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Craig Woodward, a standout athlete, successful timber executive and rancher, dies suddenly at age 72

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Local timber industry giant Craig Woodward was known for his philanthropy in the Crook County community.The Prineville community was shocked and saddened by the sudden death Thursday of Craig A. Woodward.

Woodward, who was 72, was an industrialist, and among the local timber industry's most important and well-known people of the last 50 years.

Woodward was 15 when he first started working in the woods with his father, Van Woodward. While in college, he started buying and selling timber and became adept at using new skidding equipment. He returned to Prineville as a young adult and operated a successful logging business, consistently buying timber land along the way.

He purchased the Louisiana Pacific sawmill in 1986 and renamed it Prineville Sawmill. He eventually sold Prineville Sawmill to Crown Pacific.

For years, Woodward has owned vast timber holdings and also the majority of Big Summit Prairie. He also owned timber land in Belize and had logging contracts in Kauai, Hawaii.

Raised in Prineville, Woodward was a standout athlete at Crook County High School. He had long been a staunch supporter, financial and otherwise, of CCHS athletics, especially wrestling. He was also known for his philanthropy within the community of Prineville, a dependable contributor to various fundraising events and projects through the years.

After graduating from CCHS in 1965, Woodward became an all-American wrestler at Eastern Oregon State University. In May, Woodward was scheduled to be inducted into the Oregon Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

A five-generation Oregonian, Woodward leaves his wife, Lucy, and three adult children.

Prineville Funeral Home is in charge of funeral arrangements.

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