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Obituary: Woodruff Christian Thomson

Woodruff C. Thomson 1917 ~ 2006 Woodruff Christian Thomson, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend passed away quietly on August 31, 2006, at his mountain home at Sundance surrounded by his wife and children after a brief and heroic struggle with cancer. Woodruff was born March 10, 1917, in Ephraim, Utah, to Daniel and Kirstine (Stena) Christensen Thomson. His love for his parents, brothers and sister and his Danish heritage were evident throughout his life. He attended Snow College where he was active in band and on the track team. He then attended the University of Utah where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in English. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi. Upon graduating from the University of Utah, he accepted a teaching position at the high school in Beaver, Utah. Here he met his life-long sweetheart and best friend, Irene Giddings, whom he married June 6, 1941 in the Salt Lake Temple. Woodruff was inducted into the United States Army on June 17, 1941 and attended Officers Candidate School. He served valiantly with the XI Corps in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Awards. Shortly after the conclusion of the war, he began service in the Army Reserve, retiring as a Colonel in 1977. Upon returning from the war he again took up his academic pursuits, obtaining his PhD in English from the University of Utah. He then began his long and distinguished career of 34 years as a professor in the English Department at BYU, retiring in 1983. An active member of the LDS Church, Woodruff served in many leadership positions including his service as the first Bishop of the BYU 94th Ward and as a member of the BYU Stake High Council. He was always active in community affairs and served as President of the Golden K Kiwanis, Retired Officers Association, and the Utah Valley Historical Society. Woodruff is survived by his wife Irene; four children: Ingrid (Bob) Fuhriman, Bellevue, WA; Ruth (Van) Symons, Davenport, IA; Alan (Dahrl) Thomson, Provo; and Lee (Mary) Thomson, Las Vegas, NV: 14 grandchildren, four great grandchildren; sister, Dorothy Jonas, Salt Lake. His kindness and wonderful sense of humor will be greatly missed. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, September 5, 2006 at 11:00 a.m. in the Oak Hills First Ward Chapel, 1038 North 1200 East, Provo. Friends may call Monday evening at the church from 6-8 p.m. and on Tuesday one hour prior to services. Interment will be in the American Fork City Cemetery with military rites conducted by American Legion Post 72. Services under the direction of Olpin Family Mortuary, Pleasant Grove. Condolences may be sent to the family at Special thanks to Alpine Hospice, Jody Stewart, and her loving and capable staff for their kind care.