Life well lived

By J. Mark Howell | Published Saturday, May 5, 2018

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I write on behalf of the Wise County Bar Association to express our respects on the passing of W.B. Woodruff.

Mr. Woodruff was a respected lawyer for many years in Decatur. He trained many local lawyers, including the late Judge John Fostel, Judge Stephen Wren, Judge Melton Cude, Mike Simpson, Ross Simpson, Derek Boyd, Dana Manoushagian, and his son, Mason Woodruff. W.B. Woodruff’s knowledge and work ethic is carried on by those he trained and his impact on the local legal scene is undeniable.

Mr. Woodruff fought for his country in World War II and the Korean War, was wounded in battle on three occasions and he received three Purple Hearts. He retired from military service with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

He served as mayor of Decatur and as a director or board member of more civic organizations than can be named here. He was honored as Decatur’s Citizen of the Year in 1985.

While accomplishing all of the above, Mr. Woodruff and his wife, Mary Louise, celebrated 70 years of marriage last year and raised a happy, successful family.

It is with a certain degree of humility that we honor Mr. Woodruff, as it is difficult for us to measure up to his accomplishments. Somehow, the often used phrase “a life well lived” seems to be an understatement when applied to W. B. Woodruff.

God bless Mr. Woodruff and his family. He will be missed.


J. Mark Howell
President, Wise County Bar Association

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