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Nellie Lee Woodruff, 87, of Kahoka, Mo., died Saturday, June 22, 2013, at Clark County Nursing Home in Kahoka.
Nellie was born April 24, 1926 to Forrest and Charity(Dillenger) Poe in Downing, Missouri. She married Henry Allen Woodruff on May 17, 1947 in Downing, MO. The couple lived a short time in Argyle, IA moving finally to a farm south of Kahoka, MO where they lived out the rest of their married lives.
Nellie and Allen had three children: Tammy Riney (Ed), Henry Allen Jr., fondly know as Allen Jay, and Terry Woodruff (Karen).
Survivors include her children, Tammy (Mrs. Ed) Riney of Revere, MO, and Terry (Karen) Woodruff of Kahoka, MO; six grandchildren, Mona (Mrs. John) Spray of Kahoka, Russell (Janine) Riney of Alexandria, Travis (Melissa) Riney of Revere, Dana (Mrs. Broderick) Bush of Janesville, WI, Derrick Woodruff of Kahoka and Terra Woodruff of Keosauqua, IA and fiance Ray Parish; great-grandchildren: Zachariah, Adrianna, Zebediah, Ian, Julianna, and Carlee Riney and Merrick Bush; two step-great grandchildren, Nathan (Deana) Spray and Joe Spray; one brother, W. O. (Karen) Poe of Downing, MO and Judy (Mrs. Gilbert) Schmitter of Queen City, MO; and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Eston Woodruff and Almeta Kain; as well as other relatives.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; one son, Henry Allen (Allen Jay) Woodruff, Jr.; and a brother, Dale Poe.
Nellie received her teaching certificate at Kirksville Teachers' College and taught until Allen's return from the war. The couples' long distance relationship began with Allen's aunt giving a lonely small town soldier's address to a beautiful young woman. Nellie wrote to him during his years of service. Meeting while Allen was home on furlough, the couple decided this was serious. They married just months after his return and began a family.
Nellie's career in education never really ended. She devoted her time to community betterment. Realizing a need for an education due developmentally delayed children, Nellie worked tirelessly to help special needs children receive training through a sheltered workshop setting. She drove a carload of children daily to Montrose, IA.
Nellie and Allen invested 30+ years into being the neighborhood 4-H leaders. They both acted as project leaders to numerous youths throughout the years. She continued throughout the years as her grandchildren were in 4-H to be an active project leader. Nellie continued to serve as a 4-H judge for our county well into her seventies. In recent years she was awarded the University of MO Leaders Honor Roll Award in the Missouri 4-H Hall of Fame.
Her top priority was her family. She took her role of parent and grandparent quite seriously. She seldom missed an event the kids were in. She sat through ballgames, concerts, livestock shows, dance recitals, and even horse shows. Rain or shine she continued this devotion to family throughout her later years.
Nellie enjoyed attending craft and quilting shows, most often as a participant. She was very creative and will forever be known in this area as the "Artex Lady" selling and demonstrating painting for at home parties. She loved to paint in her leisure time.
In her later years, Nellie attended the Peaksville Christian Church and was baptized continuing her walk in faith. She enjoyed this little country church and the people.
Nellie was a simple country gal with a big heart. We will miss her so very much, but the memories she leaves behind will last her children and grandchildren a lifetime.
Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 25, at Wilson Funeral Home, with Pastor Shawn McAfee officiating. Burial was in the Kahoka Cemetery.
Memorials were suggested to the Peaksville Christian Church building fund.
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