CJ Woodward, former longtime Hood River resident, was born on January 23, 1938 in Manhattan, Kansas to Paul and Leona (Anderson) Hill. On August 23, 2023 at home in Hermiston, Oregon at the age of 85 years she made the journey from her earthly home to her Heavenly home.
Growing up on a farm was not always the easiest. An explosion resulted in her father being critically injured. Chores had to be done and the animals cared for. CJ learned to milk a cow before the age of 5, which was the beginning of her great love for animals. At one time she thought she wanted to become a veterinarian, but she decided she was too soft hearted to handle what the occupation was going to mean. Cats were always her favorite, having many through the years, most of them black.
First and second grades were in a one room school in the rural community of Elm Slough, Kansas with a pot bellied stove for heat and a outhouse for a bathroom. The little school was consolidated into a larger one in St. George. CJ liked school, especially math and history. After graduating high school, it was a move to Baker, Oregon, living with her aunt and uncle and attending Eastern Oregon College in La Grande, Oregon. After graduating with an associate degree, it was off to Hermiston, Oregon, beginning a 6+ years working for Al Langenwalter CPA. This was long before computers so it meant pencil-paper bookkeeping and manual typewriters,
The year 1963 was the meeting and marriage to Dale Woodward and daughter Patti joined the family in 1965. They later divorced.
After 19+ years of bookkeeping for Sherrell Chevrolet it was off to the life of banker with First Interstate. In 1985 she transferred to Hood River, Oregon as the branch secretary until the fall of 1996 when Wells Fargo acquired FIOR. Seeing a chance to work for a smaller bank, she retired in December of 1997 and went to work for Columbia River Bank the next week. Many of the customers from First Interstate still came to see her for their banking needs. Being customer service trained, many came for all kinds help, such as balancing their checkbooks. CJ never got the hang of sugar coating issues and pretty much said it how it was. Customers appreciated the honesty and straight forward solutions. After 34 years in banking, it was retirement from Columbia Bank. Cleaning out her office and surrendering the keys was not without tears. Then in 2016 she bought a house in Hermiston to be close to her family.
Through the years she was a member of Credit Professionals International, Credit Assoc. of Oregon and Mid-Columbia CPI where so held several offices. CJ was involved in the establishing of Faith Presbyterian Church in 1980, becoming a charter member. She remained actively involved until her passing.
For many years bowling was a favorite activity. Her team often traveled to tournaments and she held several league offices, mostly serving as secretary/treasurer. CJ also enjoyed sewing, woodworking, working in her yard and was extremely social and outgoing, never meeting a stranger.
She is survived by her daughter: Patti Woodward & her husband Ken Huber, Hermiston, OR; brother: Ross Hill, Belvue, KS; numerous cousins as well as many extended family members.
CJ was preceded in death by her parents, brother: Paul “Bud” Hill, longtime companion: Ken Tubbs and her father-in-law: Robert Woodward and mother-in-law: Loree Woodward.
A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, September 9, 2023 at 1:00 P.M. at Burns Mortuary Chapel, Hermiston, Oregon.
In lieu of flowers please make contributions to St Jude Hospital for Children or Fuzz Ball Animal Rescue c/o Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, P.O. Box 289, Hermiston, OR 97838
Please share memories of CJ with her family at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Oregon is in care of arrangements.