Charles L. “Spike” Wooldridge, 94 of Cozad, NE departed this life at 11:48 am, Thursday, February 15th, 2018 at The University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, NE. Spike was born Sept. 28th, 1923 in Winfield KS, to Charles Franklyn and Martha Ivory (Gibson) Wooldridge.
He grew up in Douglass KS (with extended stays in the Mammoth Springs, AR area). He graduated early from Douglass High School in 1942, in order to join the military at the outbreak of World War 2. In high school, Spike was a standout athlete earning letters in 4 sports, and state recognition in football and baseball. Spike served his country honorably from December of 1942 until November of 1945. He was married to Edyth Louise Kyle in October of 1946 at Newton KS. Following their marriage they lived several years in Southeast KS before moving to Cozad NE in 1949. Their marriage was steeped in love, and was truly blessed until, March 19th of 1972, when Edyth left Spike to be with her Lord. After several years as a widower, Spike was again blessed to meet and marry a lovely lady. On August 16th, 1975, He and Lois (Piller) Strohmyer were married in North Platte, NE. Their marriage and their love grew and strengthened for over 42 years, until last Thursday, when Spike changed his address to heaven.
After moving from Kansas to Cozad, Spike worked at W.J. Small Alfalfa mills and Allied Mills and Feed for about 7 years. After that he became a rural mail carrier for nearly 30 years. He retired from the Post office in 1983 and, for the next 7 years worked as an independent paint contractor. After that, Spike and Lois “unofficially” went into the child care business, babysitting several grandkids, and a special child that they considered a grandchild, Austin Brockmeier. Spike loved sports (especially Husker Football, Cubs baseball and anything his grandkids were playing). When he was still able, he enjoyed gardening and caring for his lawn. Even when age and arthritis slowed him he was still able to enjoy his lawn, thanks to a wonderful neighbor, Lemoyne Strasburg who treated Spike like a father. Spike had a passion for fishing and had made an artform out of catching crappie.
Spike was a member of the Cozad Church of Christ and served as an Elder. He was very proud of his Church, and spoke often about her. Spike was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Edyth; 2 brothers, Hubert and Jesse Wooldridge; 1 son, Joe Wooldridge and his wife Kathleen; 1 grandson, Jesse Sheffield. Survivors include his wife, Lois; 3 sons, Fred and his wife Katherine of Oswego, KS, Terry and his wife Teresa of Valley, NE and Tom Strohmyer and his wife Jenny of Savage, MN; 4 daughters, Donna Sheffield and her husband Kenny of Gothenburg, NE, Nikki Kriz and her husband Tony of Kearney, NE, Janna Kuklis and her husband Dan of Grand Island, NE and Kathi Gentzler and her husband Bob of Gretna, NE; 23 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren (with more coming). He is also survived by a Church family that he cared about deeply.
Services were held Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at the Church of Christ on Newell with Pastor James McCrickard officiating. Burial with Military Honors followed at Cozad Cemetery. Visitation was Monday from 1 to 8 with family receiving friends from 6 to 8 at Berryman Funeral Home.