In Memoriam: Yvonne Woods, Widow of InterVarsity/USA Pioneer Stacey Woods

Yvonne WoodsYvonne Woods, the widow of InterVarsity/USA pioneer Stacey Woods, passed away Monday, April 7. She was 98 years old.

“If you ever met Yvonne, you were touched by her humility, sense of mission, and class,” said InterVarsity President Alec Hill. “Along with her husband, she leaves an incredible legacy of impacting student lives.”

Stacey Woods led both the U.S. and Canadian InterVarsity movements, and then was the first General Secretary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES). For a time, he held all three positions simultaneously. Yvonne was his steady companion. In C. Stacey Woods and the Evangelical Rediscovery of the University, author Donald MacLeod writes: “Yvonne … provided the domestic security his restless spirit needed. She was a woman of intelligence, charm, energy, and endless faith and confidence in God’s purposes.”

Following Stacey’s death on April 10, 1983, Yvonne resided for many years in Philadelphia, where she attended Tenth Presbyterian Church.

“Yvonne was a prayer warrior for IFES and for many of us, including my family,” said IFES General Secretary Daniel Bourdanné. In a reflection on the IFES blog, he recalled Yvonne’s presence at the 2007 IFES World Assembly, where he was installed as General Secretary and where 60 years of IFES ministry was celebrated.

“At that time, Yvonne was already over 90 years old, but she was full of energy, grace, and love, both for those around her and for students,” Bourdanné wrote. “It gave us a small glimpse of the faithful and godly support she had been over many years to Stacey and their three sons: Geoffrey, Stephen, and Jonathan.”

David Montgomery, Director of IFES Ireland, added, “With her passing it truly is the end of an era.”

A memorial service for Yvonne was held at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. The service was streamed live on the church's website.

Published: April 24, 2014