Donald Woodruff

Obituary of Donald James Woodruff

Donald James Woodruff, 74, of Pompton Plains, passed away July 4, 2021.

Born and raised in Paterson, Donald was the son of the late Harold and Jean Woodruff.  He proudly served in the US National Guard and graduated from Seton Hall.  He worked for many years as an accountant and enjoyed spending his free time fishing.


Donald Woodruff, aka Woody, Pop Pop, and “The Diner Tramp” will always be remembered as the provider. He provided financially for his family by working many jobs but still finding time to spend with his three “dollies.” Family was the most important thing to him. He provided security and safety, always double checking that the door was locked, or like the time he bravely battled the bat that flew into our house in the middle of the night. He provided fun by always laughing at the silly birthday and Father’s Day cards we would give him. He saved every one of them. And by letting his little girls play beauty parlor with his thick brown curls. Then when they turned gray, he’d grow a beard and play Santa Claus. But most of all, he provided love by showing us he cared in many ways. He’d take his grandkids fishing, lend a helping hand around the house, and sing “Happy Birthday” every year purposefully out of tune. He even loved his family through years of pain and suffering. His strength and will to live life to its fullest was greatly admired. We will miss him, but he has provided us with a lifetime of memories, a role model for what a husband and father should ultimately be, and a lasting legacy that no matter what struggles life may bring, work hard and be the type of provider he was.  


Donald is lovingly survived by his wife, Joan (nee Walsh); his daughters, Erin Solej and husband Tomas, Mary Kay Catalano and husband Michael, and Beth Reese and husband Ronnie; his grandchildren, Lucas, Hanna, Joseph and Henry; and his sisters, Sherry Woodruff and Sister Mary Augustine.

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