Woods, Cecil Lamborn (1903–1997) and Calista Cathryn (Kulenkamp) (1901–1983)

By Milton Hook

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Milton Hook, Ed.D. (Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, the United States). Hook retired in 1997 as a minister in the Greater Sydney Conference, Australia. An Australian by birth Hook has served the Church as a teacher at the elementary, academy and college levels, a missionary in Papua New Guinea, and as a local church pastor. In retirement he is a conjoint senior lecturer at Avondale College of Higher Education. He has authored Flames Over Battle Creek, Avondale: Experiment on the Dora, Desmond Ford: Reformist Theologian, Gospel Revivalist, the Seventh-day Adventist Heritage Series, and many magazine articles. He is married to Noeleen and has two sons and three grandchildren.

First Published: January 25, 2024

Cecil Woods was a valued teacher of science and mathematics at Hinsdale Sanitarium Academy, Washington Missionary College, the China Training Institute, Emmanuel Missionary College, and Pacific Union College.

Early Years

Cecil Woods was born on July 5, 1903, in Covington, Kentucky. His parents were Robert Bellville Woods and Etha Lena (Mendenhall) Woods. Cecil had an older brother, Robert William (b. 1899).1 The family moved from Kentucky to Ohio, then on to Georgia. Cecil was baptized in Atlanta, Georgia, by Elder Carlisle B. Haynes in 1916. He continued to attend public schools until 1918, and then he enrolled at Southern Junior College, Tennessee, from 1919 through 1921. He advanced to Emmanuel Missionary College (now Andrews University), Berrien Springs, Michigan, in 1922.2

Teaching Career

While Cecil studied at Emmanuel Missionary College, he was employed as a student teacher in the Science Department to assist with the payment of his tuition fees. He remained for three years, earning himself a bachelor’s degree. On completion of his graduate studies, he married Calista Cathryn Kulenkamp on August 6, 1925. They were appointed to Hinsdale Sanitarium Academy in Illinois, with him to teach science and serve as preceptor and her to serve as preceptress. They remained until the end of the 1928 academic year. During 1928 through 1931, Cecil taught mathematics and astronomy at Washington Missionary College (WMC), Takoma Park, Maryland, near Washington, D.C. In the summers of 1929 and 1930, he used the time to his advantage by doing some post-graduate studies at nearby Columbia University in New York City.3

Overseas Mission Service

In December 1930, Cecil received word of an appointment for him to teach science at the China Training Institute, Chiao Tou Djen, Jiangsu Province.4 WMC was averse to releasing him unless they were reimbursed for funds they had invested in him to further his education.5 Nevertheless, he and Calista agreed to go despite a drop in salary, so they arrived for the 1931 academic year. During the summer breaks when school was in recess, the teachers were assigned to assist with evangelism in the local churches.6 He remained in China until the end of the 1937 academic year, arriving back in America in mid-October7 because the Second Sino-Japanese War had begun. He had received permission for an early furlough in consideration of reports of his mother’s poor health.8

Further Teaching in the Homeland

Following his return to America, Cecil used his furlough to complete a Master of Science degree from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1938. He was urged to return to China to head a pre-medical department in a new training institution under construction.9 He resisted the offer, not wanting to teach in facilities that were inadequate at that stage.10 A further attempt was made to lure him with an offer to administer the entire facility. However, he was not interested in administration.11 Instead, he accepted an appointment to return to Emmanuel Missionary College and teach mathematics.12 During the summer breaks, Cecil applied himself to earn credits in mathematics at the University of Chicago, Illinois. He was then granted a leave of absence to accept an assistantship back at the University of Cincinnati where, after two years, he was awarded a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1946.13

Once again, Cecil was urged to accept a teaching appointment in China. He resisted.14 Instead, he found a teaching position to his liking at Pacific Union College (PUC), Angwin, California, specialising in mathematics.15 For 24 years, he taught undergraduates at the institution until he retired in 1972.16

Final Years

Cecil and Celista remained in the vicinity of PUC after his retirement. Calista passed away on March 1, 1983, at Angwin, at the age of eighty-two.17 She and Cecil had a family of three daughters.18 The following year, Cecil married widow Velda (Fulk) (Schrader) Hein.19 They, too, remained in the Angwin area until Cecil passed away on November 21, 1997. The ashes of Cecil and Calista rest in a cremation niche at Saint Helena Cemetery.20 Velda passed away in Nebraska on May 11, 2002, aged 94, and was interred with her first husband in Beth El Cemetery, Cheyenne, Wyoming.21

Sources

“Calista Katheryn (Kulenkamp) Woods.” Find A Grave Memorial ID 48367925. Accessed October 26, 2023. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/48367925/calista-katheryn-woods.

