Kenneth Rau Woolling, M.D.
March 6, 1918 - April 16, 2017

Kenneth Rau Woolling, M.D.
Mar 6, 1918 - Apr 16, 2017

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Kenneth Rau Woolling, M.D., 99, retired Indianapolis physician, passed away on Easter Sunday morning, April 16. A thoroughly good and kind gentleman, he was adored by his family and his patients, and highly respected by his medical colleagues. With the exception of his deep love for his family, his lifelong passion was medicine. He was always fascinated by the subject and inspired by its principles. A superb clinician and scholar, he dedicated his life to this profession, for which he had a true calling.

Born March 6, 1918, in Indianapolis, son of Kenneth Kaarta Woolling and Marie May Rau Woolling, he married the love of his life and eternal soulmate Catherine Margaret McColl on March 20, 1948. She preceded him in death in October, 2003, after 55 happy years of marriage; children Kenneth Rau Woolling, Jr., and Mary Catherine Woolling survive. Alice Marie Woolling Coble Roggie (sister), John LeTellier Woolling (brother), and brothers-in-law Ralph Bowman Coble, W. Clark Roggie, and John M. Becker are previously deceased. Dr. Woolling also leaves behind his beloved nieces and nephews: Ralph (Rick) Woolling Coble, Kaarta Jean Woolling Nemeth, Letitia LeTellier Woolling Lynch, Michael Edward Becker, Maria Lynn Becker Yates. Christopher Kent Woolling (nephew) preceded Dr. Woolling in death.

Dr. Woolling graduated from Wallace Foster School, IPS #32, 1931, and Shortridge High School, 1935. He earned a B.A. in Zoology-Chemistry, magna cum laude, Butler University, 1939, receiving the Petri award for excellence in French. Postgraduate work was done at Harvard University, 1939-40. He earned his M.D., Indiana University School of Medicine, 1943, and M.S. in Med., University of Minnesota, Graduate School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota, 1951.

He was a Diplomate of National Board of Medical Examiners, American Board of Internal Medicine, and American Board of Cardiovascular Disease. Dr. Woolling interned at Indianapolis City Hospital, 1943-44. In 1947, following service in World War II, his residency was in internal medicine, Marion County General Hospital (Lilly Research Clinic). From 1948-52, he was a fellow and first assistant in internal medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

In 1952, Dr. Woolling entered private practice in Indianapolis, specializing in internal medicine and cardiovascular diseases with emphasis on peripheral vascular diseases. From 1952 to 1987, he was a member of the medical and teaching staffs and postgraduate medical education groups at Marion County General Hospital and Methodist Hospital.

He was the founder and director of the peripheral vascular diseases clinic, Indianapolis General Hospital (later, Marion County General Hospital), 1952-68. He also was the founder and director of the peripheral vascular diseases clinic at Methodist Hospital, 1967-72, and the vascular laboratory, Methodist Hospital, 1970-73. From 1952 to 1987, Dr. Woolling was a member of the medical staffs of St. Vincent Hospital (both on Fall Creek Boulevard and West 86th Street), St. Francis Hospital, and Winona Memorial Hospital. He was a charter member of the medical staff, Community Hospital, and a visiting consultant at Riverview Hospital, Noblesville. He served as a member of the medical advisory committee of Butler University.

He served as a captain in the Medical Corps, U.S. Army, World War II, 1944-46. He was a fellow of the American College of Physicians, American College of Chest Physicians, Council on Clinical Cardiology of the American Heart Association, International Union of Angiology, American College of Angiology (Governor, Indiana, 1979-80), and a member of the American Heart Association, American Medical Association, American Society of Internal Medicine, American Diabetes Association, Indiana Diabetes Association, Indiana State Medical Association, Indianapolis Medical Society, American Federation for Clinical Research, N.Y. Academy of Medicine, North Central Clinical Society, Northwest Clinical Society, Mayo Cardiovascular Society, and Mayo Alumni Association. He was also a member of Second Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis, Indiana Historical Society, Sons of the American Revolution, Reserve Officers' Association, American Legion, Contemporary Club of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Athletic Club, Columbia Club, Highland Golf and Country Club, Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, and Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Chi Honorary Societies. A 32nd-degree Mason, Dr. Woolling was a member of Mystic Tie Lodge #398, Scottish Rite, and Murat Shrine. He was named in The Best Doctors in the U.S. and was listed in Who's Who in: Medicine and Healthcare, Science and Engineering, Finance and Industry, the Midwest, America, and the World. In March of this year, he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquis Who's Who.

Beginning in 1950 while at the Mayo Clinic, and continuing through the years, Dr. Woolling contributed many scientific articles to professional journals. He retired from private medical practice in 1987 but continued to write, focusing primarily on medical history. He contributed a number of his articles to Indiana Medicine and the Indianapolis Medical Society Bulletin. In 2010, his book Recollections of a Mayo Clinic Fellowship at Mid-Twentieth Century, 1948-1952 was published.

Services will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Butler University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, or to Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota. On line tributes available at:

Judy Muirhead on May 4, 2017

Though your father was a Guiding Light to many in the medical field, you became his Guiding Light in his later years as you so caringly, lovingly, and unselfishly gave of your time and energies to take care of him. Your Christian spirit embodied with His love, HIs peace, and His hope serve all of us lucky enough to know you, Mary, and I feel you are one of the reasons your father lived such a long and joyful life.
Judy Muirhead

Jan Hougland on Apr 21, 2017

Mary, I never met your Dad but I know you took wonderful care of him. I worked for Bob Lowe a few years ago and met you at your home one day to pick up two of your books to give to a friend as a gift. My thoughts and prayers are with you. May you find comfort in the fact that you have many good memories of your Dad. May God's peace surround you.

Jan Hougland


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