Bill and Beth Woodin Memorial Service

A memorial service to celebrate the lives of Bill and Beth Woodin will be held on Sunday, May 27, 2018, at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Rd., Tucson, AZ 85743. Details will be posted here when they are available. The museum’s web site is

For those who may not know, Bill Woodin was the director of the museum from 1954 – 1971. It was under his leadership that the museum survived and grew to become the world-renowned museum that it is now. Most of it is outdoors, with large, natural settings for the animals. After Bill stepped away from his direct, daily involvement with the museum, he continued as Director Emeritus. Beth Woodin also had a leadership role with the museum as a member of its board. Although we think of Bill as the world’s senior cartridge collector of military and police ammunition, we should remember that at his core, Bill was a herpetologist who was very concerned with the flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert, and that Beth joined him in this passion.

Below are a few snapshots I made during a visit to the museum with Bill in 2005. It’s interesting to be posting a picture of two of the museum’s rattlesnakes mating on a cartridge forum, but in this case I hope it’s appropriate. Bill said it was an unusual sighting. The museum is a wonderful place and a perfect setting for a memorial to Bill and Beth.








Thanks Mel

PS are you sure those are rattlesnakes? They look like pythons to me, but it would only be the 75th time I was wrong today

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Pete; You’re probably right. Maybe Bill was having a little fun with me. But do pythons have those two long, white fang-looking things inside the front of their upper jaw?

Bill would know & now I’m up to the 122nd time wrong today! THANKS

I believe Pete’s correct they are pythons. I believe reticulated pythons.

Thanks Dave, I’ve not seen a rattler with spots as they usually have a geometric pattern & the head is much more triangular.

Mel, looks like Bill gave you the snake!

That’s a really neat shot of the mountain lions. And a nice one of Bill too.

Those snakes are actually South American Boa’s :-)

While I have never been to this Museum, I have interacted with their staff a few times in the past. It is so amazing that, Bill started the whole thing. There used to be a Keeper there that was in charge of publishing wildlife, “Environmental Enrichment” articles for the AAZK (American Association Of Zoo Keepers) monthly journal in a section called, “THE SHAPE OF ENRICHMENT.” I used to write a few articles for that journal on enrichment ideas for Prosimian Primates. When I learned that, Bill was so instrumental in the running and creation of this facility I freaked out with joy. Just so awesome and yet another positive way to remember them both adding to their legacy of good in this world.

By the way, the bird of prey is a Harris Hawk. They are one of the few species of BOP that hunts in coordinated packs.


I’m absolutely, 100%, totally and completely certain that Bill would not have deceived me about the snakes 13 years ago. I just didn’t remember correctly. Blame my 74-year-old brain. Plus, it never occurred to me that Pythons have those two rattlesnake-like fangs up front, or that South American boas would be in a wildlife museum that includes just critters indigenous to the Sonora Desert. But I do remember that Bill showed me a number of animals that I never would have guessed would live in the desert. So I learned something, which I guess in the point of the museum.

I hope the weather’s nice the day of the service. Maybe it will be held outdoors, where we will be surrounded by the animals and plants Bill and Beth cared about so much.

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Definite Boas and not even venomous. Perhaps they were at the Museum to show an invasive, non native species? What you see as “fangs” in the photo are actually the snakes normal teeth in their sheath. Many species of Boas have very large front teeth like this for holding on to prey.