March 20, 1929 – May 12, 2020
Serge Ballif Woodruff passed away May 12, 2020 at home in Herriman, UT Born in Salt Lake City, UT March 20, 1929 to Wilford Owen Woodruff and Evelyn Ballif Woodruff. Siblings Truman, Jacquelyn, Nathan, and Bruce. He graduated from East High. He served in the Eastern States Mission 1949-1950 of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was drafted into the US Army 1951 - 1953 – CIC, stationed in Philadelphia. He married Marilyn Martin, October 7, 1952 in the Salt Lake Temple and together they raised five children. They lived the philosophy that “eternity is now.” He graduated from the University of Utah, BA and MBA. They moved to Glendale/La Crescenta, CA where he established a successful career in the banking/savings & loan business. He would say that “banking isn’t about money; it’s about people.” Along with his family, he prioritized a life of service in the Church; serving as a Bishop twice, Counselor in two Stake Presidencies, Tennessee Nashville Mission President 1990 - 1993, and Sealer in the Los Angeles and San Diego Temples. His consistency and fidelity to principle and faith were hallmarks of his great character. After his wife passed in 1998, he married Marilynn Jones Maw in 1999. They served two missions together in the Kona Hawaii Temple and the Missionary Department. He then served many years as a Sealer in the St. George temple. They both considered this the “dessert” portion of life. Serge spent his life interested in other people, loved getting to know people and was loved in return. Preceded in death by his wife Marilyn Martin Woodruff and daughter, Wendy (Blaine) Kellogg. Survived by his wife Marilynn Maw Woodruff, sister Jacquelyn Clements, his brother Wilford Bruce Woodruff, his children, Samuel M. (Cherri), Amy (Richard) Bernard, Matthew M. (Lisa), and David M. (Lynnae) as well as 27 grandchildren and 77 (and counting) great-grandchildren.
- Marilynn Maw Woodruff, Wife
- Samuel M. (Cherri) Woodruff, Son
- Amy (Richard) Bernard, Daughter
- Matthew M. (Lisa) Woodruff, Son
- David M. (Lynnae) Woodruff, Son
- Jacquelyn Clements, Sister
- Wilfred Bruce Woodruff, Brother
- Serge is also survived by his 27 grandchildren, 77 great-grandchildren (and counting) as well as many other family members and friends who will cherish his memory.
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May 23, 2020
My dearest Woodruff family!
My heart is filled with so much love for all of you at this time of parting!
I love your dad! I have ALWAYS loved all of you and remember with such happiness my time spent in your home and with you in La Crescenta, CA.
I am especially grateful to your dad for responding to a plea from my father during a difficult time in my life. My dad asked President Woodruff to call and chat with me long distance (which was NOT cheap at that time) which he lovingly and willingly did. He was so kind and patient as he taught me ( for over an hour) how to recognize the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. Tears stream as I share this because it meant so much to me and I could feel His wonderful love and caring! Thank you Serge for blessing my life and the lives of SO many others!
May all of you, loved by him, who are left behind, be comforted with the peace offered by our loving Savior. Prayers and Hugs to all of you. Keep your memories alive! God bless you all! Love, Roberta
Dee and Ruth Snarr
May 22, 2020
We knew Serge and Marilyn in Kona, Hawaii. What a special couple they are. Serge was an AWESOME person. He was so kind, thoughtful, and a all-around wonderful person. May he RIP. Marilyn we love and miss you. Our condolences to you and your family.🌴🌴🌴🌴❤️💕❤️💕❤️💕💐💐💐
May 21, 2020
I met President Woodruff in September of 1991 when he and his dear wife picked me up at the Nashville airport my first day in the mission field. I've loved and admired him since then. All I can say is he always has been and always will be my hero.
There's something about his influence in my life that I struggle to define. I always knew he loved me and believed in me. Before the mission I had never applied myself in much of anything and had no reason to believe in myself. The fact that he believed in me inspired me to work hard on the mission and set goals for the future.
I'll never forget his example of love and respect to both of his wives. He is the personification of love, class, and service to the Lord and His children.
Goodbye for now to my hero. I love you President!
May 21, 2020
My memories of Serge Woodruff goes back 61 years when I was a Beehive, and i was learning to baby sit and care for the Woodruff children. I loved being in their home in Glendale. I always admired Serge and Marylin and they were a great model for me. I remember Serge being called as our new Bishop and then being called in the Stake presidency for around 20 years. Serge had a great sense of humor and he along with his wife were a great example of serving and loving others. I always enjoyed being with their family and we have remained good friends for all these years. Our ancestors were good friends in Utah and I believe we will always be good friends in the eternities. Roy and I have shared many good memories with their family and we love and appreciate their influence on our family. We will miss Serge and are thankful for the great family and memories he created. Love to you all forever!
May 20, 2020
Serge! Your wit and humor have been a blessing to me and our family for 20 years. I never saw you without a smile! You welcomed us with such enthusiasm on every encounter. Your "confound it" will always be remembered in our home. Your love for In n Out and Costco "hotdog w a drink" remain your trademark. But in addition to your great sense of humor and enthusiastic love for family, you have left a legacy of faith and steadfastness. Every where we go, when we mention your name, it seems that everyone knows and loves Serge, Woody, Pres. Woodruff! Thank you for the impact you have had on all whose lives have intersected yours.
