Nancy Joyce Woodward

Nancy Joyce Woodward died on July 10, 2020 at the age of 87. Nancy was born in Denver on Sept. 30, 1932, to Robert Henry Joyce and Dorothy Bradley Bell. She was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, Robert Irving “Woody” Woodward. Nancy and Woody had three sons, James Bradley, John Douglas (Elizabeth), and Paul Robert, and four grandchildren, Milo, Robert, Eleanor and John. Nancy is survived by her beloved extended family and many friends, including special family friends Holly Hoxeng and Lawrence Carreon.

Nancy grew up in Denver next door to her grandparents’ home, which was built in 1890 by her great-grandfather Milo A. Smith. Nancy and Woody moved into this home in 1981, and in 1997 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. After Woody died in 2007, Nancy remained in the home until her death. The home has been continuously owned and occupied since 1890 by members of Nancy’s family.

Nancy attended Teller Elementary, Gove Junior High, and East High. She also attended Carleton College, University of Denver, and University of Colorado. As a teenager, Nancy was involved with the Colorado Mountain Club and summitted several Colorado fourteeners. During her college years, Nancy and future husband Woody were hired as square dancers by the Central City Opera Association to dance before and after operas.

Nancy and Woody were married in 1953, and when Woody was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army, they were stationed at Fort Riley, Kan., and in Munich, Germany. It was in Munich that first son James was born. They returned to Denver in 1956 where sons John and Paul were born.

The family was deeply involved in St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral. Nancy was a life-long member and served in many roles: member and president of St. Martha’s Guild, vestry, altar guild, wedding coordinator, youth group director summer camp director, and bazaar volunteer. She and Woody were co-archivists, and she served as archivist after his death.

During the 1960s and 70s Nancy and Woody were active participants in the challenges of social and cultural changes confronting the country and strong proponents of desegregation of the Denver Public Schools.

Nancy was also involved with the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado. In 1972, Nancy was appointed to the administrative cabinet of Colorado Episcopal Bishop William Frey, in which capacity she served as director of Diocesan Program and Planning. From 1976 to 1981, Nancy and Woody lived in the Bishop’s Community headed by Bishop Frey.

Over the years, Nancy and Woody welcomed many to share their home for periods of time, including Kathleen Ryan, Colorado’s first female Episcopal priest. Their home was also home to many dogs and cats adopted from the Denver Dumb Friends League, most recently Oso, shown in Nancy’s latest church directory photo, and Willie, whom Nancy adopted when Oso died in the spring of 2019 and who remained with her by her bed until she died.

Nancy was an active member of the Bellvue-Hale Neighborhood Association and hosted its Christmas party for many years. Nancy was a member and officer of the National Society of the Colonial Dames.

Nancy and Woody were members and leaders of the Deer Valley Park Association, a recreational and ranching association located on Deer Creek in Park County, Colo. They had a vacation cottage at which they spent many joy-filled summers. They both served on the association’s board of directors. Nancy’s ashes will be interred in Horn Cemetery at the Deer Creek ranch.

A memorial service and reception will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to St. John’s Cathedral, 1350 N. Washington Street, Denver, CO 80203; Saint Francis Center, 2323 Curtis Street, Denver, CO 80205; or the Denver Dumb Friends League, 2080 S. Quebec Street, Denver, CO 80231.

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