Obituary: Leslie Ann Woodruff
Leslie Ann Woodruff
1956 - 2022
On October 26, 2022 Leslie Anne (Maxfield) Woodruff went up into heaven. She had lost her long-fought battle against ALS. She was diagnosed in 2017 and fought like a warrior against such a brutal disease up until the end.
Born in Syracuse, New York on February 18, 1956. She was born to Joanne Lord who had 10 children - 6 girls, and 4 boys and named Leslie after her grandfather by her Nana who raised her.
Leslie Maxfield moved from upstate New York to California, then Yuma, Arizona only to wind up in the artsy ghost town of Jerome, Arizona, at the age of 13. She loved growing up in Jerome and even attended Mingus Union High School there. Her final resting place will be in Clarkdale, Arizona, buried with her Nana Dorothy and grandfather Joseph Henri.
She had a zest for life like no other. Always adventurous, soft spoken, intelligent, curious and fun-loving.
In 1985 Leslie moved from the Verde Valley to Phoenix where she got a job at Dimension Cable (later changed to Cox Communications around 1994). She started in marketing and then ended up a manager in Televideo operations 1986-2008, Executive Producer in programming and operations Cox media 1990-2017.
She was an Executive Producer at Cox creative studios, even winning Emmys for shows she produced. In 2014 she won the Rocky Mountain award for Executive producer for category in education program special-her show Stem Journals for action sports and forensics. She also won an Emmy in 2014 for Executive producer for Informational/Instructional (formerly service program) for the show Step Outside fall planting.
She was mother to 4 children, Shawn Henry Helgeson, James Darrell Helgeson, Candice Anne De Witt (Moya) and Corey James Woodruff. Also, a grandmother to 7 beautiful grandchildren 6 boys, and 1 granddaughter.
We all were the apples of her eye and she took pride in each of us. She taught us all to love nature, and immerse yourself in it in whenever possible to cleanse your soul. She taught us that love, truth, trust and God will set you free. John 3:16.
She had a love for all animals, anything outdoors - hiking, camping, gardening, snow skiing, waterskiing, rock and walking stick collecting she loved it all. She had a thing for spur of the moment road trips, and listening to music loud while dancing all the way until our destination was reached. Road trips to Jerome, Prescott, Clarkdale, Payson, Winslow, Flagstaff, Bisbee and on.
Weekend trips to antique shops and don’t forget all the art shows we would go to, especially the Tempe Art festival. Cave Creek art festival and Flagstaff art in the park were her favorites.
She taught all of her children and grandchildren that art in all forms soothes your soul- painting, pottery, drawing, watercolor, producing, architecture, sculpture, welding, cinema, music, theater and literature.
She was always the first one to light the fire within each of our hearts to get up have fun, and explore, create, design then share. She was an amazing cook and I will miss holidays being up until 2 a.m. baking that last dessert that we just had to have even though we had already made 7.
Mom lived a life that was full and she lived with intention. She always said, “Everything happens for a reason, just put one foot in front of the other and have faith in God.” She also, always told us, “Never judge a book by its cover, or don’t judge someone because you’ve never walked a mile in their shoes.” She had a heart of gold, and loved deeply. She would say, “When you love deeply it hurts deeper.”
No one will ever replace our beautiful Mom. Our beautiful incredibly strong Mom - she was always the Mother and father to her kids and she did it all without breaking a sweat. She made it look easy and did it in style. We love you, Mom!!! Miss your laugh and smile!!! We love you to the moon and back!!! You told me that you were going to go to heaven to be with your Nana, brothers and sisters. She was one of a kind and designed to be our Mom and she did it the best. No explanation, or even book could sum up all of her extraordinary parts. We will miss you and love you ‘til forever and ever! You said you’ll be riding your horse Cheyenne, making a good meal (possibly Eggplant Parmigana), and planting a garden. You said it will be waiting for us. Until then…. I love you to Mieces and Pieces, Mom. I love you the mostest!!! XXXOOO
Celebration of Life for Leslie is planned for the near future. More information will come out on that at a later time.
Information provided by the family.