May 20, 2020
Serge has been the dad I’ve known for almost half of my life and I’m forever grateful for his friendship and loving support. It’s funny because we had a bit of a rocky start but working through it really solidified my love for him. Serge is the only grandpa my kids have known. I love remembering his happy smile and loving greeting to each of the kids. Some of my fondest memories are the dialogue between my mom and Serge. I love the equal footing they each had and that they both felt comfortable speaking their minds. Thank you Serge for being my cheerleader and being an example of loving kindness and enjoying this adventure called life. We all miss your smiling face and sense of humor. I love you Serge
May 20, 2020
We are encouraged to become Christ like during this earthly journey. To assist us, a loving Heavenly Father devised a plan where we could SEE in others what this looks like. Serge Woodruff was such a guiding light. From the moment I was first introduced to him as Ralph Neilson's new wife, I was lifted, loved, made center of attention and amazing in ways I'd never known. I felt safe, warm and immediately welcomed. I only wished I had had a life time to glean from this grand individual.
Dearest Woodruff and Maw families, especially Marilyn, please know of Ralph and my love and appreciation for your dad and the blessing of his life touching ours. Ralph counts Serge as his dearest friend since youth. Their precious memories together were without number. How does one find the words to express gratitude for such blessings? Our love to you, his lucky family, at this time of loss...and gratitude. Ralph and Roseann Neilson
May 20, 2020
I want to share my love for this wonderful man with his family! President Woodruff was always smiling and such a loving and kind soul! I was only age 12-17 when I lived in La Crescenta where I knew his family well. I remember, as a young girl, looking forward to seeing him at church each week...he was a beautiful man with the kindest of hearts. I have only fond, tender, sweet memories of President Woodruff and wish to convey a message of appreciation, gratitude and love to his children. I am sure his presence on earth will be greatly missed by each one of them! I send my love!
With Heartfelt Gratitude for the Man who inspired me the most....
Karyn (Rowley) Grant-Turley
May 20, 2020
I was lucky enough to have Serge as my amazing step father for over 20 years. He was a loving companion for my mom and a beloved part of our family. He had a knack for making people feel loved- wherever he was. Dave and I were blessed to have Serge and my mom live with us for the past year. He was always so happy and kind. He is greatly missed but I have no doubt that he was greeted with open arms by the Savior that he loved, served and emulated.
Cleon Zundel Hodges
May 19, 2020
Not a memory but sincere sympathy for your loss. It is always hard to lose a loved one. I knew Serge and Marilyn from California.
Sally Brumby Hearle
May 19, 2020
So sorry for your loss. Serge was always so kind to me and non judgmental. May you all be consoled by your loving memories.
May 19, 2020
My heart is bursting with gratitude for the life of this wonderful man. To be the grandson of such a kind, generous and exemplary man, I'll wear as my greatest badge of honor. I am a grandson of Serge Woodruff. Grandpa Woodruff always made time for us. If he was ever in pain, we never knew it. He naturally made me feel so loved and important to him.
The photo I chose to share was of a recent trip to St. George. I drove down just to see him and be a little possessive of his time. He included me in his plans. I sought his counsel and advice as a young father and husband. We went to his favorite place, Tropical Cafe, and he got his favorite indulgence a Bahama Mama. He couldn't help it, he chatted with the man sitting at the table next to us. Bringing a smile to both of their faces and I got to watch him in action bringing me great joy. Watching him is always a lesson by example of how to be Christlike. In his words, actions and fantastic sense of humor he taught me not to be afraid to open up and be vulnerable with my fellowman.
That night we studied the scriptures together and only made it through a few versus as he shared what those versus reminded him of. As we went around the room sharing our deepest, most tender thoughts with each other he was teaching me again how to lead out in my family.
I haven't had the privilege of meeting my Savior in this life, but I did get to ask, seek, love and hug my Grandfather. Therefore, the life of my Grandpa has etched into my heart the clearest understanding of love without end.
Until we meet again, Grandpa.
Sandy Garrison Stones
May 19, 2020
Grateful for his warm smile and gentle heart. Loving memories from my Jr High and High School years in La Crescenta Ward. Love and prayers to his amazing family. Thank you for touching my life. He leaves a beautiful legacy in all of you. Much love!
May 19, 2020
Grandpa Woodruff we love you so much!! I love how family reunions were always a priority for you. I have so many good memories of sitting around with everyone listening to your stories or playing games. One of my favorite memories was when you gave me a blessing before I deployed to Iraq, I could feel how much you loved me and Could feel your testimony strengthening mine. Thank you for this wonderful family I get to be apart of because of you.
May 18, 2020
Amy, you look so much like your sweet mother. They are your awesome parents by blood, they were mine through adoption. I had the great privilege to serve with them in the Tennessee Nashville Mission. They helped mold and shape my life in so many ways. Love that great Man like my father. Thoughts and prayers are with your family.
Elder Cox TNM
Amy Woodruff Bernard
May 18, 2020
My dad was the perfect father...I could always depend on him for anything. He would always make each of us feel special.
This is a picture most recent of him dancing with me at his granddaughter’s wedding in CA. He was so loved by everyone he met that no matter where I went people would come up to me and tell me about their wonderful experiences with him. I shall miss you Dad.
May 15, 2020
Serge was the best friend anyone could hope for. Five minutes with Serge and he'd be a friend and have a new friend in return. I can't count the times we'd go out to lunch and afterwards I'd walk to the car and look back for Serge and he'd still be inside visiting with a stranger he'd just met. He was better playing tennis than he was playing Skipbo, but he found great pleasure in both.
The Kona Hawaii Temple Presidency needed help in the office and I called Serge and Marilynn, explained our need, and without hesitation both said, if the Lord needs us we'll come. Serge performed sealings, officiated, served as the Assistant Recorder and spread cheer to all.