Paul Nicola Woodruff, M.D., was born June 17, 1936 at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. He was the first child of Drs. Hazel Byington Nicola and Roy Paul Woodruff.
He was born with extraordinary intelligence and a rebellious, sometimes obstreperous, spirit. Growing up in Vallejo, California, he learned to fly in a Cessna 140 as a teen at the nearby Napa County Airport. And so began his love of all things of the sky. Paul graduated from Pacific Union College Prep School, then graduated from Pacific Union College in 1959 with a degree in chemistry. He followed in his parents’ footsteps and graduated with a doctorate of medicine from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 1963. He worked at White Memorial Hospital and LA County General Hospital, then interrupted his residency to enlist in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. As an Air Force captain, he served as a flight surgeon at the Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska.
After his military service, he completed a residency in anesthesia at the University of Utah. He practiced anesthesia for 30 years at St. Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. Along with his insatiable curiosity and passion for scientific exploration, Paul loved to fly, watch birds and spend nights watching stars and planets move through the sky.
He also cared deeply for his family and loved nothing more than sitting down for hours with them explaining mathematics, physics or chemistry. He lives on in the hearts of loving family and friends who miss him dearly. He was preceded in death by his mother, father and his brother, Stanley Charles. He leaves behind his wife, Nadezda Ludmila Dudova Woodruff, sister, Teri Perticone, brother Darrell Woodruff, his daughters, Suzanne Raeleen Baker, MariLynn Davonne Lloyd, Anna Tatiana Woodruff-Martinez and Alexandra (Sáša) Ludmila Woodruff, Suzi and Mari’s mother, Joanne Blatt, grandchildren Brendan Baker, Ashley Reed, Andrew and Alex Lloyd and Amrita Woodruff-Humphreys and two great grandchildren Harper and Sawyer Reed.
Paul passed away at home in Salt Lake City, Utah after a long illness with heart failure on July 2, 2019. We would like to thank Aimee Ross, for being with him for his last breath, and the incredible staff at Bristol Hospice for giving him comfort and peace in his last days.
In lieu of flowers, we request donations in his name to the preservation of birds through The Peregrine Fund.