Cover photo for Stephen "Steve" Ernest Woods's Obituary
Stephen "Steve" Ernest Woods Profile Photo
1946 Stephen "Steve" 2018

Stephen "Steve" Ernest Woods

November 6, 1946 — March 23, 2018

Steve Woods died Friday, March 23, 2018, surrounded by his wife and children due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 71.

A celebration of his life will be held at 11:00AM, Saturday, April 14, 2018, at the Estacada Junior High School Auditorium. A reception will follow at the Estacada High School Commons.

Stephen Ernest Woods was born November 6, 1946, in Lebanon, Oregon, to Clarence and Betty (Anderson) Woods. He grew up there with his four siblings. He began his storied wrestling career as an underweight 98 pounder at Lebanon High School. His heart and tenacity led him to excel in wrestling and upon high school graduation in 1964, Steve enrolled at Oregon State University where he was able to wrestle for legendary coach Dale Thomas. Thomas’s style and mentoring would have profound effects on Steve.

Steve graduated from OSU in 1968 and then served in the US Air Force during the Vietnam era. On June 28, 1969, Steve married the love of his life, Betty Moss, in front of a hometown crowd for both in Lebanon. The young couple began their marriage living in Turkey where Steve was stationed. When Steve completed his tour with the Air Force, they returned to Oregon living first in Union where Steve completed his Master’s in Education at Eastern Oregon State College while teaching social studies and coaching wrestling at Union High School.

In 1976, Steve, Betty, and their young family moved to Estacada, Oregon, where they would spend over 40 years. In Estacada, Steve taught social studies, coached wrestling, served as the vice-principal and principal at EHS and served on the school board after his retirement. Steve left EHS in 1998 to begin the final stop in his professional life, working for the Oregon School Boards Association in Salem, Oregon, developing school policy.

Steve’s other accolades include winning the PAC 8 Conference Wrestling Championship at 137 pounds in 1968, coaching the EHS wrestling team to become the Oregon School Athletic Association 3A state champions in 1977, being knighted by the City of Portland’s Royal Rosarians in 2006, being inducted into the Oregon Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2013, becoming a published author after printing his book Sorta Tough about Dale Thomas and the OSU wrestling program in 2013, and being inducted into the Bud and Dorothy Page Lebanon High School Hall of Fame In 2015.

Steve enjoyed being outside, making people laugh and spending time with his friends and family. His presence at any event was a guarantee for fun. Many will miss his sense of humor and quick wit.

Survivors include his wife Betty of Salem; sons, Jon Woods (Jodie) of Salem and Chris Woods (Melanie) of Estacada; daughter Kelly Woods of Boise, Idaho; grandsons Stephen, Grant and Luke; granddaughter Emma; brothers Jim Woods (Molly) of Kingman, Arizona and Chris Woods (Deb) of Denver, Colorado and sisters Margee O’Brien (Dan) of Madras, Oregon and Mary Travis of Denver, Colorado.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to Brighton Hospice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Stephen "Steve" Ernest Woods, please visit our flower store.

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