Charles Daniel Woodfin, 80, a resident of Mobile, Alabama passed away on Thursday,
September 30th, 2021. He is survived by his wife, Jane O'Barr Woodfin; children Daphne Lynne Michelini and Christopher Daniel Woodfin; stepchildren Carl Byers and Abby Diaz;
grandchildren Kevin Woodfin, Parker Fisher, Artemis Woodfin, Colton Michelini, Trey Michelini and Samantha Michelini. Although not biological family, to not mention the generations of students he taught who loved and respected him would be a disservice to a part of his life that was central to who he was.
Born in Okolona, Mississippi, Dan moved at at early age to Mobile where he attended Murphy High school, graduating in 1959. He studied architecture at Auburn in what was to become a lifelong passion. He practiced and taught architecture for well over 50 years at the University of Kentucky, University of Tennessee and the ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) before heading to Ball State University in 1971 where he taught until his retirement three years ago. He additionally practiced architecture early in his career in New Orleans as well as in Knoxville. During his tenure at Ball State he maintained an office with Uwe Koehler and later as a sole practitioner.
His many achievements could fill a book. He adopted philosophies central to sustainable
design decades before recent trends have finally recognized their importance. He would often argue that these ideas are not new, we have simply forgotten lessons that were learned a thousand years ago. As our father, vacations always included an architectural component. Stopping to see an important building, or significant town. To go on a walk with my father would be slow, as any who have done so will know. An observer, with open eyes, he will always stop, numerous times, to point out a detail on a house, a yard or even a flower. A common question on a family outing or a field trip with students: Where is Dad/ Dan? This would be followed by a point back in the direction of the man a half block back with camera in hand. He lived a full life.
While his passion for architecture played a central role in life, also was his interest in
genealogy and the quest to understand who we are by knowing where we came from. An avid postcard collector for decades, he curated a collection that was often architectural in subject with a particular focus on early twentieth century skyscrapers. To receive a postcard in the mail from him, sometimes a hundred years old, was always a gift. His children grew up often spending warm summer weekend days on family sailing outings to a local lake. The origins of this can be traced back to Mobile where as a child he worked with his brother and father to build a small sailing boat, a story he recently spoke of. He made sure that it was understood that this was not a normal boat and that it may not have looked like a sailboat to most, but it did float, for a time, and did have a mast made of a broomstick and was launched into Mobile Bay.
Though many adventures were still planned, he was at peace knowing how fortunate he was in living the life he lived.
He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him, yet the love for life he held and the passion he shared will continue to be felt for a long time to come.
Funeral services will be held from the chapel of Mobile Memorial Gardens Funeral Home on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at 12:00 PM. Visitation will be 10:00 AM unitl service time on Wednesday the the funeral home. Interment will be at Mobile Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
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