Skip to main content

James Woodburn and Helen Louise Hutchinson Woodburn

August 28, 2014

A joint graveside service and interment for James Woodburn, 91, formerly of Franklin and Helen Hutchinson Woodburn, 91, formerly of Ridgway will take place at 11 a.m. Sunday, at Franklin Cemetery. In honor of Mr. Woodburn’s service to his country, full military burial rites will be accorded by the V.E.T.S. Funeral Honor Guard of Franklin.
James Woodburn was born on October 16, 1922, in Franklin to James and Ruth Paca Woodburn. His studies at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology were interrupted when he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. From 1943 to 1945 he served as a 2nd Lieutenant and B-17 co-pilot stationed in Lancashire, England. Following his return from the service and graduation from MIT with a Bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering, he was employed by American Brake Shoe Company in New Jersey. Soon afterwards, he returned to MIT to earn a second degree in business administration. In his next position, with Great Lakes Carbon Corporation in Niagara Falls, N.Y., he met Helen Hutchinson, who shared his love of music. They were married in 1951, and enjoyed 56 years together.
Jim and Helen moved to Wheaton in 1955, when he joined Griffin Wheel Company of Chicago. He became President of Amsted Research Laboratories and later a group vice president. While at Amsted, he led the development of several patented steel processing methods. After his retirement from Amsted in 1981, he became vice president of S&C Electric in Chicago, retiring in 1983.
Jim shared his knowledge and interests generously with his family and was active in his church and community. He served as chairman of the Gary Memorial United Methodist church finance committee, and as Chairman of the Board of the B.R. Ryall YMCA. He enjoyed his friends and volunteer work for Kiwanis Club. He died January 18, 2008.
Helen Louise Hutchinson Woodburn, was born on April 9, 1923, in Ridgway, the second daughter of John William and Ada Arminta (Eshbaugh) Hutchinson. As a teen she displayed a gift for singing, winning the Pennsylvania state’s top prize for music as soprano vocalist. She attended Bryant & Stratton Business College in Buffalo, N.Y., and went on to help support her family as an executive administrative assistant and in labor relations at Bell Aircraft. Later, she worked as an executive administrative assistant at Great Lakes Carbon. Helen shared her gift for music with others nearly all her life. She inspired and delighted the congregation for more than 40 years as a soprano soloist in the Chancel Choir of Gary Memorial United Methodist Church. She also performed regularly as a member of the Wheaton Music Club. She died April 20, 2014.
Jim’s siblings, Michael Woodburn and Elizabeth Woodburn, and Helen’s sister, Jeanne Gottardi (nee Hutchinson) are also deceased.
Helen and Jim are survived by loving children Anne (Steve) Breitenbach, James, John, and Judith (Kent Harris) Woodburn; grandchildren Jamie (Bill) Kreher, Tara Woodburn, Sean Woodburn and Joseph Harris; and great-grandchildren Evelyn, Audrey, Will and Myles.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Timothy E. Hartle Funeral Home, 1328 Elk Street, Franklin.
Please visit: www.hartlefuneralhome.com for further information and to leave a note of condolence.

Ridgway boys soccer lost 4-0 to Karns City Wednesday night at Karns City High School in the first...
ST. MARYS – Elk County Catholic volleyball remained undefeated on the season with a 3-0 win (25-9,...
The Johnsonburg Ramettes won a match between two struggling teams on Tuesday night in the Wolves’...