"Cecil Lamborn Woods." FamilySearch. Accessed October 26, 2023. https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/L5KV-W57.

“Cecil Lamborn Woods.” Find A Grave Memorial ID 48367926. Accessed October 26, 2023. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/48367926/cecil-lamborn-woods.

"Others of Chiao Tou Tseng...." China Division Reporter, July/August 1933.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association. Various years. https://www.adventistyearbook.org/.

“Velda M. (Fulk) Woods.” Find A Grave Memorial ID 29162638. Accessed October 28, 2023. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/29162638/velda-m-woods.

Woods, Cecil Lamborn. Appointee Files. RG 21, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A. (GCA).

Woods, Cecil Lamborn. Secretariat Files. RG 21, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A. (GCA).

Notes

  1. “Cecil Lamborn Woods,” FamilySearch, accessed October 26, 2023, https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/L5KV-W57.

  2. Cecil Lamborn Woods, Biographical Information Blank, February 2, 1931, Secretariat Files, RG 21, Record 114954, GCA.

  3. Ibid.

  4. Letter, M. E. Kern to C. L. Woods, December 11, 1930, Appointee Files, RG 21, Record 47518, GCA.

  5. Letter, H. H. Hamilton to M. E. Kern, February 10, 1931, Appointee Files, RG 21, Record 47518, GCA.

  6. “Others of Chiao Tou Tseng….” China Division Reporter, July/August 19323, 16.

  7. Letter, C. L. Woods to A.W. Cormack, February 14, 1938, Appointee Files, RG 21, Record 47518, GCA.

  8. Letter, Robert W. Woods to E. D. Dick, February 22, 1937, Appointee Files, RG 21, Record 47518, GCA.

  9. Letter, C. L. Woods to A. W. Cormack, January 16, 1946, Appointee Files, RG 21, Record 47518, GCA.

  10. Letter, Cecil L. Woods to E. D. Dick, May 27, 1938, Appointee Files, RG 21, Record 47518, GCA.

  11. Letter, Cecil L. Woods to E. D. Dick, May 26, 1939, Appointee Files, RG 21, Record 47518, GCA.

  12. Letter, H. J. Klooster to H. T. Elliott, April 22, 1938, Appointee Files, RG 21, Record 47518, GCA.

  13. Letter, Cecil L. Woods to A. W. Cormack, January 16, 1946, Appointee Files, RG 21, Record 47518, GCA.

  14. Ibid.

  15. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook for 1948, 260.

  16. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook for 1972, 332.

  17. “Calista Katheryn (Kulenkamp) Woods,” Find A Grave Memorial ID 48367925, February 20, 2010, accessed October 26, 2023, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/48367925/calista-katheryn-woods.

  18. Letter, Cecil L. Woods to A. W. Cormack, February 8, 1938, Appointee Files, RG 21, Record 47518, GCA.

  19. “Velda M. (Fulk) Woods,” Find A Grave Memorial ID 29162638, August 20, 2008, accessed October 26, 2023, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/29162638/velda-m-woods.

  20. “Cecil Lamborn Woods,” Find A Grave Memorial ID 48367926, February 20, 2010, accessed October 26, 2023, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/48367926/cecil-lamborn-woods.

  21. “Velda M. (Fulk) Woods,” Find A Grave Memorial.

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Hook, Milton. "Woods, Cecil Lamborn (1903–1997) and Calista Cathryn (Kulenkamp) (1901–1983)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 25, 2024. Accessed May 24, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=E8QU.

Hook, Milton. "Woods, Cecil Lamborn (1903–1997) and Calista Cathryn (Kulenkamp) (1901–1983)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 25, 2024. Date of access May 24, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=E8QU.

Hook, Milton (2024, January 25). Woods, Cecil Lamborn (1903–1997) and Calista Cathryn (Kulenkamp) (1901–1983). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 24, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=E8QU.