Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


By CVN Staff 

Woods grew up here, died in Oregon at 87


February 17, 2011

Former resident Rosalyn Francis Woods, remembered as a talented cook and pastel artist, died of congestive heart failure Jan. 15 in Waldport, Ore. She was 87.

"Rose" Woods was an identical twin. Born Jan. 13, 1924, at St. Ann’s Hospital in Juneau, she and sister Jacque D. Ketterman were the oldest of eight children born to John Bailer Ward and Francis Morris Ward. The family operated Ward and Sons, a hardware, lumber and grocery store, at several locations in downtown Haines.

Woods worked in her family’s store and also served as the local postmistress before marrying Jack Woods, an electronics technician who was in town putting up a navigational beacon for the Civilian Aeronautics Administration.

After marrying in 1948, the couple moved to Portage for five years, where Jack maintained an aviation beacon there, then spent two years in Nome. Jack was later transferred to Juneau and retired from the FAA in Anchorage in 1976.

They moved to Corvallis, Ore. before settling in Waldport and were involved in the real estate business there before permanent retirement, son Richard Woods said. He said she is best remembered as a giving person. "She was wonderful."

Rosalyn Woods enjoyed art. Though her work included scenery and wildlife, her specialty was portraits.

"She was very good at people’s faces and Native faces," Ketterman said. "She did really beautiful ones of old folks, and of kids, too, which is really hard to do in pastel… Some people bought them who just had to have them, but mostly she just gave them away."

Woods was talented in all kinds of cooking and was known for her delicious breads and cakes, her sister said. "Right through to the end, she was a marvelous cook. Her rum cake was gorgeous."

A member of the Alaska Pioneers since 1955, Woods also volunteered for various charitable groups. She and her husband volunteered at the Mark Hatfield Marine Science Center in nearby Newport, Ore.

Woods and her twin sister reunited when Ketterman’s family relocated to Waldport in 1989. "We’ve been thick ever since, thank goodness," Ketterman said. They lived 10 minutes apart, were members of the same knitting club, and often shared lunch. "We had a wonderful time together. I sure miss her."

Woods was a member of the Unitarian Fellowship. She and husband Jack visited Haines two years ago to mark their 60th wedding anniversary.

A celebration of her life will be held in about a month in Waldport. The family is putting together a cookbook of her recipes, including ones in her handwriting, and photos of her life, for distribution at the memorial.

Rosalyn Woods is survived by husband Jack S. Woods of Waldport; son Richard Woods of Haines; daughter Nancy F. Woods of Juneau; sisters Jacque D. Ketterman of Waldport, Ore., Jeannie Sturrock of Juneau, and Judy Weir of Haines; brothers David C. Ward of Haines and Morrris F. Ward of Lake Charles, La., and by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. She is preceded in death by brother Tom Ward Sr. and sister Bonnie Koenig.