Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

February 13, 2014

Jean Woodward Robb and the Woodward family

By Frances Benell The Daily Iowegian
The Daily Iowegian

---- — The thing about being the youngest and the only girl with three older brothers, sometimes meant being ready to move out of the way, really quick. Harry and Pearl Woodward were the parents of the three boys and Jean. She has now outlived her brothers, losing the last brother, Clair Woodward, a few weeks ago to cancer. Ron and Roy Woodward died earlier.

All the family were faithful members of the Grace United Methodist Church while living here. Ron was a 50-year member and a head usher for 25 years.

Jean was born in Darby and moved to Wyoming for three years and then came back as a sophomore. Since she was younger then her brothers, her mom made her brothers take her on their dates, which was not popular with them. She remembers her folks giving her a nickel to spend in uptown Moravia on Saturdays. One Saturday, she somehow lost it, but found a friend who gave her a dime, so she got the last laugh on her brothers that day.

Jean and her husband, Tom Robb, had three children, Barbara, Alan (who is the only boy), and Melissa. Jean has 10 total grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Jean has been able to attend all the graduations, both high school and college for all the grands and great-grands. Tom passed away in 1999.

Her mom Pearl was well known for the beautiful quilts she made and I remember I was part of a group trying to get tourism going in Moravia and I had heard about Pearl’s quilts, but didn’t know her personally. So I called her, asked her if we could show them and said I would pledge my life to get them back to her, or something like that. She trusted me enough, after I told her my grandma Anna Kaster had seen to my religious learning to let me take the quilts. I think she gave me 15 quilts, enough for a really great show, with all our group also collecting quilts. We filled every wall in the Community Building and more. It was a great show and I will always remember what a wonderful woman Pearl Woodward was. So it is no wonder I like her daughter and all the family. I knew Ron Woodward as the man who always had time for someone who needed help, a bus driver, someone to collect funds for a calamity happening and he loved kids sports, from the littlest to a high school or college student. This family was raised to help your neighbor, the school, church, etc.

I didn’t know Jean’s other two brothers, but I’m sure they were very good people because their parents were, Jean sure is and Ron sure was.