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Goodbye. I (Robert Woodford) have written my own obituary and prefer it to those that I have seen in any newspaper. I give my deepest appreciation to all those who have in any way contributed to my life. Since the day of my birth (19 September 1936) until now, it has been a great adventure. I give you the following four reasons why you should not mourn my leaving. 1. I have chronic TMB (too many birthdays) further aggravated by ALS. 2. Having been a teacher all my life, I now declare “the teachers work is done!” 3. I want to leave before I embarrass myself further. 4. I believe in the life after this one and I am anxious to see all those I miss and who have gone before: my loving parents, George and Beulah Woodford; my sister Joan; my brother Ronald whom I never met; three wonderful grandparents; a grandfather from whom I would like to know what was his problem; and assorted other relatives and friends. I regret leaving my loving companion Narda of 56 years; our eight wonderful children, Kim (Rick Cline), Todd (Pam), Jonathan (Laura), Christopher (Miyuki), Alisa (Randall Sly), Joshua (Sunny), Angela (Brady Hunt) and Patrea (Shaun Hansen), 31 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren, my sister Elaine and brother Richard (Fran).
For most of you, this notice will be sufficient to know that I am gone. If you would like to speak words of comfort and love to the family, there is a viewing on Friday January 25th from 6 to 8 PM at the Holbrook Mortuary at 3251 South 2300 East. I will be there (at least in part) and if you come, you can tell others how nice I looked. To hear exaggerated stories about my life and sermons on life and death in word and song, the funeral services will be at the LDS church at 1925 E. Gundersen Lane (4140 South), Holladay, Utah on Saturday, January 26th at 11:00 AM preceded by a viewing from 9:30 to 10:30 AM. I will be interred at Wasatch Lawn Cemetery.
Additional family note: Throughout his life, Robert has been committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From the time he served as a missionary in Australia until he was sidelined by failing health at the age of 81, he was fully devoted to serving in his various church callings and assignments. In 1962 he married Narda Karen Ehlers, graduated with a B.Sc. from the University of Utah and then began a 40 year career of teaching the gospel in various seminary and institutes within the Church Education System including BYU, LDS Business College and the BYU Salt Lake Center. His teaching dreams and goals culminated with an 18-year tenure at the University of Utah Institute of Religion.
During his career, Robert continued his studies and earned a Master of Art’s degree from Brigham Young University in 1965. He also earned a Ph.D. in Ancient and Modern Scripture from Brigham Young University in 1974, and his research resulted in an 1800 page dissertation which at that time was considered to be the most comprehensive scholarly work on the historical development of the Doctrine and Covenants. This designation was only superseded by the publication of the Joseph Smith Papers for which Robert spent 18 years lending his expertise as one of the editors. It was during this time, that Robert also served faithfully for 20 years on the Church Correlation Committee until his battle with ALS limited his ability to participate.
Robert was a devoted husband, father, grandparent and friend. He loved his family, the gospel, the Cougars, scouting, backpacking, and the great outdoors. He will be greatly missed.