Cover photo for Thomas R. Woodruff, Jr.'s Obituary
Thomas R. Woodruff, Jr. Profile Photo

Thomas R. Woodruff, Jr.

d. February 2, 2019

Thomas R. Woodruff, Jr. Tom “Woody” Woodruff was born on November 6, 1934 in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia, and was a long term resident of Chestnut Hill and later Oreland. He grew up playing and watching sports with his dad, helping him coach neighborhood teams, and attending Eagles games at Franklin Field. At age 13, Tom and his parents took a trip out west to visit friends in Wyoming. Tom was mesmerized as he saw the different landscapes of the United States pass by, and his love for the open range and blue sky was born. For the next 3 years back east in Mt. Airy, Tom was consumed with thoughts of life out west and he (somehow) convinced his parents to let him fulfill those cowboy he hitchhiked to Wyoming to be a ranch hand at The A Bar A Ranch for the next 2 years. Tom brought that cowboy spirit back home where he met JoAnne Costanza, the sister of his friend Eddie, at a poker game in his house in Chestnut Hill. After the game, Tom jokingly told JoAnne he won a date with her during a hand of cards...and that was it. They eventually got engaged and JoAnne worked and planned the wedding while Tom was in the Army in Germany. There he finished his education and got to see the world. Tom often thanked Uncle Sam for the life lessons he learned while serving our country, for the sense of patriotism deeply instilled, and for the opportunity to shake the hand of Winston Churchill. JoAnne and Tom married in Our Mother of Consolation church in 1957, going on to have 4 children, 6 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren. Tom made his career with the Prudential Life Insurance Company, where he stayed until retirement. Carrying on the tradition, Tom was active in his sons’ sports, coaching and officiating at the Father’s Club, and presiding as president of the Wyndmoor Bantams football organization. Tom also enjoyed taking his children to the Eagles games, now using those season tickets at the Vet. He also found a way to share his appreciation for the cowboy way of life, becoming a regular fixture at Cowtown Rodeo. Tom also had a love for horses and was fortunate to be involved with them throughout his life. Always an avid writer, Tom often submitted his musings to local papers. After retirement he took it a step further and the Patriot Poet was born. Tom became a sought after orator, delivering original speeches at local schools, historical reenactments, and parades. Tom’s passion was to use his colorful and multi-faceted life experiences to help educate others on the important events and honorable men and women who shaped our nation. As the Patriot Poet often said, “Family, and our great nation, are everything!” Tom passed away on February 2, 2019 at the age of 84. Tom was preceded in death by his parents Thomas Russell Woodruff, Sr. and Jean Woodruff (nee Cairns), and his daughter-in-law Donna Woodruff (nee Toomey). He is remembered with love and laughter by his wife JoAnne (nee Costanza), daughter Gail Johnson (Gerald), son Raymond Woodruff (Laura), son Steven Woodruff (Annie Hermann), daughter Denise McLoughlin (E. Douglas); grandchildren Brooke Rive॔ (William), Carly Johnson, Jake Woodruff, Kevin Doerner, Justin Doerner, and Tavish McLoughlin; great grandchildren Cameron Rive॔ and Juliette Rive॔. Family and friends may call on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 from 6:00 - 8:00pm at Jacob F. Ruth Funeral Directors in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Tom’s name to Mobile Minis (rescued and donated mini hoofprints touching many hearts) at
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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Jacob F. Ruth Funeral Directors

8413 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118

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