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American Mothers Inc. recognizes wife of former Clark County Commissioner Bruce Woodbury as Nevada Mother of the Year

Mother’s Day has passed, but the appreciation lasts a whole year for Rose Stewart Woodbury.

American Mothers Inc., headquartered in Washington, D.C., has named her the 2011 Mother of the Year for Nevada.

Rose Stewart Woodbury is 66 and the mother of seven. She grew up in Las Vegas. Her parents were Cornell Stewart, a rancher, and Josephine Schofield, who taught school in a one-room schoolhouse. Stewart Avenue, which is downtown, bears the family name.

Rose Woodbury grew up riding horses, climbing hay stacks and collecting frogs. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Utah.

She and former Clark County Commissioner Bruce Woodbury, who had been her Junior Prom Queen escort , married in 1964. They soon began a family. His time was often taken up by his law career, but he made dinner with his family a priority. He read the older children bedtime stories while his wife nursed their newest baby. Church played a large role in their lives.

When their children were little, most of the disciplining fell to Rose . She said she believes child rearing is about teaching independence early on.

“The parent’s role is to support, not confine, and not rescue but to offer encouragement to try again until muscle is developed, confidence is gained, and the child is sufficiently ‘paddling his own canoe,’ ” she said.

Encouraging her children to try new things — hiking, scuba diving, Broadway shows — led her to try those things, as well.

Her children can attest to growing up in a family where humor and a sense of shared effort made sacrifices seem less a chore.

Daughter Ashley Rose Woodbury Peel said of her mother, “She drops everything to help you, going above and beyond the call of duty.”

One of the Woodbury s’ children, Benjamin, was born a special needs child with brain damage but was extra special in their eyes. He attended elementary school until he was 22. Now 31, he lives at home with his parents and has to be spoon-fed. Rose sewed special gloves for him so he could not bite his fingers.

“While Rose has been deeply involved in community service in many different roles, ranging from Cub Scout den mother to executive director of a dynamic community concert organization and patron of the arts, her primary service is in her private charity (Benjamin),” said Mark James, president of Frias Holding Co .

Among Rose ‘s commitments outside her family over the years was as a delegate to the Nevada State Republican Convention, being a Lend A Hand volunteer, the LDS Relief Society president, a Boulder City Hospital fund raiser gala committee member and a Junior League of Las Vegas volunteer. No matter her outside work, it is her children she mentions first, and with pride.

“People concerned over the population explosion occasionally brought criticism my way over having seven children,” she said. “But truly my greatest contribution to society was birthing and raising nice human beings who became leaders, fine citizens and definitely a benefit to the community.”

Contact Summerlin and Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at jhogan@viewnews.com or 387-2949.

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