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The Woody Guthrie Family

The Woody Guthrie Family

The Legacy of Woody Guthrie

During the summer of 2017, John and I trekked across the Midwest in our RV for three months, to promote my just published book, Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s. 

I had spent a lot of time searching for Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) Team Hope Walks and HD support groups that I could attend on the trip.  Once that was complete, we mapped out the trip.

Two other places that I wanted to visit, was the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa Oklahoma, where I would hold a book discussion.    (Woody died from Huntington’s Disease (HD) complications.)

The second place was Woody’s hometown of Okemah Oklahoma, where the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival has been held for the past 21 years.  John and I spent four (4) days at WoodyFest and had a really great time.

Anna Canoni, Woody’s granddaughter, attended the 2019 HDSA Convention in Boston, she comes every year, and she congratulated me on the Woody Guthrie Advocacy Award I was presented with at the Gala.

Woody Guthrie Publications is administered by Woody Guthrie’s daughter Nora Guthrie and his granddaughter, Anna Canoni.

Her grandfather, Woody, and grandmother, Marjorie, are my hero’s and I’m proud to be an HD Advocate, helping to make a difference and hoping I will see a therapy/cure in my lifetime.

We Can Never Lose HOPE………………


The Woody Guthrie Family

More About Woodrow Wilson Guthrie

Woody Guthrie was a very interesting and talented man.  I think he accomplished more in his 55 years on this earth than most people do in 80-90 years.

During his short, tumultuous life Guthrie was a writer, union activist, performer, social commentator, story teller, and composer of over 1000 songs.  He was also a poet, and author. When John and I visited the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa Oklahoma, we saw his work.  He was a brilliant man.

The timeline of Woody’s life, can be seen here:

I had the privilege to present a “book discussion” at the Woody Guthrie Center.  I had just published the nonfiction book, Watching Their Dance.

With that said, I’ll tell you about Woody’s private life.  Woody’s mother, Nora, had Huntington’s disease and was placed in Oklahoma Hospital for the Insane.

At age 19, Guthrie met and married his first wife, Mary Jennings, in Texas in 1931. They had three children together: Gwendolyn, Sue, and Bill.  Bill died at age 23 of an automobile accident. Each daughter died of Huntington’s disease at the age of 41, in the 1970s.  Guthrie and Mary divorced in 1940.

He married twice more, to Marjorie Greenblatt (1945–53), they had daughters Cathy and Nora; and sons Arlo and Joady.  Cathy died in a fire.

Woody married Anneke Van Kirkand (1953–56) and had a daughter; having a total of eight children.

Woody was hospitalized at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Morris County, New Jersey, from 1956 to 1961; at Brooklyn State Hospital (now Kingsboro Psychiatric Center) in East Flatbush until 1966; and finally at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens Village, New York, until his death in 1967.


We Can Never Lose HOPE……

100% of the profits from Watching Their Dance is being donated to the nonprofit, Huntington’s Disease Society of America. You can purchase it on Amazon and many other book websites.  My author website is


The Woody Guthrie Family

Happy Birthday Woody Guthrie

Last Sunday, Woody Guthrie would have been 107 years old.  Happy Birthday, Woody! 

Not everyone knows that Woody died from Huntington’s disease and his wife, Marjorie, organized the Committee to Combat Huntington Disease shortly after he died in 1967. After Marjorie’s death in 1983, the organization evolved into the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA), a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of everyone affected by Huntington’s disease and their family.  To learn more about Marjorie, visit: hdsa-pays-tribute-to-founder-marjorie-guthrie

I’m a Huntington’s Disease Advocate and volunteer for HDSA in the San Francisco Bay Area.

To learn about Woody’s achievements and contributions to the world, visit


Therese at the 2018 HDSA Annual Convention in LA.

The profits from my nonfiction book are being donated to the HDSA to help in the fight against Huntington’s disease. Since I published in April 2017, I’ve gifted over $14,000.00.  Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s can be found online as an e-book and hard book.

My author website:

We Can Never Lose HOPE………….