Erin Flanagan Woods died peacefully at home in her sleep in the early hours of July 23, 2019. Born September 12, 1925 in Superior, AZ, the oldest child of Juanita Greninger Flanagan and John Francis Flanagan, she attended the Superior Elementary and High Schools. From 1943-45 she attended the University of Arizona, Tucson, and earned a BA in Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 1947. Erin was a sorority sister in Theta Upsilon (later Delta Zeta). While at Berkeley she sang in the premiere of Roger Sessions’ 1947 opera The Trial of Lucullus. Backstage, she met fellow cast-member W. William Woods (Bill), who became the love of her life. After college Erin worked in medical research labs at the University of California at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital, Oakland, CA and the Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA.
Erin and Bill married on June 12, 1950, in Cambridge MA. In the winter of 1951 they drove across the country to begin a new life in Washington State, where Bill took a job at the Boeing Airplane Company. They bought 20 acres east of Redmond, WA, and lived in an army tent while Bill built the initial phase of what would be their home for nearly seven decades. In 1955 their daughter Fronda was born, followed by their daughter LaVerne in 1957.
Together Erin and Bill sang in local choral groups, took up mountaineering and pioneered bicycle touring in the Pacific Northwest. They wrote the popular Bicycling the Backroads guidebook series published by The Mountaineers, and cycled over 100,000 miles together. Erin was a keen birder with a particular talent for identifying bird calls. Her observations were cited as authority in a book on the birds of Washington. In retirement Erin and Bill devoted their property to tree farming and became active members of the Upper Puget Sound chapter of the Washington Farm Forestry Association, which Erin served as Secretary-Treasurer from 2000-2004.
Erin is survived, missed and loved by her ever-devoted husband Bill, her daughters Fronda Woods and LaVerne Woods, and her grandson Eric Hart Woods Zobel. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.