For Release July 27, 2004
Retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Sterling "Jack" Woodbury, a former president of the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District, passed away on Tuesday, July 20, 2004. Born on February 3, 1924, Jack was 80 years old.
Jack served 14 years on the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District Board of Directors (District), ten of them as president, and loving every minute of his service to this organization.
He was highly involved in many activities of the District, including participation on several committees, such as the Finance Committee, the Legislative Committee, the Land Resources Committee, the Water Resources Committee, the Personnel Committee, and as former chairman for the Wash Committee/PAC/Task Force. He was also quite active in several outside water organizations, including the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), where he was a member of the Federal Affairs Committee, the Groundwater Committee, the Resources Committee, the Federal Project Subcommittee, the Water Environment Subcommittee, and the Caucus of Water Conservation Agencies; he was the former chairman of the Santa Ana River Wash Area Coordinated Planning Committee; a member of the Association of Groundwater Agencies (AGWA); the alternate representative to the ACWA Joint Powers Insurance Authority (JPIA); and a former member of the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District Advisory Commission. Additionally, he represented the District in the Redlands and Highland Chambers of Commerce.
Jack served in the Navy Submarine Service in World War II in the South Pacific from 1943 to 1946. Because he loved the Navy and the Submarine Service, he continued in the Naval Reserves until 1975. He earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and his master's degree in systems management in 1949, both from the University of Southern California, where he was affiliated with Delta Tau Delta fraternity.
Following his active duty in the Navy, he worked seventeen years in the aerospace industry, including nine years with Hughes Tool Company in Culver City, three years with Acoustica in El Segundo, and ten years with TRW in San Bernardino, retiring in 1989. He also worked two years with the Bureau of Reclamation in Phoenix, Arizona.
In 1947, he married Dee Boston in Los Angeles, and in 1962 they moved to Redlands. They later lived in Palos Verdes for four years before moving back to Redlands in 1976 to live on a 10-acre citrus ranch in the Greenspot area of Mentone. He took complete care of his orange grove and took great pride in the value of an honest day's work, from irrigating, etc., to cleaning up after the horses he loved. He had a softspot for animals that led to fostering, mostly dogs, and working with the Redlands Humane Society by taking animals to Market Night in hopes of finding loving homes for them. There have been well over 100 foster dogs he and Dee cared for that have been adopted due to his efforts.
Jack was a member of the Redlands Mounted Police for 14 years and captain one year, receiving a commendation from the Redlands Chief of Police for honorable service to the Redlands Police Department. He had been a member for 30 years of the Rim of the World Riders, serving twice as president. He was a 20-year member of the Southern California Peruvian Paso Horse Club and president in 1975. He was deacon of the First Congregational Church for ten years and a member of Redlands Rotary for nine years until moving to Palos Verdes. He was a 14-gallon blood donor until his illness kept him from donating.
Jack will be sorely missed by all of the friends and colleagues who knew him. He is survived by his wife, Dee; his son, Greg Woodbury; his daughter Janice Orbaker; one granddaughter; and four great grandchildren.