"The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most"
-- John Ruskin

Monday, November 14, 2011

Grandpa Woodward 1925~2011

My sweet Grandpa Woodward (Melvin James Woodward) passed away last night.  I woke up this morning to a "face-ache" from crying so much yesterday.  He's my first grandparent to die, and as I'm almost 40, I've had the very unique circumstance to know all of my grandparents through an adult relationship as well as the fond memories of my childhood interaction with them.

I recall that my grandpa, ever the "coach", taught me to play basketball, and golf.  He loved sports and he LOVED coaching!  As a child, I could always expect to be treated to Big Hunk candy bars in his shop.  And, as an adult, I could request that he make a piece of furniture for me in his shop~a table,  lamp,  chest, wall rack, and more.

As a young man, my grandpa was a Marine and served in WWII aboard the USS Enterprise~ the most decorated aircraft carrier of the war (the Star Trek Enterprise took it's name from this famous ship).  Grandpa received several battle stars, and shared stories of the times he shot down enemy Japanese planes, as well as the bomb that hit the deck of his ship but failed to detonate.

He was also a star basketball player and track participant at the University of Utah.  His basketball team won the national championship, beating Kentucky, and placing the U of U on the map in college athletics!

The most admiral quality about my grandpa was something that our family witnessed in the last 6-7 years of his life.  He lost his leg when he was 80 due to diabetes, and yet not once did anyone hear a single complaint from him.  He was so happy and positive for all the years when he suffered with poor health and disability.  He has been a great example to me of being tough, and sweet at the same time.

Go Utes!

looking like a movie star!

Grandpa with his dad & brothers (in the white suit, 2nd from the right)

track & field star at the University of Utah

Grandpa in his Marine uniform
Grandpa (in the middle) somewhere in the South Pacific during the war
rugged outdoorsman

Grandpa making tables for the grandkids

I love my grandpa, & it's with great sadness that I said goodbye for the last time yesterday.


  1. What a great tribute! The photo's are priceless.

  2. Emily, what a nice tribute. We're so sorry for your loss!
    Jeff & Julia Pugh

  3. Emily, I'm so sorry for you loss! :( I know how hard it is to lose grandparents, and all of mine have now passed away. My heart goes out to you!!!

  4. Em you are so sweet! What a great memory trail. We all loved Gramps and will miss him.