by Ray Cramer, Director of Bands
R. NORWOOD (WOODIE) SCROGGS
February 2, 1924 – July 31, 2001
Woodie Scroggs was a great friend, loyal supporter of Indiana University and especially of the Marching Hundred. Woodie was a 50-year Marching Hundred ‘I’ man. He served a two-year term as president of the Alumni Band and several years on the board. Woodie was one of the founding members of the Alumni Band and participated every year until last year when his surgery for a brain tumor kept him away for the very first time.
Woodie was a tank driver in Europe during WW II. These experiences had a profound impact on his life and only by the grace of God was he able to escape injury or death during battle. Following the war Woodie enrolled in Indiana University and became a four-year member of the Marching Hundred and the IU Concert Bands. It was during a pep band warm-up prior to a basketball game that Woodie met Mary his future wife. Mary said Woodie sat behind her during the games and kept poking her with his trombone slide until he finally got her attention. They celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary on Sept. 17, 2000 so; I guess he really did get her attention. Woodie and Mary very much enjoyed their three children and 9 grandchildren.
According to Mary, Woodie was very proud to host the Marching Hundred on two different occasions in Jackson, Michigan during Marching Hundred road trips. He was on the phone constantly making arrangements with town folks to house the 300 plus members of the Marching Hundred. With pride he wore his Marching Hundred Alumni Jacket (red of course) the next day during our game with the University of Michigan.
Like most cancer patients following radiation treatments, he lost all of his hair and was not too keen to be seen in public. However, his hair began to grow back and was solid black but it only grew out on the right side of his head leaving the top and left side void of hair at all. But as Fred Ebbs, former IU Director of Bands who was pretty much bald all of his life used to say, God only made a few perfect heads, the rest he covered up with hair. Woodie solved this problem by proudly bringing out his Marching Hundred Alumni cap that he bought when he was down to celebrate his 50th class reunion. He wore it almost all the time thereafter. Mary was worried about what she would do about this hair problem after Woodie passed away and was in the Funeral Home for viewing. One day as she was searching for something in the closet something fell from the top shelf. She looked down on the floor and there was his beautiful new Marching Hundred cap. Even though Woodie was dressed in a dark business suit at the Funeral Home, Mary put on his Alumni Band cap, which brought many smiles, and comments from visitors but everyone knew how appropriate this was for Woodie. Our lasting memory of Woodie will be of him proudly wearing his Alumni Hat and Jacket and playing his trombone with the Alumni Band.
We will all miss his bright smile, friendly personality and enthusiastic spirit. We will be forever thankful for his loyalty and dedication to IU and the Marching Hundred. Our deepest sympathy and heartfelt prayers will be with Mary, their children and grandchildren.