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On December 21, 2022, Marion Earl Woodbury, Jr. 79, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family. It was just February of this year when Marion was sidelined by leukemia. He fought hard for many months and thankfully was well enough to celebrate the college and high school graduations of three of his grandchildren and the wedding of his oldest grandchild in October.
Marion came from humble beginnings, growing up on a small tobacco farm in Horry County. He was born on February 18, 1943, the only child of Vera and Earl Woodbury, Sr. Marion was the first of his family to attend college, which he paid for by raising and selling pigs. His graduation from the University of South Carolina with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration marked the beginning of a successful trajectory for Marion, both professionally and personally. His first job as a CPA was with the Internal Revenue Service. Remarkably, after auditing the Medical University of South Carolina, he was hired as the Chief Accountant. For the remainder of his professional career, Marion worked for MUSC in various capacities, deftly negotiating both political pressures and social changes. He held firm to his moral compass and never comprised his integrity even when doing so was the easier path. As such, he engendered trust and respect in all aspects of his life. Marion was instrumental in securing funding for both the original Children’s Hospital and the Ashley River Tower. Significantly, in 1991, he became the founding CEO for University Medical Associates, a position he held until his “retirement” in 2004. Upon his retirement, Marion continued as a consultant and served as Special Assistant to the President, Ray Greenberg for several years. In 2009, in recognition of his hard work and dedication, Marion was awarded an honorary doctorate. He spent the last few days of his life at Ashley River Tower, bringing him full circle to one of his greatest achievements.
Marion had many friends from every chapter of his life. It could be said that he “friended” for life. He was a true Renaissance man as comfortable in a board room as he was on a tractor. Even when he was not “ working ” he was working, whether it be bush-hogging, breeding cattle, carpentry or writing a book. Until his illness, he single-handedly maintained 20 acres at his home in Beaufort and played 18 holes of golf weekly at Westcott with his golfing buddies.
Marion’s easy-going nature and Southern drawl belied his keen intellect and analytical prowess. He was respected as an insightful leader and a thoughtful and thorough problem solver. Marion placed great value on a good education and sacrificed to provide his children and grandchildren with educational opportunities that he never had. Marion was a dedicated husband, a beloved father, a proud grandfather and a loyal and constant friend who will be sorely missed.
Marion is survived by Eleanor his loving wife of 57 years, his daughters Lisa Caldwell and Anna Kerr (Chris) as well as his five grandchildren Dawes Caldwell (Catherine), Gil Caldwell, Emma Kerr, Molly Kerr and Henry Caldwell. He is also survived by his cousin Jackie Woodbury (Gloria) whom he considered a brother. He leaves behind many lifelong friends with whom he shared many laughs. A man of strong faith, his family is comforted in knowing he is at peace and no longer suffering. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the MUSC Hollings Cancer Center.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, December 29, 2022 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1157 Sam Rittenberg Boulevard, Charleston, SC 29407. An Inurnment and reception will follow the services.
Messages of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at www.mcalister-smith.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to McAlister-Smith Funeral & Cremation - West Ashley, 2501 Bees Ferry Road, Charleston, SC 29414, (843) 722-8371.
Thursday, December 29, 2022
Starts at 11:00am (Eastern time)
Westminster Presbyterian Church
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