Pat Woodward, 73, of Salem, died peacefully at home after a lengthy illness.
He was born in Tillamook to Virgil and Anne Woodward, and was the oldest of six siblings. He attended school in Salem and graduated from South Salem High School in 1961.
Pat married Cathie Gibbons in November 1975 at Roberts Community Church in Salem. They were married 41 years, and adopted seven children from India. They raised their family in a house they built mere steps away from Pat’s childhood home.
He started working for Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway in 1964, which later merged into Burlington Northern Railway. Pat advanced from laborer to machine operator to foreman — and finally track inspector before retiring in 2004. He also served for eight years in the Oregon National Guard.
Pat loved working on automobiles and owned an engine and machine repair shop for many years. He had a knack for fixing just about any vehicle in front of him. His father used to say, “If it has a piston, Pat can make it run.”
His love for cars extended to drag racing, and he won many races during the 1960s in the Willamette Valley. Pat also enjoyed hunting, reloading ammunition, his dachshunds, and spending winters in Arizona.
Pat is survived by his wife Cathie; sons Raju, Josha, and Mani; daughters Geeta, Aneesha, and Anamika; brothers Michael and Gary; sisters Jeri Ann, Joanne, and Annette. He was preceded in death by his daughter Anjuli.
His family wishes to thank Willamette Valley Hospice for their care and support, and requests that any donations be made to Willamette Valley Hospice.
A service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, at Farnstrom Mortuary in Independence
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