Jill Rae Woody




“There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.”

So reads a plaque prominently displayed in the home of Jill Woody. Those who have had the privilege of meeting her knew that Jill lived her life by these words and exemplified a spirit of gratitude, optimism, and passion that few others rival.


Jill’s professional endeavors were diverse: from acclaimed high school drama teacher she went on to perform in plays in New York and on tours including “Annie,” during which time she met and married the love of her life, Jack Woody. Jill was a teacher, an actress, a director, an entrepreneur, a vocational rehabilitation counselor, a foster parent, and she ultimately retired as a social worker for children and families, always giving back to her community. She accomplished all of these feats while having overcome many adversities, none the least of which was re-learning how to speak and walk after surviving a massive stroke in her early 20’s.


Jill was a lover of nature, a loyal friend, and a creative soul who passed away suddenly only a year after having moved to her dream home and community on San Juan Island. She was preceded by her beloved husband, Jack, her grandmother, Nana, her aunts Lois and Mayme, her mother, Bonnie Lang, and her precious dogs Max, Gretchen, Greta, and Chloe whom she treated better than royalty. She is survived by her sister, Holly, her niece, Karri, her great nieces, Mandi and Charity, and her cousin, Greg.

9 Responses to “Jill Rae Woody”

  • Karri says:

    My Aunt Jill was amazingly strong. She did not let anything keep her down; she refused it. During one of the most difficult times I’ve experienced, she reminded me of where I come from, and that Lang women fight. She helped me to turn not only that difficult time into something good, but was the catalyst for many positive changes I made in my life. I never told her that, and I regret not telling her. I won’t allow myself to feel bad for long though, my Aunt Jill would have hated that.

    I love you, Aunt Jill.

  • Ellen Roberts says:

    I met Jill when we worked together at DCFS doing the Kidscreen/CHET screening program. For quite awhile we covered the whole region together, with Jill driving all over interviewing children while I wrote up our reports from the office in Friday Harbor. Of course we became friends, and that friendship continued on after we both retired.

    Last year Jill moved to San Juan Island, so we had a chance to spend a lot more time together. She was one of the kindest, most caring and giving people I’ve ever known. She was also a person with a great sense of humor and adventure. Sadly, she died the day we were going to have our Downton Abbey party to celebrate the start of season 5. She is greatly missed!

  • Zoe Robinson says:

    Jill was a neighbor for several years and I loved listening to all the wonderful stories of her life. She lived her life with joy. I am go glad she was able to live in her dream home and community no matter how short a time it was. I know she is laughing, dancing, singing, and cooking with her loved ones up in heaven.

  • Holly Brown says:

    I am Jill’s sister, I miss her so very much! During the last phone call we had, on that Sunday just before she was going to get ready to go to Ellen’s and Judy’s for the Downton Abbey party, we talked through a recipe she had sent me on 12/28. In her honor (and talking to her as if she were standing next to me guiding me) I made the soup, Stuart, my husband, and I really enjoyed it. I will come back and share some memories here when I’ve learned how to do this without crying.

  • Mandi Jennings says:

    Jill only wanted to help people, and that was probably the best thing she could pass down to me. She was always filled with emotions and good vibes and I will never not miss it.

  • Connie Arnold says:

    Jill was my neighbor and friend. She has forever changed my life by being my biggest cheer leader and encouraging me to follow my dreams and take risks. After helping her organize, downsize, pack and move she saw a gifting in me that I had always taken for granted. I now own my own successful organizing business and owe it all to Jill. She was also my friend. We had “Girls Nights” and even sleepovers where we would cook, and eat, and process our feelings, and solve all the world’s problems. I will always remember her making me wear a whole chicken like a puppet as she taught me how to cook it and we laughed and made friends with that raw bird until I was able to get over my disgust. I will hold many fond memories close to my heart. Praying she is safely in the arms of Jesus celebrating eternity and watching over us all. Hugs forever Jill! Love Connie

  • Gary Mader says:

    It has been 13 months since we lost Jill. I am reminded of Jill often. We had hours of conversations discussing life and her dogs and my cats and people in our lives. She gave me plants that continue to thrive in my yard including a coral bark maple tree from her’s and Jack’s yard in Bothell. Jill and I along with other friends enjoyed many glasses of wine and glutton free snacks and bbq events at her homes both in Bothell and Kirkland. Jill continues to be deeply missed. She was an excellent and cherished friend! May she rest in peace.

  • Helen taylor says:

    Jill directed me in a couple of plays in Okla. City. She and Jack were friends and I lived her and learned from her. RIP my friend.Ratt meat forever.

  • Kathy Simmons says:

    I don’t know what it was that made me look up Jill tonight. I was feeling reminiscent. I befriended Jill in the little Juanita park across from my apartment where we both walked our dogs.

    It was a quick and meaningful friendship just 4 years prior to her passing, and I too learned how to cut up a raw, whole chicken wearing it like a puppet as another poster wrote here. We shared such laughter and joy with each other.

    Her kindness and generosity were unparalleled. Jill had a huge heart and genuinely cared about everyone she met.

    I learned about her amazing life and her love for her late husband whose picture she hung proudly on her wall.

    Sadly I moved away, and we lost contact those last few years. It’s another lesson to work at keeping those cherished friendships alive! I regret not staying in contact with her. May she Rest In Peace.

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