Willard Keith Woodmansee
Willard Keith Woodmansee, 87, also known as "Woody", passed away peacefully in Tacoma, Washington on March 5, 2012. Keith had a life-long passion for sailing, flying, and traveling the globe.
Keith grew up in Utah and Virginia, and took his first flying lessons at the age of 15.
In WWII, he served with the U.S. Maritime Service as radio officer and purser in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. His flying career spanned over 45 years, starting with the Boeing 314 "Flying Boats" to destinations in Europe and the Caribbean. In the early years of his career in commercial aviation, Keith flew for American International, World Airways, and the Flying Tigers. He first joined Pan Am American World Airways as flight radio officer in1946 and was later rehired by PAA as flight engineer. From the 1940's to the 1990's, he flew numerous aircraft, including L-Constellation (the “Connie”), DC 3-10, Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, B 707, 727 and 747. Keith was San Francisco based during most of his time with Pan Am and United Airlines, aside from a 3-year stint in Berlin in the early '60's, during which he and his growing family lived in Strasbourg, France.
In early 1994, then residing in Seattle, Washington, Keith retired from PAA/UA. Nevertheless, he continued to pursue new adventures in flying which included paragliding in the Cascade Mountains, taking floatplane lessons in Florida, and flying his de Havilland Tiger Moth out of Harvey Field, near Seattle.
Keith is survived by his first wife, Teresa Woodmansee; his three daughters, Ann Woodmansee, Helen Hall, and Suzy Woodmansee; his two brothers, Charles and Glen; and his wife Roberta Woodmansee.
A celebration of Keith's life was held at his home in Browns Point/Tacoma, Washington on March 9, 2012.
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