In Memory

Woody Blettel

Woody Blettel

Sadly, we've been informed that Woody Blettel passed away earlier this year. He was a seriously accomplished photographer in multiple genres. He suffered a stroke before our 50th reunion which resulted in significant disability.  A more wonderful, nicer person cannot be found. Our hearts go out to his wife, Susan, brother Louie and others who had the benefit of knowing this classmate and friend.

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03/25/20 10:32 AM #1    

Bob Bovey

As indicated elsewhere, Woody passed on February 9, 2020, at his home in Salem, Oregon.

As some may know, Woody had a stroke in 2010 after which he was recovering until he had a second, and very serious, stroke in 2014.  Since then he made a tremendous effort to recover his physical strength, while coping with his inability to speak and eat, relying on tube feeding.  Mentally, he was always fully present and retained his wicked sense of humor.  He recovered enough for a seventh trip with his wife, Susan, to his favorite city, Venice, Italy, in May of 2018.  However, after a valiant struggle, several falls, and a concussion set him back considerably in the past year.  On the 23rd of January he entered a hospice program and courageously approached the end of his life.

I was able to spend several hours visiting him on the 26th of January.  He was in good spirits as we reminisced about our childhood experiences as Boy Scouts as well as high school years.

During the last couple of months Woody and Susan received a lot of loving support from their many friends and family.  Woody’s brother Louie lives close by in Portland and he and his family provided much love and support during the last couple of years.

Woody’s wife, Susan (Susan Doward Blettel), will post memorial information on Facebook.  She is considering Summertime.

Woody was my best friend growing up in Milwaukie.  We met just after my family moved to Milwaukie from Salt Lake City and my brother, Mike, and I looked for a Little League team to play in.  Woody and his brother Louie were in the same league.  Woody, Louie, Mike, and I were like four brothers.  Woody and I were both born on Halloween (Woody was born in the morning, I was born in the evening) and Mike and Louie were close in age, too, but not as close.  The four of us also spent many great years as Boy Scouts in Troop 143.  Some of my fondest memories were of the camping trips we took with the troop.  Woody and I often “buddied” during these outings.  Our families often did things together, too.  When my family moved to Sunnyvale, California right after graduation in 1965, we visited Milwaukie at every opportunity and kept up with Woody and his family.  One Christmas Woody and his family visited us in Sunnyvale.

Later in life, I was able to visit several times over the years when I was in and Navy, and when I lived in Virginia.  When our oldest daughter, Beth, was married in 1995, Woody and Susan came to the wedding and Woody took the wonderful pictures of the wedding.  Woody was a very talented photographer and artist.  Since moving back to Anacortes, Washington, in 2018, we were able to see more of Woody and Susan. 

I will miss our visits and seeing the many wonderful photographs that he had taken over the years.  I think of him every day.

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