Jack and Judith Woods have been married for over 45 years and raised their four children in central New York where they became interested in the Erie Canal. They both have been teachers, and have spent many hours researching the Canal at the Weighlock Museum in Syracuse, NY, as well as in field trips with the NYS Canal Society.
They have cruised the canal in their canoe, in a houseboat, and have walked the towpath for miles. Last summer, Jack and Judi rented a canal boat and cruised from Fairport to Holley with their 14-year-old grandsons–who happen to be the two boys on the cover of Towpath Mysteries.
We were both raised in the same town in northwest New Jersey, and attended the same church. We became born again believers as teens, and as young parents rededicated our lives following a Lay Witness weekend.
After college for Judi, and the US Army for Jack, we moved to central New York so Jack could complete his undergraduate work. We stayed for thirty-one years, where Jack taught in public schools, while completing his M.S. in Education, followed by many workshops and courses in many areas. Judi has taught elementary grades in public schools and an ACSI-associated Christian school.
We also were very active at Trinity Baptist Church and at Ontario Bible Conference, where Jack served on the Board, and Judi as camp director. After leaving the public school, Jack worked for the Rescue Mission in Syracuse in several capacities. We have served Christian churches in the area of stewardship through a company in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where we make our home.
Jack worked at the Middletown and Hummelstown Railroad on the tourist trains, as well as helping to renovate an old steam locomotive and passenger coach. Judi is the Director of a preschool in Atglen, PA. We attend Victory Church in Lancaster, PA. Three of our four grown children live in upstate New York, and one lives in Pennsylvania. We have eight grandchildren.
Our writing experiences have mainly been in our profession, education. Jack had articles published in the field of Industrial Arts education and also by the NY State Canal Society, and was a prize winner in the WITF/York College writing contest. Judi wrote many of her own materials for her Kindergarten and Fourth Grade classrooms as well as curriculum for the Christian School and Christian camp programs.
Judi has a B.S. in Elementary Education and has permanent certification in NY State. Jack has a B.S. in Industrial Arts education, a M.S. in Education and permanent certification. We both have participated in countless in-service courses, and additional coursework in our many areas of interest. We became interested in NY State history while living there, and when our youngest left for college, we started researching the Erie Canal, from Albany to Buffalo. We have spent many hours in research at the Weighlock Museum library in Syracuse, as well as on field trips with the NYS Canal Society. We have cruised the canal in our canoe, in a motor boat, and have walked the towpath for miles.
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