Lila Woodward (1922 - 2015)

  • "I will always remember her smile and how welcoming it..."
    - Stephanie Poeschel
  • "Greatest Grandma - miss you!"
    - Missy Poeschel
  • "Our Mom was such a wonderful role model for me in so many..."
    - Judy Anschuetz
  • "My heartfelt thoughts are with Lila's family. Hers was a..."
    - Marilyn Woodward Blumell
  • "My mom was the most loving mother in the world. She would..."
    - Susan Langston

Lila Pederson Woodward passed away peacefully on Nov. 20, 2015, in Bend, Ore.She was 93. She was born Lila Senora Pederson to parents, John T. and Ingerid (Bakken) Pederson in Watford City, N.D., on Aug. 30, 1922. Lila was the 8th of 10 children. She grew up in Watford City and Crosby, N.D. Her parents were immigrant homesteaders from Norway. Given the lack of trees, their first home was sod with a dirt floor. Despite humble beginnings, the large family was extremely close and set the tone for Lila's lifetime devotion to her own family. Lila graduated from Crosby High School and in 1942, she married Gordon Langston just as World War II was beginning. They had 4 children and raised their family over a wide geographic area covering most of the western states, as Gordon was in the oil exploration business. Everywhere she lived during that era, and there were over 30 places, she turned each house into a comforting home. After a divorce, she met and married Gene Woodward in Denver, Colo. They lived a fine and happy life together all of her remaining 36 years. Gene and Lila were devoted to one another and frequently were observed just sitting quietly, holding hands. However theirs was not a sedentary life, as they loved to travel, especially if it involved family. There were treasured times at some of her favorite spots in the U.S., Norway, England, Scotland and Ireland. Any time an activity or trip was mentioned, Lila would be the first to say, "let's go". They especially enjoyed their frequent long trips to visit Lila's niece, Beverly Porter and her husband, Jack, in Washington State. Her children migrated to Alaska; first Larry, followed by Steve, then Judy and finally, Susan. Lila and Gene very soon arrived in Alaska as well, since Lila always wanted all of her family back together in one place. She loved family gatherings and her Norwegian prayer and blessing was a highlight of many family meals. She and Gene had many friends in Alaska and participated in many senior activities. She was an avid fisherman, but loved hew Alaskan king crab more than anything. After son, Larry and his family moved to Bend, Lila and Gene followed, enjoying the support and love of his family the last 15 years. As her children married and each of her nine grandchildren came along, she became even more enamored with the enlarging family. To each one, she was always the "doting grandmother" and all were her "very favorites". Her seven great-grandchildren only gave her more lives to shower with love and affection. She was preceded in death by her parents and all of her siblings. These included, James, Thomas, Benhard, Harry, Joseph, Carma, Marcella, Oscar and Josephine. She is survived by her loving husband, Gene Woodward; her children and their spouses, Judy (Richard) Anschuetz of Anchorage; Alaska, Larry (Jane) Langston of Bend, Ore., Steve Langston of San Diego, Calif., and Susan (Dave Shumway) Langston of Anchorage, Alaska; nine grandchildren and 7 great-grand children. A private family service was held by her close confidant, Pastor Joel LiaBraaten, at Grace First Lutheran Church in Bend, Ore., Nov. 22, 2015. Our family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Keith Harrington, the staff with Aspen Ridge Assisted Living and Memory Care, and Heart and Home for their compassionate care. A celebration of Life is being planned for July 2016, in Bend, Ore.
Published in Anchorage Daily News on Dec. 20, 2015