Archibald M. Woodruff

Archibald M. Woodruff, 70, died on Feb. 8, 2012, of complications of multiple myeloma.

He was born Aug. 24, 1941, in Summit, N.J., to Archibald M. Woodruff and Barbara Bestor Woodruff.

His adult life was spent learning and teaching. He graduated from Pittsburgh’s Shadyside Academy. He earned his bachelor’s of art degree in statistics at George Washington University, his master’s degree in philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh, and his Ph.D. in philosophy of religion in a joint program of the University of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Between 1974 and 1979, he served as co-pastor of five Presbyterian Churches in the canal region of Delaware. He taught at the University of New Mexico between 1981 and 1986. In 1987, he and his wife began 22 years as mission co-workers of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Sao Paulo, Brazil. They retired to Doraville, Ga., in 2009.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, he was an active participant in the peace movement, and later in New Mexico, he participated in the sanctuary movement. His political, social and professional work was always informed by his biblical scholarship. In his personal and professional life, he was known for his gentle strength of mind and body and his contagious sense of humor. His parishioners, colleagues and students also knew him as a careful scholar of the bible, both Hebrew and Greek. He was active in research on the Gospel of Mark up until a few weeks before he died.

During his years as professor of the Independent Presbyterian Seminary in São Paulo and of the Graduate School of Religion at the Methodist University of São Bernardo, one of his great pleasures was in the support of his women students in their struggle to become ordained. The Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil voted to ordain women as pastors and elders in 1999. His passion was helping all his students, of many denominations, become better theologians.

The Woodruff family has summered, whenever possible, in Bridgton on Highland Lake for several generations.

He leaves his wife Linnis Cook; three brothers, Paul B. Woodruff of Austin, Texas, Nathan V.E. Woodruff of Vernon, Conn. and Timothy R. Woodruff of Wilmington, Del., and their dear families.

A memorial service will be at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 30 at the Congregational Church in Bridgton. Burial will be in Bridgton, where his parents are also buried.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Lakes Environmental Association.

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