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Katherine Woodruff

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Katherine (Katie) V. Woodruff

August 21, 1908 - December 28, 2011


One of Oliver”s oldest residents, Katherine (Katie) V. Woodruff passed away Wednesday morning, Dec. 28 at Sunnybank Centre in Oliver at the age of 103 years.
Growing up before TV, computers, airlines, satellites, and cell phones existed and when radio, electricity, cars, and tractors were rare and not available on most farms, Katie lived to see men land on the moon and people fly to Europe in three hours.

She was born in the town of Bellingham, Minnesota on August 21, 1908 to Otto and Bertha Kohnke.

Her parents, of German heritage had immigrated from the Posen area in Prussia the previous century to seek a better life in America.
Katie”s sisters, brothers and their parents set out from Minnesota with a team of horses and covered wagon to Watertown, S. Dakota in 1916, then shifted shortly to Evansdale, Mont. and in June 1917 to central Saskatchewan and settled in the Dunblane district. She travelled eight miles by horse and buggy to school during warmer months and in winter took correspondence lessons.

At the age of 16 in 1924 she married Herbert Woodruff. He passed away in 1960. After living through the dustbowl years of the 1930s they decided to pull up stakes and relocate to Oliver in 1940.

With World War II in progress, her two sons enlisted and served overseas, returning home in 1945.

Katie was employed at the Oliver Co-op packinghouse from 1942 until her retirement in 1973.

She was a charter member of the Royal Canadian Legion Auxiliary in Oliver and recipient of a life membership in 1979. She was also a member of the Senior Citizens Association, Oliver Women”s Institute. Sunnybank Auxiliary and was one of the original members of the Oliver Credit Union (now Interior Savings).
Her hobbies included crochet work and quilting and she was an avid bingo player.
Katie was predeceased by her son David Woodruff in January 2011; three brothers and two sisters as well as grandson Randy Tirk, granddaughter Kathy McJilton and sons-in-law Jim Tirk and Andy Surinak.

She is survived by her son Donald (Fran) Woodruff of Medford, Oregon; daughters Betty Surinak and Grace Tirk of Grand Forks; daughter Linda (Richard) Schaffrick, of Oliver, as well as several grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held Wednesday, January 4 at 1:30 p.m. at the Oliver United Church with Legion padre Ray Turner officiating. Interment at the Oliver cemetery. A reception will follow at the Elks Hall.

No flowers by request. Donations to Sunnybank Centre or charity of your choice welcome.

Arrangements entrusted to Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Service & Crematorium, Oliver & Osoyoos B.C.


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From: Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Service Staff

Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Service Staff send our condolences to family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Service Schedule

  Funeral Service

Date & Time:
January 4, 2012
Beginning at 1:30pm

Oliver United Church

Oliver, BC, BC Canada V0H 1T0

A funeral service will be held Wednesday, January 4 at 1:30 p.m. at the Oliver United Church with Legion padre Ray Turner officiating. Interment at the Oliver cemetery. A reception will follow at the Elks Hall.

Oliver, BC, BC Canada V0H 1T0

Memorial Gifts

The family has not designated a preferred charity at this time.

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