Division of Archives and Records Service

Remembering Former State Archivist Bob Woodhead

Lauren Katz
December 9, 2022
Photo of Bob Woodhead

Our condolences go out to the family of Robert Gordon Woodhead, a former Utah State Archivist, who died on November 21. With the departure of Jeff Johnson in 2002, the Utah State Archives Director position was held briefly by Bob, who had previously held senior leadership positions in the Department of Administrative Services and the Division of Facilities and Construction Management. Though his tenure was the shortest of any of the Utah State Archivists, it was under Woodhead’s leadership that the division secured funding from the legislature to build a new, specialized Archives building and Research Center on the Rio Grande Campus in downtown Salt Lake City.

We asked staff who worked with Bob to share their memories:

Bob was a wonderful director that shepherded the Archives quest to obtain the necessary funding to build a state-of-the-art Archives building and repository. His expertise and experience in government was exactly what we needed at that time. Personally, he was a wonderful colleague and will be remembered as a kind and caring director and a friend to everyone.

Ken Williams, Utah State Archivist and Division Director

I was hired in my first professional role at the Utah State Archives and Records Service when Bob was the Director in 2003. In addition to being friendly and genuinely caring to those on staff, he gave me some of the best advice I have ever received when my job offer was made. In short, he counseled that while it was important to have good technical skills and expertise, it was even more important to master people skills as they would make the true difference in my life and career. He proved to be spot on with that wisdom and I appreciate the brief, but meaningful, opportunity I had to work with him.

Jim Kichas, Assistant Director and Archives Manager

I was just a little baby intern in the summer of 2003, when Bob was director. He made a concerted effort to talk to me one-on-one, discussing my short and long-term career goals. I always appreciated that he took the time to meet with me, an intern, because it showed that he really cared about the professional aspirations of his staff. 

Melissa Coy, Reformatting Program Manager