Posted On September 9th, 2010 -


James Louie Woodruff, 77, a good friend, special husband, and loving father, passed away peacefully in his Honolulu home on August 20. Witty, kind, soft-hearted and creative, he was a scientist, inventor, builder, carver, fiddler, artist, writer, who loved the outdoors, growing vegetables, and languages. He could speak some Spanish, Japanese, German, and translated Russian scientific articles. The family genealogist, he developed a record, visited the town where the Woodruff family began in England, and traveled the path of his branch emigrating to Long Island in the 1600’s and finally settling in North Carolina.

As a young teenager, Jim left his home in North Carolina to join the merchant marines, an experience that convinced him to return to school. After excelling in technical school, he attended the University of Washington earning a bachelors degree in oceanography. He moved to Hawaii in 1966 to take a job with the University of Hawaii Department of Oceanography. He was assistant coordinator at the Pier 18 Oceanographic Facility and earned a masters degree in geology/geophysics. Having a strong interest in alternative energy, he was a researcher at the University Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, and worked with the geothermal energy project on the Big Island, the highlight of his tenure at HNEI. He retired and spent the warmer months of the year developing and enjoying his Siletz and Rock Creek property in Oregon.

He is survived by his wife, Rosie; sister, Linda Greene of Westminster, South Carolina; daughters, Sarah May and Nancy (Ryan) Jeffery of Layton, Utah; sons, Dan of Philomath, Oregon and Rusty (Mamie) of Everett, Washington; grandsons, Jameson, Samuel, Robert and Brandon; and cousins, nieces, and nephews. A memorial gathering will be held on Saturday, September 11 at 3:00 PM in the Waahila Ridge park. Ashes will be scattered August 2011 in Oregon.

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran