J. Rudolph Woodruff, 1918-2015

James Rudolph Woodruff

James Rudolph Woodruff

The Rev. James Rudolph Woodruff, 96, Colonel, Chaplain, United States Air Force (retired), passed away on Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, at his home in Black Forest, Colo.

He was born Nov. 16, 1918, in Fort Smith, Ark., to John Kelleam Woodruff, Sr. and Madge (Horton) Woodruff. He received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Arkansas in 1940, and a master’s degree in theology from Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas in 1943. He did graduate studies at New College, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University, New York City, and Nashotah House, Wis. He was an elder in full connection to the Arkansas Conference.

He served as chaplain in the Army Air Corps during World War II and in the Air Force in Europe, Iceland and Turkey. Between World War II and the Korean War he taught philosophy at McMurry College in Abilene, Texas. He was recalled into the Air Force in 1951. He retired from the Air Force after 24 years of service. He had also been a youth counselor (Job Corps) with the Colorado Division of Employment and Training, and was an assistant at the Chapel of Our Saviour, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Colonel Woodruff was a life member of the Air Force Association, the Retired Officers Association (pikes Peak Chapter) and the University of Arkansas Alumni Association.

He was married Aug. 24, 1940, to Myra Lee (Jones) Woodruff.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 75 years; three daughters, Myra Melinda Sobral and her husband, Daniel, of Branson, Mo.; Anna Lucia Pelletier and her husband, Charles, of Westbrook, Maine; and Celeste Woodruff Palmby and her husband, Keith, of Renton, Wash.; and a son, Matthew James Woodruff and his wife, Karen, of Boyd, Texas. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

He had two brothers, Elbert Newton Woodruff and John Kelleam Woodruff, Jr., who preceded him in death.

A celebration of life is pending. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Scholarship Fund, Pikes Peak Chapter of the Retired Officers Association; or to Pikes Peak Hospice.