Marilyn Gwen (Edwards) Woodruff
Marilyn Gwen (Edwards) Woodruff passed away Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. She was born to Ollie Ray and Preston Edwards on April 14, 1947, in Galveston, Texas.
She completed an inspiring life in her own Milwaukie, Ore., home, living each day to the fullest despite fighting a difficult battle with cancer. Marilyn’s lifelong love of learning started early during the wonderful years she lived in Karnes City. This continued as she attended high school in Temple and Belton. She completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, her master’s at UT in San Antonio, and her specialist degree at Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo. She blessed the lives of thousands of students during her 40 years of teaching in Texas, Missouri, and Oregon. Before retiring in 2009, her final 11 years were devoted to Kraxberger Middle School in Gladstone, Ore., where she taught math, health, vocal music, and leadership classes. Marilyn was trained as a lifeguard, and spent years coaching soccer, basketball, track, cross country, swimming, and tennis. She also instructed classes at Drury College and Portland State University.
A love of music permeated her life. She loved to sing and play instruments with her family. She was an All-State bass clarinet player. Marilyn recorded a gospel album in 1979 with her dear friend, Pat Schrader. She played many instruments, but her favorites were the piano and guitar. She shared her love of music with many by giving free lessons, playing the guitar while singing around campfires, and directing church choirs. In the last two years of her life, she directed the Milwaukie Centera Singers.
Marilyn’s love of adventure was contagious. She thrived on hiking wilderness trails, biking, competing in marathons and triathlons, horseback riding, kayaking, playing at the beach, and just working in her yard to keep it looking like a park for her family. Her favorite hiking spots were in the Appalachian Mountains, the Gila Wilderness, and in the Cascades. Her zest for life, unshakable positive attitude, and fearless adventuring spirit touched the lives of many of her adventure buddies. She inspired us to do more, be more, and give more. This attitude never stopped, for she was still riding bikes with her grandchildren after hospice care was ordered by her doctor.
Her great legacy of love and inspiring example will live on in many of her wonderful friends, her large supportive extended family, and her siblings, Tom and Daryl Edwards of Morgan’s Point, Texas, Jim Edwards of Nashville, Tenn., and Ruth Watkins of Belton; her children, Rebecca and Thomas Cutler (who lived next door to her), along with John and Amy Landers of Idaho Falls, Idaho; her nine grandchildren, Caleb, Kaiya, Kendra, and Cameron Cutler, and Maddie, Emma, Genevieve, Levi, and Luke Landers, the primary focus of her last 17 years. They filled her life with love, laughter, and even more fun adventures.
A private family memorial service will be held in Texas.
Memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Milwaukie Center Singers @ Carole Huddleston, 7515 S.E. Michael Drive, Milwaukie, OR 97222.