Bob Woodward, of Dubuque, died peacefully at Luther Manor with family at his side on Wednesday, August 30, 2017.
Visitation will be held at Hoffman Schneider Funeral Home, 3860 Asbury Road, on Sunday, September 3, 2017 from 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM. Private services will be held with the family.
Bob was born Frederick Robert Woodward, Jr. to M. Jeanne Woodward and F. Robert Woodward, Sr. on October 26, 1936. Following his father’s death, he preferred to be known as simply “Bob Woodward”, which complicated life for his elder son Bob.
After elementary education in Texas and Dubuque, Bob graduated from Culver Military Academy in 1955 and Drake University in 1959.
His adult life was filled with many passions: a career in communications, numerous philanthropic and conservational projects, service to the community, vintage car racing (especially Formula Junior), and his family.
Bob’s career started at the Fort Dodge Messenger where he was a photojournalist and feature writer. Bob was also a photojournalist and correspondent for WCI Dubuque Radio and the Telegraph Herald in Vietnam and the Middle East. He would take pictures and have a strong interest in photojournalism for the rest of his life. Bob also authored a biography of deceased Dubuque artist Frank Licciardi and founded, edited, and published the Monoposto Register Magazine.
Bob spent the remaining years of his professional career with Woodward Communications, Inc. (WCI). He worked as reporter, Assistant General Manager, and General Manager at Dubuque radio station KDTH. Following his broadcast experience, Bob transitioned into print as Production Manager for the Telegraph Herald. During this period, Bob oversaw the installation of the first Goss doublewide offset press. Bob retired from WCI after decades in several executive positions, including Vice-President, Vice President of the Broadcast Division, Executive Vice-President, Director, Chairman of the Executive Committee, and Chairman and CEO.
Bob also served for several years as a Director of Dubuque Bank and Trust and Heartland Financial.
The thrust of his service activity was eclectic; it included artistic, community, environmental, educational, historical, and youth-oriented organizations.
Local activities included: Dubuque Museum of Art (Trustee, Chairman), Four Mounds Foundation (Co-founder, Director, and President), Dubuque County Historical Society (Co-founder and Director), Dubuque Lamaze Association (Director), Dubuque Child Care, Inc. (Co-founder and Director), Dubuque Boys Club (Director), Northeast Iowa Council Boy Scouts (Director), Dubuque United Way (Chairman, Campaign Chairman), YMCA/YWCA (Trustee), Clarke University (Development Council), University of Dubuque (Development Council), Loras College (Arts Advisory Council), Dubuque Chamber of Commerce (Director), Dubuque Area Industrial Bureau (Director), and Dubuque Community Services Planning Commission (Director).
Environmental service included membership and support of numerous organizations, including the Iowa National Heritage Foundation (Director). Bob has also served as a Director in professional organizations that include Iowa Daily Press Association, Iowa Broadcaster Association, and the national Inland Daily Press Association.
Dubuque organizations have recognized Bob’s service: Dubuque County Conservation Society Outstanding Leadership Award (Mines of Spain preservation efforts), Dubuque County Fine Arts Society Elisha Darlin Arts Award (outstanding contributions to the arts), National Society of fund Raising Executives Outstanding Individual Philanthropist Award, Dubuque County Historical Society Treasures of Dubuque (recognition of the Woodward Family), Junior Achievement induction into the Tri-State Area Business Hall of Fame, and the Grand Opera House Hall of Fame (with spouse Barbara).
Bob married Barbara Sullivan in 1971. The couple shared the joys and anxieties of raising four children. Together, they enjoyed eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren and 46 years of marriage. Weekend activities were family events, whether they were on the river, at a multicultural dinner, or at the racetrack. Bob’s children remember him for his teasing nature and experiential instruction..
Bob’s passion for racing was evident in his competition on the track, his research and knowledge of historic racecars, and his contributions to the development of organized historic racing in the United States.
Fascination with racing was first evident with a bicycle that he named “Lightning”; he then proceeded to proclaim to the neighborhood the speed of his vehicle by painting “Lighting” on the two-wheeler. Bob raced many types of cars: hot rods, roadsters, and a Formula Junior during their seasons in auto racing in the 1950’s and 1960’s, as well as historic sports car, Formula Junior, Formula Two, and Formula One racers.
Bob enjoyed racing competition, whether it was a “dice”, heads-up race with another driver, winning a race, or winning a series against many competitors. In addition to winning multiple series class championships, he won the US Formula Junior Championship and twice won the Monoposto Racing Grand Championship Fangio Trophy.
In concert with other historic racing enthusiasts, Bob co-founded the Monoposto Register, a North American historic car road racing organization. He was the driving force behind development of the organization, which grew to the level of standards and participation consistent with international historic car organizations in Formula Junior racing. Bob received North American and international recognition for his contributions to vintage racing, including: Vintage Motorsport Grand Prix Cup, the Count Lurani Trophy, Vintage Sports Car Drivers Association Distinguished Service Award, numerous recognitions from the Monoposto Register, including the Distinguished Service Award, and Vintage Motorsport Knock-Off Award for Outstanding Contribution to Monoposto Racing.
Bob was most recently recognized for his contributions to racing by the international Formula Junior Historic Racing Association (FJHRA) awarding the” Bob Woodward Trophy” during its Diamond Jubilee racing series. FJHRA, which represents Formula Junior racing worldwide, is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee from 2016 – 2018 with a race series throughout the world. The “Bob Woodward Trophy” will be awarded later this month. Only one other American has had a trophy named in his honor in the Jubilee series: Peter Revson, the last American born driver to win a Formula One race.
The last checkered flag has waved for Bob.
Surviving are his wife Barbara Sullivan Woodward and his four children: Bob Woodward, III and his spouse Beth, Mona Woodward and her spouse George Doremus, Duncan Woodward and his spouse Michele, and Anne-Marie Woodward. Numerous nieces and nephews, including Paul Woodward, Kristin Woodward-Vaassen, and Tom Woodward, also survive him. Surviving in-laws are Beverly Graves (Dubuque), Katie and Ed Mulholland (Marion, IA), Terry and Sheila Sullivan (Dubuque), Tim and Jane Sullivan (Urbandale, IA), and Bess and Ross Scott (Lincoln, NE).
Bob was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Tom and Bill. His parents-in-law Bob and Mary Sullivan also preceded him in death.
The family requests that no flowers or plants be sent. Bob requested that memorials be given to the Dubuque Museum of Art, Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Grand Opera House, Loras College, or a charity of choice.
The family is thankful for the care and comfort Bob received from the staffs at Luther Manor and Hospice. We appreciate the excellent medical care received from Drs. John Viner, Mark Liaboe, Allen Meurer, and their staffs.