Cover photo for Jean V. Woodhull's Obituary
Jean V. Woodhull Profile Photo
1920 Jean 2015

Jean V. Woodhull

December 31, 1920 — January 30, 2015

WOODHULL, Jean Verity, age 94, died in her home on Friday, January 30, 2015 after a brief illness. She was born in 1920 in Middletown, Ohio the daughter of Elizabeth and Calvin Verity and the granddaughter of George M. Verity who founded Armco Steel. She attended Hillsdale School in Cincinnati, the Ethel Walker School in Connecticut and Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. In 1943 she married James M. Woodhull of Dayton who predeceased her in 1989. She and her husband are survived by four children, Victoria Parlin (John), Anne Woodhull (Gordon Thorne), Sara Woodhull (Clyde Esch), James M. Woodhull II (Susan Schaff), seven grandchildren; Andrew Parlin (Marlo), Elizabeth Parlin, Ben (Eliza), Jenny and Nell Thorne, Christina (Mark) Moreno, and Robert, Molly and Chas Woodhull and eight great-grandchildren; Jack and Theo Parlin, Jesse, Ian, Julia and Alana Hislop and Augie and Sylvie Thorne. She had an immense joy of life, a lively sense of humor and an insatiable curiosity about all around her. She loved her family, her friends, the out of doors, her garden and her dogs. She was an exuberant gardener with a contagious love of horticulture and garden design and an impulse (a determination) to share her expertise and her plants with anyone and everyone. Her glorious garden, the result of many years of loving labor, is recorded in the Archives of American Gardens at the Smithsonian Institute. For many years she and her husband spent part of every summer at Northport Point, Michigan where they entertained family and formed many close friends. A vibrant woman, Jean devoted her many talents of persuasion and her considerable energies to the causes about which she felt so passionate; protecting the environment, providing creative opportunities for young people, respecting and honoring mother nature and supporting Dayton. Her community service included but was not limited to being a founding member of Cox Arboretum, serving as President of the Montgomery County Board of Park Commissioners, spear heading the development of Riverscape and being a founding supporter of the Muse Machine. During her life she received many honors for her remarkable contributions including: the Amy Angell Collier Montague Medal for outstanding civic achievement from the Garden Club of America, the outstanding citizen award from Ohio Parks and Recreation in recognition of her work in conservation, as well as being chosen as one of Dayton's Ten Top Women in 2005. In 2005 on the occasion of being inducted into the Walk of Fame in the Wright Dunbar neighborhood, she was described as "a community treasure who has been sowing the seeds of good ideas for many years. Jean Woodhull is more than just a dedicated naturalist who has worked to green the Dayton region. She is a creative thinker who understands the difficult, delicate process of promoting change and building teams, and she does this without any attempt to claim credit. Once quoted as recommending "always do a good job and then tell others that someone else did it," this visionary and volunteer has changed the face of her community." Her love and energy will be sorely missed by her family and all who knew her. A memorial service celebrating her life will be held at 4:00 p.m. on April 9, 2015 at St. Paul's Church, Dayton, Ohio, in the early spring when her garden will be in its glory. In lieu of flowers remembrances may be made to Aullwood Audubon Center, the Muse Machine, The Seven Hills School and the Alzheimer's Association.

Funeral Home:
Kettering Routsong Funeral Home
2100 E. Stroop Rd.
Kettering, OH
US 45429

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Starts at 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

St. Paul's Episcopal Church

33 W. Dixon Ave., Dayton, OH 45419

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