

    Reply
  6. Rich Engler, March 31, 2015

    My deepest sympathy goes to his family, friends, and the University community. He was a leader in green chemistry for so many years and we will dearly miss his enthusiasm and energy.

    Reply
  7. J. Ray Sparks, March 31, 2015

    For a time in New York, I got to be buddies with Breeda Wool, Richard’s youngest, and through her got to hang out on many occasions with the whole family. I loved all of them. They had such an amazing, radiant bond of love between them. It was infectious and I felt honored by every minute of it they shared with me.

    I love my own father dearly of course. But Richard was like the dad I’d wanted but never had. He played guitar, told stories and smiled a lot. He could talk about a million subjects and always be present and engaging.

    I will always feel blessed for having known Richard Wool, and his beautiful family. Let them be blessed with grace and light and carry his spirit forward with them through all the rest of their days.

    Reply
  8. Dr. David Goldwasser, March 31, 2015

    I wish to express my condolences to Dr. Wool’s family. Richard will be missed by those who had the pleasure of working with him.

    David Goldwasser

    Reply
  9. Amanda Broun, March 31, 2015

    Deepest sympathies to Deb and the girls. Richard was a wonderful man and will be sorely missed.

    Reply
  10. Anne bergman, April 1, 2015

    richard was a true Bon vivant, who shared his love of life with everyone around him. He will be greatly missed.

    Reply
  11. Mahmoud Dweib, April 2, 2015

    Passing of Dr. Richard Wool is a great personal loss. He was loved by everybody; I worked with him for about 4 years in Delaware and moved away more than 10 years ago and still communicated with him frequently and sought his advice on personal and professional matters. My deepest sympathy and condolences to his immediate family; his wife Debbie and their three daughters. Richard will be greatly missed as a good sincere friend and as a professional mentor. I enjoyed working with him at CCM, University of Delaware and enjoyed the personal time at his home and sailing with him in the Chesapeake Bay. He will be greatly missed. Visiting Delaware without Richard Wool is not fun anymore. Dr. Wool, rest in peace

    Reply
  12. Antony & Gisela Wool, Milan Italy, April 12, 2015

    Our sincerest condolences to family and friends. Richard will be missed for his great warmth and ready wit. He lives on in our hearts and the inspiration he left behind. We who mourn him are also part of his legacy. May he sail peacefully on for ever, Amen

    Reply
  13. Holly Carhart, April 20, 2015

    All of us here at Captain’s Quarters for Pets send our condolences on your loss. He was definitely a great person and we enjoyed our conversations with him when he stopped by with Poochie. We will all miss him.

    Reply
  14. carmen michaud, June 24, 2015

    My sincerest condolences. I had the good fortune to speak with Dr. Wool regarding his work on a plant based “leather”. A true pioneer and a wonderfully open and cheerful person. I am truly saddened to have learned this news.

    Reply
  15. Daniel Charles Doyle, July 15, 2015

    Richard and I went to the Presentation Brothers, Cobh together, and used to go fishing for mackerel off Roche’s Point with Ian Hamilton and going swimming at White Point beach in my Old man’s really crappy boat.
    We also went to FCA (junior military cadets) camp, together with John Guihan, Tommy Agnew, Mauler, and others from school. In fact, I learned my first few guitar chords from Richard, at the FCA camp on Spike Island, somewhere around 1965! He played “Apache” to my execrable backing. I still play these days, but marginally less badly!
    I met Debbie in her dad’s home in Cork when I used to drop Richard there. Richard and I went our separate ways, me to the army in UK, then to the Middle East in the service of the Sultan of Oman, finally settling in Australia. Contact was truly intermittent, but somehow the friends of your youth remain always with you. I had always intended to drop in on one of my fairly rare transits through the US, but…
    It was quite a shock when John rang me from Ireland to tell me the news – a couple of months after the event.
    Whatever I can say to Debbie, who only ever met me fleetingly (protective Richard to blame there) or the girls, whom I have never seen apart from on his sailing pictures, will change nothing now. However, Richard has not, and will not be forgotten by any of us from his home town and his old school, and we share your loss.
    Perhaps next time I’m in the States I may be permitted to visit him and say a last goodbye.
    Dan Doyle – also known as Charles.
    dcc.doyle@optusnet.com.au

    Reply
  16. John Guihan, July 16, 2015

    My deepest sympathy to Richards family.
    Great memories of our friendship will always remain.
    Please contact me when you are next in Cork.
    Sincerely
    John Guihan
    Belvelly
    Cobh

    Reply

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