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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Myrtle Woldson, Spokane philanthropist, dies at 104

Myrtle Woldson (Courtesy University)
Myrtle Woldson (Courtesy University)

Spokane philanthropist Myrtle Woldson died Friday at her home. She was 104.

Woldson is best known as the daughter of Martin Woldson, who owned Northern Pacific Railway and also worked as a railroad construction contractor. She donated $3 million in his name for the restoration of the Fox Theater, which is now called the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox. She also gave $1.2 million to help restore the Moore-Turner Heritage Garden.

Her father, who was born in Norway, came to Spokane around 1893. He died in 1958 at age 94. His love of music led her to donate to the Fox restoration project, Myrtle Woldson told The Spokesman-Review in 2007. Her mother, Edwidge L. Woldson, died in 1966 at age 79. She was a lover of gardens, which inspired Woldson to donate money to the Moore-Turner garden.

In 2010, the Spokane Park Board voted to rename Pioneer Park after Woldson’s mother in recognition of the donation to the Moore-Turner garden.

A short statement released Saturday by Woldson’s personal representative, Mark Danner, said Woldson was an accomplished businesswoman.

“Miss Woldson’s passing is a sad event for us and for everyone that loved her and respected her over the years,” it states. “She died as she lived, with dignity and in privacy.”

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