Edgar S. Woolard Jr.

Published 11:15 am Thursday, December 7, 2023

Edgar S. Woolard Jr. peacefully passed away on December 4th, 2023, in his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, at the age of 89, surrounded by his family.

Ed was born in Washington, North Carolina. He graduated from North Carolina State College (now University) where he got his degree in industrial engineering. He got his first job at a DuPont plant in Kinston, North Carolina, and had a very rich career with DuPont. He worked at DuPont plants in Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, and then transferred to corporate headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware. He then rose to the executive level and eventually became the chief executive and chairman of the DuPont Company.

Ed chose to retire early from DuPont to spend more time with his family, and to take his wife Peggy, who loves tennis, to a multitude of professional tennis tournaments around the world. Peggy and Ed both were passionately supportive and involved with the International Tennis Hall of Fame, where Peggy served several terms on their board, and Ed supported her as assistant in chief. As part of their life journey and love of the game of tennis, both Ed and Peggy became close friends with Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss almost 40 years ago, who shared and worked together on the common vision that women tennis players deserve the same compensation and recognition as their male counterparts.

Even after Ed retired from DuPont, he stayed very active in the business world, with service on corporate boards such as Apple, IBM, NY Stock Exchange, and Citigroup, as well as investing in startups and new business ventures. One of the more significant contributions was while Ed was chair of the Apple board, where he led the efforts to bring Steve Jobs back to Apple which enabled the transformation and rebirth of Apple.

Ed was also a passionate philanthropist throughout his life, forming the Woolard Family Foundation, and actively supporting many causes including Sunday Breakfast Mission, Delaware Art Museum, International Tennis Hall of Fame, Christian Outreach Efforts, Autism Delaware, Meals on Wheels, and Christ Church Christiana Hundred. Most importantly, Ed was a proud family man and loved to help and support people in need.

Ed is survived by his lovely bride and high school sweetheart of 67 years, Peggy Harrell Woolard, along with his daughter Lynda Woolard, daughter Annette Woolard-Provine and son-in-law Bill Provine, and his two grandchildren Will Provine and Caroline Provine.

A public service for Ed will be held at Christ Church Christiana Hundred in Greenville, Delaware on Saturday, December 16th at 11am, followed by a reception in the parish hall.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Sunday Breakfast Mission in Wilmington, Delaware or North Carolina State University College of Engineering in Raleigh, North Carolina, in Ed’s name.

For online condolences, please visit www.chandlerfuneralhome.com.