Nancy Carol Woodward of Ferndale passed away unexpectedly February 27 at her home.

She is survived by three sons: Aaron Hutsch of Highlands Ranch, Colo., Eli Woodward of Fortuna and Miley Betts, also of Highlands Ranch, Colo.; two siblings, Richard Woodward of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Janet May of Flagstaff, Ariz.; four grandchildren Vance and Olivia Betts, Lauren Hutsch and Lexie Swanson; and one great-grandson, Wyatt Swanson. Nancy was predeceased by her parents, Robert and Elaine Woodward of Belleville, Illinois.

Born April 18,1945 in Woodbury, N.J., Nancy was raised in Belleville, Illinois. Her late teens and early 20s brought her to various spots in the country before she and her sons settled into the scene in San Francisco in the 1960s.

After decades working as a decorated seamstress and costume designer in the San Francisco Theatre scene, she was lured to Blue Lake in the mid 1980s by the Dell’Arte Players Company for a quieter life and better schools. She lived just a block from the gymkhana in Blue Lake, where she rediscovered her love of horses. Her first horse, Nugget, lived on Jackson Hill until she traded up for her “river house” off Rancheria Road. There she began acquiring several animals and found a new passion in the Alpaca breeding business. In 2008 she and her brood moved out to Oeschger Road outside of Ferndale, where she spent her remaining years farming in a quiet valley with a peek-a-view of the Pacific Ocean.

A virtual celebration of her life is being planned.

Throughout her life she was an accomplished reader, gardener and an amazing chef. Nancy truly excelled in everything she tried. Loved by so many, she will forever be dearly missed.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Nancy Woodward’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email