Richard Donald Woodward, age 94, died February 4th, 2020, just shy of his 95th birthday that would have been February 24. Dick, also affectionately known as “Woody”, was the son of the late Clarence and Martha Woodward of Denver, Colorado. He was predeceased by his sister Patsy when she was 17 years old.
Dick was a World War II Veteran, having served in the U.S. Navy as a First Class Radioman on U.S.S. Saugatuck in the Pacific, a job that would serve him well in future career paths. Dick mastered Morse Code in the Navy, which is in many ways like texting with dots and dashes. Unfortunately, his Morse Code experience had no effect on his ability to text on his Smart Phone. His wool Navy garments however, continued to be lovingly worn long after he was discharged from the Navy, by both a daughter and grand daughter-in-law, keeping them warm and stylish in the ski country of the Rockies.
After his marriage to Joan Margaret Bower in 1947, Dick worked as a banker, finishing out his career as a Colorado State Bank Examiner for twenty-five years, retiring in 1990. He was known in the household as the speediest, loudest typist that probably has ever existed, rattling the house for hours as he typed out his examiner reports. He also liked to jokingly claim that in the last several years, the state of Colorado has paid him out pension payments of over a million dollars, something they likely had not anticipated.
Dick and Joan raised four fabulous children in a small mountain community outside of Denver called “Indian Hills”, where on a two and a half acre piece of property sold to them by their pediatrician, they built the house of their dreams. This property became the envy of all who visited, for its stellar view of Mt. Evans, its crystal clear well-water and the clean mountain air that wafted through the pine trees the sweetest, seasonal smells.
Dick, worked tirelessly to be able to afford the mountain lifestyle that he and Joan craved for themselves and their children. Over their 63 years living in Indian Hills, they forged a sweet and lasting relationship with the Indian Hills Christian Fellowship, which became their forever church. Dick took on many responsibilities at the church over the decades, from treasurer to elder and was revered by all members young to old. Dick also volunteered early on at the Indian Hills Volunteer Fire Department. The surrounding communities of Kittredge, Evergreen and Morrison would forever be their go-to destinations for goods and services.
During Dick’s retirement, he was finally able to catch up on his sleep and revel in the fact that he didn’t have to spend every weekend fixing one or more of the many VW vehicles that he and family members owned. When Joan wasn’t expecting him to work on the ever-expanding “honey-do” list, they travelled extensively throughout the United States including Alaska and Hawaii. Many times these travels included Joan’s sister and husband or their decades’ long friends from either the Central Bank of Denver or their young marrieds “pots” group from Highland Christian Church. They also travelled to South America and the British Isles and spent quality time in Southern California visiting a granddaughter who is unable to travel to high altitude.
After the “Love of his life” wife Joan, died in June 2015, Dick remained at the house he had built and lived in since 1954. In 2017 he sold that house and moved to Grand Junction, Colorado to be close to his first born son Dave and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His last trip was his usual trek to southern California for Christmas with the California gang in 2018.
Dick spent the past two and a half years living on his own in a senior retirement complex in Grand Junction. On a daily basis, Dick would drive his cherry red SUV to Main Street of Grand Junction, to check on, supervise and raid the candy dish of his eldest son’s real estate office. He would then drive to the credit union to verify that his pension check had in fact been automatically deposited…correctly. He then may head to Café Sol, Applebee’s or Denny’s for lunch and eventually dinner. Many naps during the day were also, of course, included in his daily functions.
Dick is survived by his four children, Dave Woodward (Ronda Harwood) of Grand Junction, CO; Peggy Woodward (David Stumbos) Mill Valley, CA; Sue Economy (Steve) Fountain Valley, CA; Paul Woodward (Betsy McGregor). Eight grandchildren, Tonja Fellet (Tim); Jason Woodward (Janet); Jessica Matlock (Gordon); Erica Thomas (Jay); Bryan Economy (Christina); Jeremiah Woodward (Morgan); Chad Woodward (Gina); Orie Woodward (Kate). Eighteen great-grandchildren with one more on the way, rounds out the ever-expanding Woodward population.
Dad sustained internal injuries when he fell at his home the week before Christmas. True to his ever-stoic personality, he only called to inform his eldest son of his fall, the next day. From there he was hospitalized with complications from the injury for almost three weeks, his health declining rapidly during the month of January.
We are eternally grateful for the compassionate care given to our father while he was at HopeWest for the last two days of his life. This hospice center played a huge role in our being able to say goodbye to our father in dignified surroundings, lovingly attended by a compassionate staff. We are also thankful for the care at both St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction as well as Larchwood for their skilled nursing care.
A memorial service will be held in late-August, date and time pending, at the Indian Hills Christian Fellowship amongst his long-time church friends…all will be welcomed.
If you so desire, please consider making a memorial contribution in our father’s memory to HopeWest organization.
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