Joseph “Joey” Dale Wooldridge, a courageous young man who has been fighting cystic fibrosis for 29 years, went to be with the Lord Monday, Nov. 24, 2008, leaving the love of his life, Christan Dilday; his parents, Leland and Debbie Wooldridge; one sister, Diana Price; two brothers and their wives, Chris and Leslie Blazer and Philip and Julia Blazer; his grandparents, Morris and Udell Wooldridge and Bonnie and Charles Blaikie, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his uncle, Richard Dale Wooldridge in 1971.

Joey was born Nov. 21, 1979, in Joplin, Mo. He lived in Miami, OK, and moved to Tuscaloosa, Ala., in 1986. He graduated from Open Door Baptist School in 1999. He returned to the Miami area in 2000.

He was always smiling and cracking jokes throughout his life. His unique laughter was contagious. It seemed to be his goal in life was to bring laughter and a smile to all he met. Joey enjoyed hunting, hanging with his friends, being with his fiancee and family — determined to live life to the fullest. He remained hopeful that he would eventually receive a lung transplant that would transform his life. He thought about all the wonderful things he would be able to do, focusing on the “will be able” rather than the “might be able.”

He had a special relationship with Dr. Frank Quijano at KU Medical Center — a bond that went beyond patient and doctor. Dr. Quijano fought alongside Joey with the help of the healthcare professionals at KU Medical Center and Miami Integris Baptist Regional Health Center to achieve Joey’s goal of a lung transplant. The family would like to send a special thank you to the staff at KU Medical Center and Miami Integris Baptist Regional Health Center for going above and beyond.

Today, Joey’s family and friends would agree Joey is in heaven, able to breathe, healthy, smiling down on us and cracking jokes.

Visitation will be from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28, at Paul Thomas Funeral Home in Miami.

Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 29, at First Baptist Church in Miami. Brother Leonard Pirtle will officiate. Burial will follow in G.A.R. Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Philip Blazer, Josh Dilday, Matt Dilday, Shane Burgess, Brad Wilson, Rocky Rupert, Zack Turley and Ty Turley. Honorary pallbearers will be Jeromy Hollis, Brian Ellington, Jeromy Oakley, Justin Cline, David Wooldridge, Mike Wooldridge, Kyle Shoultz, Derek Price, Tyler Cline and Nick Harper.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the Joseph Dale Wooldridge Foundation at the First National Bank of Miami.

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