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The Times
  • Dellephene Ferguson Woodruff

  • Dellephene Ferguson Woodruff, of Van Hornesville, died Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, at Folts Home at age 90, following a life filled with cherished friendships and family.

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  • Dellephene Ferguson Woodruff, of Van Hornesville, died Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, at Folts Home at age 90, following a life filled with cherished friendships and family.
    Born July 12, 1922, in Richfield Springs, she was the daughter of Jessie and Luther Ferguson. As a child, she helped with her mother’s laundry business, sold flowers on the steps of the spa resort hotels and frequented the local movie theater.
    She graduated from Richfield Springs High School with honors and later attended Syracuse University, where she got her start as an SU basketball fan. She was devoted to learning throughout her life, reading books, magazines and multiple newspapers every day.
    As a young woman, she enjoyed several jobs in and near her hometown. She was a telephone company switchboard operator, where she learned to put a smile in her voice, and a clerk and cleaner at the post office, where she began a decades-long stamp collecting hobby. After completing her secretarial training, she worked at the Home Bureau office, for architect Myron Jordan and for the Richfield Springs School District.
    On her 30th birthday in 1952, she married Robert B. Woodruff, the supervising principal of Van Hornesville (Owen D. Young) Central School, and began a new life with him and three sons at the school “principalage.”
    Over the next 60 years, she deeply enjoyed involvement in her community and learning about the world beyond her own experience. She applied her many talents and interests in service to her family, her community and her church.
    She played the organ, taught Sunday school classes, produced monthly newsletters and served as secretary and officer of many committees for Van Hornesville United Methodist Church.
    She learned to knit, crochet and sew, which enabled her to make clothing for herself and her daughter, slipcovers for the principal’s house, hats and mittens for Neighborhood Center and gifts for friends. She was a 4-H leader, too.
    She especially enjoyed bookkeeping and secretarial work, which she practiced as treasurer for the Van Hornesville Cemetery Association and as an officer of other organizations.
    During retirement, Bob and Dellephene embraced their square dancing hobby. They joined the Doubleday Dancers of Cooperstown, serving as co-presidents and in other offices, and traveled extensively to dances, including during winter months in Florida.
    Her other hobbies included working crossword puzzles, gardening, playing bridge with friends, singing and using her computer.
    Bob Woodruff died in 1995. Dellephene is survived by three sons: Alan “Spike” Woodruff of Woodgate; Neil “Butch” Woodruff and his wife, Teresa, and son, William, of Virginia; Norman “Chuck” Woodruff and his wife, Diane, and sons, Brendan and Corbin, of Mohawk; a daughter, Cathy Woodruff, and her husband, Mike Goodwin, of Niskayuna; two nieces, Jane Blair and Sue Burchard, and their families; and many wonderful friends.
    Page 2 of 2 - Calling hours will be Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. at J. Seaton McGrath Funeral Home, 40 W. James St., Richfield Springs. The funeral will be Monday at 11 a.m. at Van Hornesville United Methodist Church. Interment will follow in Van Hornesville Cemetery.
    Memorial contributions may be made to the Van Hornesville Volunteer Fire Department, Van Hornesville United Methodist Church or the Robert B. Woodruff Outdoor Learning Center, care of the Van Hornesville Community Corporation.

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