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Doris Hilda Woods

September 4, 1924 - March 10, 2018

Doris Hilda Woods died with grace on March 10, 2018 in Stayton, Oregon at the age of 93 having given her beloved family the opportunity to gather and say good bye to her.

Doris was born Sept. 4, 1924 in Hove, England to Henry and Rose Winfield. The third of five siblings, only she and her youngest sister Olive survived to adulthood. She grew up in the area of England known during World War II for the Brighton Blitz – the region was a dumping ground for surplus bombs unloaded by enemy aircraft before heading back across the English Channel. 

By the time Doris was in her mid-teens she was in war work, repairing airplanes damaged on the front. Her stories of the war always focused on the positive and the humorous, even if she was describing dodging the bullets from a plane strafing the factory in which she worked.

When she was 18 she met a Canadian soldier with a devil-may-care grin, a carpenter named James Woods, who was on leave in Brighton. Jim and Doris were married three years later in the 11th century St. Helen’s Church in Hangleton Parish on July 28, 1945.

In the early spring of 1946, with a single trunk and pregnant with her first child, she boarded the HMHS Letitia with a cadre of other war brides and sailed through a rough sea filled with unexploded mines for Canada and her husband. She was on the ship for 10 days before she reached Nova Scotia and on a train another week before she finally reached her new home in Trail, BC. Her eldest child Joan, was born four months later, followed in quick order by sons James “Fred” and Garry.

Five years later Doris, Jim and their three children loaded up the old Hudson and moved to Wenatchee, Washington where Jim had work as a carpenter. The year after that, they traveled south, spending time in Northern California before heading south again, settling in Ventura, California for 14 years. During that time they both became U.S. citizens.

In 1967, as empty nesters, they once more loaded their car, heading this time for the beauty of Oregon and their son Fred, then at OSU. They lived for a time and made many friends in Corvallis, Philomath, and Medford, before landing permanently in Salem in 1978.

Doris and Jim volunteered together at the Salem Salvation Army Food Bank for many years, being presented the “Other” award for their contributions. After Jim’s death in 1992 Doris, never forgetting the hunger of war, took the city bus to the food bank weekly, filling and distributing food bags until she was in her late eighties and too frail to continue.

She loved growing things and she loved books. Doris was known to rescue the bare stem of a discarded rose and with an almost magical green thumb would have a new rose bush growing in her yard a few months later. The wonderful “Library Ladies” from the Assistance League were kept running as they delivered bag after bag of library books to her in her later years.

She was a loving and much-loved mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend, whose wry humor, steadfast strength and deep concern for those she cared about, will be sorely missed.

Doris was predeceased by her husband James “Jim” Woods in 1992, her son Garry Woods in 1972, her sister Joan Winfield during WWII, and her parents Rose and Henry Winfield in 1988 and 1992 respectively.

She is survived by her sister Olive Sturgeon of Trail, BC, Canada, her children Joan Jackson of Soulsbyville, California and James “Fred” Woods of Stayton, Oregon, granddaughters Mardi Jackson, Joanie (Josh) Liddell, Kelly (Ryan) Bryant and great grandchildren Ashley Sauvain, Koan Nayfack, Fiona and Quinn Liddell, Blake, Aubrey and Collin Bryant, son-in-law Peter Carrillo, and “adopted” grandchildren Andie Andeen and Eric Witchey.

A celebration of her life is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, April 28 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3737 Liberty Road, Salem, Oregon. The family suggests that any memorials be made to a charity of your choice.   Assisting the family is Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.

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