Lifelong philanthropist Lois Wooten, a gleaming gem on Savannah’s crown, would like to apologize to any organization she’s involved in that is not mentioned here. The society queen simply has too many to name in this finite space. Her heart, energy and resources have moved to improve so many facets of this community.
Raised on a farm in Dooly County, Wooten and her late husband, Frank, came to Savannah shortly after they were married. (Wooten would not disclose the year, as she said, “That’s like asking a woman how old she is.”) Frank Wooten became president of Kaiser Agricultural Chemical Corp. and later founded G&C Fertilizer Co. But it was the couple’s community involvement that’s most lauded around town.
“Everybody knew if he took a project on, they got me too. And they always said if I would chair a big thing for the community, they also got him,” says Wooten, who earned a degree in English and library science from the University of Georgia and was working as a librarian at a high school in Atlanta when she met Frank, who she still refers to as “Sweetheart.”
“We came here because he wanted to experience a small company, and I don’t think we could have chosen a better place,” she says. “Because he always traveled, I was here alone most weeks, and we just got involved in the community.”
“Just got involved” is an understatement. Wooten is vice president of the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden at the Historic Bamboo Farm, about which she gushes regarding its unique history and beauty. She is also commissioner of the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport, a grand patron in the Director’s Circle of Telfair Museums and involved in the many facets of the museums’ offerings, an emeritus trustee for the University of Georgia Foundation, and the first woman ever appointed to the Savannah Economic Development Authority.
“I served on that for years,” she says. “I’ve really been fortunate to see how the city and the county have developed.”
They have developed, in part, thanks to her involvement. Wooten is an active member of, among others, the Georgia Historical Society, the Savannah Historical Society, Telfair Academy Guild, Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church, and the Savannah Friends of Music.