Cover photo for Bobbie L Woodruff's Obituary
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1930 Bobbie 2021

Bobbie L Woodruff

December 7, 1930 — December 22, 2021

Bobbie L. Woodruff

Graveside services for Bobbie Louise Woodruff, age 91, of Kilgore, will be held on Wednesday, December 29, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. at Bethlehem Cemetery in Upshur County, under the care of Rader Funeral Home of Kilgore, Texas.

Born December 7, 1930, in Hall County, Texas, Bobbie was the daughter of Emma Bell Clemons Woods and Lemuel Byrd Woods. She was a sister to Othalene Canniemae Woods Yates, Wanda Lee Woods Miller, Lemuel Byrd Woods, Jr., and Willie Earl Woods.

Preceding Bobbie in death was her beloved husband of 54 years, Bert Ellsworth Woodruff, their infant son David Edward Woodruff, parents Emma and Lemuel Woods, brother Willie Earl Woods, sister Othalene Canniemae Woods Yates, and brothers-in-law Richard Yates and Joe Miller.

Left to cherish Bobbie’s memory are her daughters, Wanda Joy Woodruff of Santa Barbara, Martha Gail Woodruff Coplin (Richard) of Kilgore, Myra Jean Woodruff of Dallas, and Donna Louise Woodruff Chrastecky (Michael) of Pflugerville; grandchildren, Colin Woodruff Fletcher of Austin (Danielle), Brittany Jean Fletcher Seyb (Justin) of Leander, Travis Lane Chrastecky of Pflugerville, and Steven Bert Chrastecky of Pflugerville; and great-grandchildren, Brianna Isabelle Seyb, Benjamin Maxwell Seyb, Robert Samuel Seyb, and Caroline Elizabeth Seyb, of Leander; sister, Wanda Lee Woods Miller of Gilmer; brother, L.B. Woods, Jr. of Tyler; nieces, Barbara Ann Gill of Independence, Arkansas, and Susan Gayle Miller of Gilmer; nephews, Robert Clifton Tackitt of Wortham, Joe Bob Miller of Gilmer, and John Alan Miller of Gilmer.

Early in life Bobbie started playing piano. She was gifted, a natural talent, and served as the accompanist for many church services and choir programs. At the age of twelve, Dr. H. D. Bruce, president of East Texas Baptist College, heard her play for the New Bethlehem Baptist Church and awarded the sixth grader a full scholarship to study piano at his college once she finished high school. During the summers she attended classes there prior to her matriculation as a music major. Bobbie enrolled at the age of 15 and went on to complete a Bachelor of Music degree with emphasis in piano. During this time Bobbie met a young Overton Independent School District business teacher, Bert E. Woodruff, who convinced his best friend to arrange an introduction to the beautiful girl that accompanied the East Texas Baptist College Choir. The group had performed for the Overton students. They fell in love and were married December 17, 1955 in Stamps, Arkansas. Later in their marriage she earned a master’s degree in education from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches.

After earning her bachelor’s degree, Bobbie taught for Pine Tree Independent School District and New London School District before accepting a position with Kilgore Independent School District. She began as a first-grade teacher, then moved over to teach music in the Kilgore public schools for 33 years. She loved her job and loved every single one of her students. Her passion for music left a lasting impression on those children as they participated in her creative plays and classroom teaching methods. Her impact on children in the East Texas area is considerable. “A joy and a privilege” she always said. Bobbie was known for her memorable rhythmic explanation of how to pronounce her last name, “Wood (knock, knock on the piano) Ruff”. Her early morning ukulele and bell rehearsals were a favorite of her students. She had a knack for inspiring a love of music. She made it fun. This extended to the private piano lessons she taught in her living room. Many of her students went on to garner high awards in piano competitions, festivals, and piano guilds.

In retirement, Bobbie played in the Kilgore College-based Red Hat Keyboard Supremes electronic orchestra, which toured throughout East Texas. She also travelled extensively in Europe with her husband Bert, and daughter Myra, to observe Myra’s performances with the Martha Graham Dance Company and Bejart Ballet Lausanne.

Bobbie was an extremely loving and generous person. She was always ready and willing to help someone in need. She especially loved doting on her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, sharing her love of life and music with them, and they in turn loved their “Granny”.

Mrs. Woodruff’s family would like to extend special thanks to Dr. Rekka Reddy, Vonda Allen Martin, and Delaine Tarrance with Visting Angels, and the nursing staff of Hospice of East Texas for their attentive and thoughtful care.

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