John A. Woodrow’s valiant spirit left his body on August 19, 2013, at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where he was the oldest diagnosed cystic fibrosis patient in its adult pulmonary service. He was 74. The care he received there was outstanding. The doctors, residents, nutritionists, social workers, nurses, aides and housekeepers were without exception, caring and competent. He also thanks his health care team at the Cleveland Clinic.
John was born in Chicago on March 31, 1939, but lived most of his life in Athens, Ohio. His parents were banker, John A. Woodrow, and musician and housemother, Mary Woodrow Davis. He was a 1957 graduate of Athens High School and a graduate of Rio Grande College.
John retired as Chief Financial Officer of Stewart-MacDonald Guitar Shop Supply of Athens. Before settling into his 35 year career at Stewart-MacDonald, John loved trying new jobs as his way of learning about the world. These adventures included, but are certainly not limited to, stock boy at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York, merchant marine on a Lake Erie coal boat and at Woods Hole Oceanographic in Cape Cod, stirring taffy in a store window, counselor at Camp Nelson Dodd YMCA camp where he taught rifflery and horseback riding, and led singing, bus driver for Beacon School in Athens, fueling planes at Hyannis Airport Cape Cod, washing machine repairman for Sears and Roebuck, attendant at Athens Mental Health Center, and third grade teacher at a newly integrated school in Florida.
The deeply loved husband of his wife of 51 years, Jane, he was also loved by many for his outstanding gifts: unending curiosity, joy of discovery, storytelling, sense of humor, puzzle creation, generous and gracious spirit, singing, and financial astuteness, were just a few. He loved his community and served it in numerous ways: in the past as board president of Tri-County Mental Health and Counseling, Athens City treasurer, Co-President of League of Women Voters of Athens, member of Athens City Tree Commission, board member of the Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center. Currently he was a board member of Rural Action and elder, treasurer and tenor in the choir of Athens First Presbyterian Church.
He loved good food, so many friendships were based on regular gatherings of foodies: the Gourmet Group, the Breakfast Group, and the Monday night Chinese Supper Group. He liked to canoe with former counselor buddies. He loved travel and he and his wife took many wonderful walking trips in Switzerland, Italy, France, England, New Zealand, and Turkey. They also traveled to such places as the Galapagos Islands, the Mediterranean, the Baltics, Iceland and China, sometimes with friends. He loved stories in audio book forms and in movies. He was a member of the Athens Reading Club.
He is survived by wife, Jane, her sisters, Alice (Chuck) Ross of Malvern, Ohio, and Judy Marti of San Mateo, Fla.; his stepsisters Clara Moffat of Dayton, Gloria Byard of Chauncey and Beverly Webb of Ohio; nephews, Mike Vineyard of McCall, Idaho, Scott (Anne) of Westerville and Jeff (Maria) Ross of Dayton; niece Christy Johnson of St. Augustine, Fla.; 6 grandnieces and nephews, several honorary nieces and nephews, business partners Creston Stewart and Bill MacDonald of Bozeman, Montana; numerous other dedicated and generous friends and colleagues; and his cat family, Bella, Bertie and Scooter. He was preceded in death by his parents, older brother Jerry, step-siblings, Eugene Davis, and Marilyn Porter; and fine cats too numerous to mention.
Arrangements were by Jagers & Sons Funeral Home, Athens. A brief private burial service for family and close friends was held and a memorial service will be held at Athens First Presbyterian Church on Saturday, September 28th at 1:00pm with Rev. Robert Martin officiating
His charitable interests centered on the environment, spiritual, and educational activities. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Athens First Presbyterian Church, 9 N. College St., Athens, OH 45701, or to Rural Action, 9030 Hocking Hills Dr., The Plains, OH 45780, two organizations dear to his heart.
Please share memories of John to the website www.jagersfuneralhome.com.