AUGUSTA, Ga. — Anna Lee Woodruff passed away after a brief illness on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013, at Doctors Hospital in Augusta, with her daughters Judy and Anita at her side. She was born Anna Lee Payne on May 16, 1923, in Springfield, Mo., to the late Lela Payne Crow and the late Carl Payne. She grew up in Tulsa, Okla., and moved to Augusta in 1958 after almost a decade of travels with her late husband, Retired U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer William H. Woodruff, to his assignments in Oklahoma, Germany, Missouri, New Jersey and Taiwan.  

Only 14 years old when her father died, she devoted most of her time as a teenager to helping her mother take care of the house and raise her four siblings, and she was not able to finish high school. She worked at Douglas Aircraft during World War II, and married William Woodruff, who was based at Fort Sill, Okla. They raised two daughters, Judy and Anita, and traveled with his assignments to Army bases in Germany, Missouri, New Jersey and Taiwan before he was transferred to Fort Gordon, Ga., near Augusta. After they settled in Augusta, she made her life as a homemaker and devoted mother. After her daughters grew up, she began regularly babysitting for a few families, and for more than 25 years oversaw the baby and toddlers nursery at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Augusta. She retired from that position in 2012.

She was passionate about gardening and tending to her greenery. And she was known for her charm and hospitality, always going out of her way to make others feel welcome, at family reunions, birthdays and special events. She was an amazing, selfless woman and role model for her daughters, the beloved “Grandma” to her three grandchildren, and an adored caregiver for many children in Augusta, most of whom have grown up with fond memories of “Miss Woody.”  

She was preceded in death by her husband William Woodruff in 1986.

She is survived by her daughters, Judy Woodruff (Al Hunt), of Washington, D.C., and Anita Woodruff Tanner (Wendell), of Augusta; her three grandchildren, Jeffrey Woodruff Hunt, Benjamin Woodruff Hunt and Lauren Ann Lee Hunt; her sisters, Mable Gulley, of Tulsa, Okla., Betty Harrell, of Oklahoma City, Okla., and Marcella Clark, of Harpswell-by-the-Sea, Maine; her brother, Joseph Payne, of Vandalia, Illinois; her brother-in-law, Elton Woodruff (Wanda), of Roanoke Rapids; and dozens of nieces and nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews, and cousins. There will be a visitation from 6 to 8 p.m., today, Wednesday, Jan. 23, at Platt’s Funeral Home at 721 Crawford Avenue in Augusta, Ga., which is handling the arrangements.

The funeral service will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 24, Platt’s Crawford Avenue Chapel, with the Rev. Mary-Katherine Blanchard officiating.

There will be a burial service in Tulsa, Okla., through Fitzgerald Funeral Service, at Memorial Park Cemetery, on Saturday morning, Jan. 26. It will be preceded by a visitation from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday Jan. 25, at the Fitzgerald Southwood Colonial Chapel at 3612 East 91st St., South, Tulsa OK 74137.

Please sign the guestbook and send condolences at

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