Spofford “Cap” Woodruff, 91 from Middlebury



MIDDLEBURY – Spofford “Cap” Woodruff passed away peacefully in Middlebury, Vermont on Sunday, November 14, 2021. He was 91 years old.

Cap was born in Providence, RI, to Gerald Beckley Woodruff and Helen Spofford Woodruff. He and his sister, Jane Woodruff Greenough, grew up in Barrington, RI

Cap attended Gordon School and Providence Country Day School. He started Amherst College with the class of 1953. He interrupted his college career to enlist in the US Navy, serving from 1951 to 1955 in Newport, Boston, and on the destroyer USS Charles J. Badger. He returned to Amherst and graduated with the class of 1957 majoring in biology.

In 1961, Cap received a master’s degree in marine biology from the University of Rhode Island, where he met his future wife, Sara “Sally” Gifford Petty of East Greenwich, RI. The two married in April 1960.

After teaching high school science at Tabor Academy in Marion, Massachusetts, and Hun School in Princeton, NJ, Cap and Sally returned to Rhode Island in 1967. They settled in Bristol with their young family. Cap joined the faculty of Providence Country Day School where he taught biology and chemistry and coached tennis until 1989. After his retirement from teaching he worked as a coordinator and instructor with the program. US Department of Commerce marine recreation information in southern New England. this in 1995.

In 2002 Cap and Sally moved from Bristol to Barrington and in 2013 to Middlebury, Vermont, where Cap enjoyed being near his family and watching sports at Middlebury College. He has volunteered at the Open Door Clinic and Homeward Bound, the Addison County Humane Society. He was a member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Middlebury.

Cap has never been happier than sailing, whether cruising with his family, skipping a big race or crewing on a friend’s boat. He was looking forward to the tactical challenges of the race, the camaraderie of a shared experience and a Sea Sprite with well-tuned sails. For many decades he was an active member of the Bristol Yacht Club and a supporter of Save the Bay. He enjoyed sharing his knowledge of Narragansett Bay, acting as a patient sailing instructor and clam picking guide to his grandchildren.

Cap also loved music, playing the bagpipes and singing in the Bristol Interfaith Choir.

Cap is survived by his wife of 61 years, Sara Gifford Petty Woodruff, and his three children and their spouses, Jennifer Woodruff and John Bowin, Charles Woodruff and Margaret Woodruff, and Elizabeth Wright and Thomas Wright, as well as six grandchildren: Sara Bowin; Carolyn, Beatrice and Eleanor Woodruff; and Thomas and Eden Wright.

The next time you feel a breeze sweeping over you from the south, raise your glass and think of Cap.

Memorial donations can be made to Homeward Bound, 236 Boardman St, Middlebury, VT 05753 to honor Cap and his lifelong love of animals. ??


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