March 25, 2019
In the early hours of Monday, March 25th, Judy Woodruff, loving sister, friend and mentor, mother of three, and grandmother of four, passed away at the age of 73.
Born Judith Gail Schneider at Deaconess Hospital in Spokane, Washington, to Fred and Betty Lou Schneider, Judy was known for her quiet and studious manner, though she kept her high school pep squad uniform all of her life. In 1963, she graduated from Shadle Park High with Honors and then began studying nursing at Deaconess Hospital. This was the beginning of a lifelong interest in wellness.
In 1964, during her nursing studies, she met Brian Woodruff, a young visiting doctor from England. They got engaged in 1966 and married in 1967 and moved to Dundee Scotland, where she nursed, and he finished his medical studies. In the spirit of adventure, the two decided to move to Canada, first to Vancouver, where their daughter Cara was born, and then to Nanaimo in 1974, where Aimee and Christopher were born. Judy absolutely adored being a mom and had no shortage of time for her children, making sure they got to the dozens of activities that they wanted to do, from art class and ballet to swimming and soccer. This devotion continued until the end of her life.
These early years were busy and fun, and Judy’s fierce love and loyalty meant spending every major holiday with her sisters, Cheryl and Diane, her brothers-in-law, Sandy Cooprider and Nick Stewart, and her beloved nieces and nephews: Shawn, Lisa, Josh, Nicholas, Jenni, Kaitlin, Danielle, Christian, and Stephanie. Most precious were the summers spent at Lake Chelan, and the Christmases spent in Nanaimo, where the cousins ran wild and Judy and her sisters conducted events from their kitchen command post.
Judy was as feisty as she was gentle. She had as much curiosity as she had knowledge, and could weave a long-winded tale as well as she could listen. She and her incredibly large, diverse, and loyal group of friends spent countless hours on the phone, in each other’s homes, in cafes, on walks, and at yoga. People loved to be around her. One of her great pleasures was planning and throwing elegant candle-lit dinner parties that ran late into the evening with conversation, laughter, and games.
She also cherished quiet evenings at home, having dinner and watching sports with her devoted companion, George. She travelled the world, with her family and her friends to far flung places including Berlin, Paris, Nagoya, Rome, Stockholm, Barcelona, Istanbul, the Mayan Riviera, and Hawaii. Most recently, after her cancer diagnosis, she got on a flight to Montreal to spend time with her grandchildren. Nothing seemed to stop her.
Of course, Judy’s yoga practice also shaped much of her life and yielded many wonderful friendships. Yoga retreats inspired many of her trips, and she spoke fondly of these experiences and memories. She loved the rigorous and physical practice of yoga and she took great comfort in its spiritual teachings.
She will be deeply missed, remembered, and honored by her three children, Cara, Aimee, and Christopher, as well as her sons-in-law, Jeff and Magnus, and her adored daughter-in-law, Chinatsu. Her grandchildren, Oliver, William, Mina, and Lenox take comfort in the image of Grandma doing yoga in heaven, smiling down on them.
As that old Roman philosopher Seneca said: As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is. She had a good life.