Sarah Dean Woolsey
January 9, 1927 - April 9, 2019

Sarah D. Woolsey

Sarah Dean Woolsey, 92, of Gainesville was promoted to the company of Jesus Christ and those loved ones who preceded her on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. She was quite a woman and will be sorely missed.

Born in 1927 in Fountain Hill, Arkansas to James and Sarah Elizabeth Elton, Sarah was the second youngest of six children. In Arkansas before the days of Walmart, most families had to learn to make do and survive with very meager resources, and the Eltonís were no exception. Perhaps it was out of this necessity that Sarah became an excellent seamstress, caregiver, cook and improviser. Maybe it was just a part of her nature to learn useful skills and be creative, as she was also an excellent painter.

It was out of necessity that Sarah left school in the 8th Grade to take care of her family. After leaving home at 17 she would give birth to six children of her own, all feisty boys except for the first-born, Brenda. The skills she acquired as a child were put to full use as she nurtured, disciplined, patched up and sometimes put a well-deserved switching on her kids, always in love. By the time she reached her forties and the youngest were teenagers, she and first husband Roy decided it was time for something different than housekeeping.

Given the choice between waitressing at Sullyís Drive-In and education, she chose the latter. She went to school and got her GED, went on to college to get her degree from Mastin School of Nursing, and enjoyed a long and prosperous career as a Registered Nurse. The heart-felt caring that defined her as a child and a mother was applied to patients at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola and Putnam Community Medical Center in Palatka. Coming from Cantonment, FL, she had been a resident of San Mateo from 1979 to 1994.

Her husband of over 60 years, Roy Franklin Dean, passed away in April 2010. Sarah remained active in her church and was very involved with family, now consisting of grandchildren and great-grandchildren all of whom she loved very deeply. But God had one more major life change in store. At the age of 89, she became Ms. Sarah Woolsey, the wife of Warren Woolsey. The honeymoon for Sarah and Warren began May 29th, 2016 and was ongoing. Their love for God and each other was evident to all who knew them.

Sarah is preceded in death by her first husband, Roy Franklin Dean; her youngest son, Stuart Alan Dean; and her son-in-law, Larry Lowe. She is survived by her husband, Warren Woolsey of Alachua and his family; daughter, Brenda Joyce Lowe of Sale Creek, TN; four sons, Robert Lee Dean of Millery, AL (Gwen); Kenny Wayne Dean of Cantonment, FL (Angel); Joseph A. Sexton of Whittier, NC (Dorothy); and Douglas Anthony Dean of Alachua, FL (Dana); daughter-in-law, Tina Joyce Dean of Scottsboro, AL, widow of deceased son Stuart Dean; eight grandchildren; and twelve great-grandchildren.

A celebration of her life will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 13th at the First Baptist Church of Alachua with Pastor Richard Parker officiating. A graveside committal service will be 3:00 p.m. Saturday, April 13th at Palatka Memorial Gardens with Pastor Bobby Dean officiating.

Messages of encouragement or sympathy may be expressed in her online guestbook at

Masters Funeral Home of Palatka is in charge of arrangements.

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