Lucy Woodward Petrey (1941 - 2019)

  • "Lucy Petrey was truly a beautiful person, inside and out...."
  • "The world is a lesser place for the loss of Lucy's energy,..."
    - Judy Cuevas
  • "The world's greatest designated drive. Beth and Don"
    - Elizabeth Kress
  • "My warm thoughts are with Rod and the Petrey family at this..."
    - Russell Etling
  • "A lovely woman . And an inspiration. I am happy to have..."
    - Linda Dann
Obituary

PETREY, LUCY WOODWARD Lucy Woodward Petrey died peacefully on Monday, August 26, 2019, at her longtime home in Coral Gables, Florida, surrounded by her loving family. A week before her death, Lucy joyfully celebrated her 78th birthday among family and friends. She died after a struggle with the effects of endometrial cancer. Lucy's family is organizing a Celebration of Lucy's Life at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens to be held later this year. Lucy asked that friends who wish to honor her send donations to The Education Fund which benefits students and teachers in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Lucy was a senior member of The Education Fund's Board of Directors for several decades and was a consummate volunteer, advocate and fundraiser. Donations can be sent to The Education Fund, 6713 Main Street, Suite 240, Miami, FL 33014. 305-558-4544, or made online at www.educationfund.org. Donations will go to the Lucy Petrey Endowment Fund Benefitting The Education Fund and will be administered by The Miami Foundation. Lucy was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on August 20, 1941, to Ella Garth (Gaga) Choate and Fielden Woodward whose families had been in Louisville for generations. She has large numbers of relatives in the Louisville area including her brother, William F. (Buck) Woodward, his wife, Mary Jean, and their son, Jonathan Adkins, his wife, Deana, and his daughter, Riley. Lucy attended public schools in Louisville and graduated from Eastern High School in 1959. In 1963, Lucy received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia. She continued her studies at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was awarded a master's degree in 1964. She then began a career of teaching English and writing, starting with high school students in Newton, Massachusetts, and continuing in Fairfax County, Virginia. Her teaching career blossomed when she became an Assistant Professor of English at Miami-Dade College (MDC) where she retired in 2008 after many years of working creatively with MDC's remarkable, diverse and hard-working students and faculty. During these years, Lucy met and, on August 30, 1969, married Rod Petrey, a lawyer and civic leader. They just missed celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary. Lucy was close to her husband's sister, Sue Shafer of Tallahassee. She admired Sue's husband, Jerry, and their family and her brother-in-law, Dr. Bob Walker of Huntington, West Virginia, and his family. Lucy and Rod have two beloved children, Susan Choate Petrey and Sarah Fielden Lippman. Susan has taught in public high schools and offers tutoring services in the New York City area. Sarah has helped large non-profit organizations raise funds for their missions. Sarah and her husband, Adam, have two children, Colette and Henry, who are dear grandchildren to Lucy and Rod. During her children's years in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Lucy was an important volunteer, serving as PTA President at Carver Elementary, Sunset Elementary, Ponce de Leon Middle, and Coral Gables Senior High. To recognize Lucy for her contributions, Miami-Dade County declared "Lucy Petrey Day" on May 25, 1988 and held ceremonies in the County Commission chambers. Together, Lucy and Rod created homes in Harvard Yard in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Washington, DC; Scarsdale, NY; and Coral Gables, where they have lived in the same house since 1977. Lucy was dedicated to the mission of The Education Fund. She was a faithful member of its board for decades and also served as an officer and volunteer. She took special interest in its program of awarding small grants to teachers to develop and experiment with innovative projects to teach in classrooms and how successful projects could be replicated. She helped to raise money for the program and taught teachers how to prepare successful applications. She inspired The Education Fund's staff by counseling with them, editing countless documents and supporting good work. Lucy also volunteered at "Wings of the Tropics" Exhibit at the Clinton Family Conservatory, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and took special pride in explaining to young people how beautiful butterflies were created and took flight. She also enjoyed judging student art work and teaching students on field trips about how to biologically analyze land. Lucy was a bright, caring, humorous, kind and beautiful person who brought light and learning to everything she did. She created a warm home for her husband and children, welcomed guests for her tasty culinary creations, inspired thousands of young people to seek their dreams and lived a good life with important contributions to others.
Published in the Miami Herald on Sept. 1, 2019
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