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Alfred Linwood "Woody" Waldrop Jr.

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Alfred Linwood "Woody" Waldrop, Jr. July 1, 1940 - September 24, 2009 Woody was the type of man that all men should be: gentlemanly, hardworking, loving and without ego. He was great company, man who rarely spoke about himself even in his final days. He instead preferred to discuss the lives of the people around him. He loved hearing about you, your family and your life. His joy in life was connecting with and helping others. Woody was gentlemanly. He was a dapper dresser who carried with him an air of sophistication whether he was attending a black tie fundraising event or a casual dinner party. He accented his dress with kind words. Whether a business associate, a family friend or even a child, Woody would make you feel better for taking the time to say hello. Woody was hardworking. At the age of 16, he went to work for Barrows Furniture Company. He was a natural salesman and quickly climbed his way from floor salesman to general manager of Barrow's new store in the Tucson. He built Barrows Tucson into a number one store in the market before being promoted again, this time as general manager of the flagship Barrows store in Phoenix. Woody served as vice president for Suniland Furniture in Houston, Texas and later as general manager of Robb and Stucky's new entry into the Phoenix market. Later, he became general manager of Mehagian's Furniture, also in Phoenix. Woody was a man for all seasons and reasons with a zest for learning and trying new endeavors. His love of people, broad range of management issues and knowledge in the art of "people handling" made him a perfect candidate for virtually any job. Woody joined Lance Benefield, a marketing communications firm, as Director of Customer Relations and Senior Account Supervisor. In 2002, Woody joined brother-in-law Ross Shannon at Sunrise Bank of Arizona where he focused on business development and mortgage loans, and later joined Bank USA. Woody was loving. He genuinely cared about others. Woody and his wife Carol supported and participated in many community events and activities, and traveled worldwide with good friends. He delighted in the camaraderie and mission of the Rotary Club of Phoenix. He was a lifelong fan of baseball and particularly enjoyed his involvement in the Rotary Club's development of the Murphy School District Field of Dreams and the establishment of a Little League team. He served as an officer on the Biltmore Square Homeowner's Association Board and was a member of the Valley Field Riding and Polo Club. Most of all, Woody was unafraid. His positive outlook on life remained with him even in his final days. He didn't dwell on his rapidly declining health, but instead chose to reflect on the good times and his good life with old friends. He faced death with his usual cheery demeanor, at peace with the thoughts of reuniting with his beloved wife Carol. That is how Woody will be remembered: as a gentle man, a good listener and good communicator with a quick wit, with a genuine love for life. He will be missed by all. Woody is survived by two daughters Debra Brooke Spotleson and Rebecca Ann Williams (Cody), stepchildren Scot Torrey, Mark Torrey and Blair Torrey; sisters Judy Shannon and Kimberly Henrickson, brother-in-law Ross Shannon, nieces Leslie, Stacey, Megan and Devon; and eight grandchildren. A celebration of his life will be held on Thursday, October 1, 3 p.m. at Valley Presbyterian Church, 6947 East MacDonald Drive, Paradise Valley. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 East Flower Street, Phoenix, Arizona, 85014, or the Woody Waldrop Memorial Fund, TGEN Foundation, 400 East Van Buren, Suite 850, Phoenix, AZ 85004.

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Published in The Arizona Republic on Sept. 29, 2009
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