Today, Arizona lost a titan. Phoenix’s legal community, friends, family, civil leaders and Valley dignitaries are grieving the loss of Grant Woods, a longtime Valley attorney, father, husband and the former Arizona attorney general.
“My deepest sympathies go out to the family and loved ones of Grant Woods,” said Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. “He was well-known in the Arizona community for decades, including serving as Attorney General and a chief of staff to John McCain before moving on to private practice. Arizona honors his life and years of public service. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Marlene and five children.”
Woods, age 67 passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, according to his wife Marlene Galan Woods.
“Grant Woods was an Arizona original who fought every day to better our state,” said House Democratic Leader Reginald Bolding. “He dedicated his life to public service and was a constant voice of reason when we needed it most. He was fiercely independent- always making the right choice over the easy one.”
A husband, a father of five children, Woods leaves behind a large extended family that included a daughter he and wife Marlene also adopted.
“Grant was the love of my life. My best friend. My heart is broken. I just cannot believe he is gone. I can’t believe our time together is over. He was the best husband, the best father anyone could have wished for,” said Marlene Galan Woods, wife of Grant Woods. “I am so proud of the man he was, public servant, advocate for the everyday person, lover of music and stories and sports. He made me a better person. I can’t even fathom our lives without him. But we are strong, and a close family and we will work hard to honor his life.”
A highly regarded trial attorney with a track record second to few Woods was a longtime fixture in throughout Arizona. Woods was known for bringing people together from both sides of the aisle. Woods also served as the late Senator John McCain’s first Chief of Staff when McCain was elected to Congress in 1982. He also served as Arizona’s Attorney General from 1991 to 1999. In 2018 he, alongside now President Biden, offered a stirring and memorable tribute to his late friend and mentor John McCain at his Phoenix service.
An aspiring playwright, friends also say Woods was a renaissance man and had a huge heart for giving and touching the lives of those less fortunate. Indeed, that will be among his greatest legacies.
Growing up in the Valley, Woods has spent many decades raising money for charity and particularly those charities that have touched his heart. He founded the Mesa Boys and Girls Club, The Mesa Education Foundation and the Mesa Arts Academy.
Longtime friend and fellow attorney Mike Riikola is available to speak to media about the Grant’s life and legacy.
Funeral arrangements will be announced shortly. The Woods family is requesting privacy and prayers at this time.