Racer, 10th Mountain officer, A&T president

Passing Date: 
Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Photo: Lt. John Woodward, 1941.

Major John Woodward, who commanded the training unit of the 10th Mountain Division, and became one of the owners of Anderson & Thompson (A&T) Ski Company, died May 25, at age 101.

Born in Iowa, Woodward grew up in Seattle, and began skiing, at age 15, in 1930, at Snoqualmie Pass. He became a top slalom skier, winning the Pacific Northwest Intercollegiate championship in 1936, and then managed a ski shop for a major department store chain in Seattle. In 1940, more than a year before Pearl Harbor, he joined the Army and, as a freshly-minted lieutenant, led the first ski patrol of the 15th Infantry, one of the units later folded into the 10th Mountain Division.

At Camp Hale, Colorado, Woodward was given command of the mountain training program. Serving in the unit were such ski racing luminaries as Walter Prager and Friedl Pfeiffer. With John Jay, another member of the unit, he produced the Army’s first ski training film.

In Italy, he saw action as a major in the 1st Battalion of the 87th Mountain Infantry.

Following the war, Woodward managed the ski shop of the University of Washington and organized some Seattle-area ski schools. He became a partner at Anderson & Thompson, helping to steer that company as it grew to be a major importer and distributor, handling brands such as Salomon, Dynastar and Kastinger.

Retiring in 1975, Woodward resumed racing and was a perennial age-group champion in Masters and NASTAR competition. At age 86, he won gold medals in Super G, GS and combined at the World Masters Championships. He continued to race into his nineties.

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