Obituary: Harry Woodruff


Pawlet, VT/South Bethany, Delaware –  On June 26, 2020 Harry Charles Woodruff (Woody) passed on peacefully at home surrounded by family, friends and caregivers.  He loved his home and spend the last months sitting on the porch and watching his favorite magnolia tree, which was blooming as he passed.

Harry lived in South Bethany, Delaware for the last 40 years with his devoted wife, Alice Tanner Woodruff.  He loved hunting, boating and fishing and especially entertaining guests with his jokes.

Harry was born on August 27, 1925 in Pawlet, Vermont.  His parents, Harrison (Harry) and Pauline, built their own house when he was just a baby.  He is survived by a brother, Paul (wife Geraldine), from Wells, Vermont.  Harry attended Granville High School and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He joined the Navy to fly!  During World War II he was a pilot on an aircraft carrier stationed in the Mediterranean.

He and Alice were married in North Granville, New York on August 20, 1948.  After the war he and Alice bought the Herman and Jessie Smith farm in Pawlet and built a dairy business over the next ten years. They had two children, Chuck and Cindy, while living on the farm.  Alice continued her career as a registered nurse. In 1958 Harry was injured and changed careers to become an air traffic controller.  The family moved to Ayer, Massachusetts where he worked at Hanscom Field in Bedford. In 1962 he applied to work at Dulles International Airport in Herndon, Virginia where he became an opening day controller. The family lived in Herndon for many years. Their first grandson, Chris, was a frequent visitor to their home. Harry and Alice retired to South Bethany, Delaware in 1979. They built their own home on a canal near the ocean.  Harry kept busy as a member of the South Bethany Town Council and the Mayor from 1989-1990.  They entertained friends and family from all over the world.  Alice passed on September 30, 2014.

Harry is survived by a son Harry Charles Woodruff II (wife Susan Quinn) from  Clifton, Virginia and a daughter, Cynthia Woodruff, who lived with him for the last 2 years in South Bethany.  His sister, Sharon (daughter Sharlene) passed on in 2012.  He is survived by four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

Friends may call from 10 am – Noon on Friday, July 3, 2020 at the Robert M King Funeral Home, 23 Church St., Granville. Current regulations require us to only have 33 people in the funeral home at one time. Please send one member from your vehicle to check on the wait time; then return to your car. You will be prompted to enter when space allows. MASKS ARE REQUIRED    and we need to follow social distancing guidelines.

A graveside service will be held at 2 PM on Friday, July 3, 2020 at Mettowee Valley Cemetery in Pawlet where he will be laid to rest with Alice.

Memorial gifts may be sent to Ocean View Presbyterian Church in Ocean View, Delaware, Compassionate Care Hospice in Georgetown, Delaware or the Pawlet Public Library in Pawlet, Vermont.