Walter A. Woods obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Walter A. Woods

August 26, 1915 - June 16, 2017

Obituary


Walter A. Woods was born August 26, 1915, in Turkey Ford, Oklahoma to Frank and Cora Woods, the 13th of 14 children. Walter was preceded in death by five infant siblings and six others who lived to be 80+ years old. Walter married Mary Frances Fosson on May 7, 1939, in Ft. Scott, KS. To this union was born four children, Don Harold, Walter Eugene, Nancy Marie and Judy Ann. Walter's eldest son, Don passed away in 1981.

At an early age, Frank and Cora moved their family to Miami, Oklahoma in...

Walter A. Woods was born August 26, 1915, in Turkey Ford, Oklahoma to Frank and Cora Woods, the 13th of 14 children. Walter was preceded in death by five infant siblings and six others who lived to be 80+ years old. Walter married Mary Frances Fosson on May 7, 1939, in Ft. Scott, KS. To this union was born four children, Don Harold, Walter Eugene, Nancy Marie and Judy Ann. Walter's eldest son, Don passed away in 1981.

At an early age, Frank and Cora moved their family to Miami, Oklahoma in two wagons. Walter grew up with his little nieces and nephews and recalls giving them rides on the handlebars of his bicycle. He also would take his mother to church on the bicycle. As a young man, he worked at Fisher's Lumber, then worked at the Miami Tin Shop. His lifetime employment was working with canvas, making tents, tarps, awnings, boat covers and anything else made with canvas. He transported the tabernacle and children's tents and all dormitory tents to and from Harmony Hill, helped put them all up and then return to take them down the following week, year after year till the permanent structure was built. He had many stories of those long, tedious trips on the highway. On one particular trip, he was going very slowly up a hill, so when a wide shoulder appeared he pulled over to let traffic get around him. Don and Walter were following him in their cars and pulled over to stay together. Interestingly enough, all the cars behind him pulled over and followed them slowly on up the hill.

Walter and Mary moved to Joplin, MO in November of 1950 where he continued his canvas work for Coglizer Tent & Awning Company for at least 30 years. He semi-retired in September 1980, continuing to work for others in the tent and awning business. During this time, Walter worked with a gentleman making and hanging awnings for Olive Garden Restaurants nationwide. Walter Gene later met this man as a barber in Springfield. Walter Gene was in conversation with the barber who made a statement that Walter (Daddy) was the first real Christian he had ever met.

Walter loved his children, spending time playing softball and other games with them, his nieces and nephews, and later with his grandchildren. He and Mary enjoyed being with their family and would take grandchildren home with them, and every time possible would visit or go to help their kids in any way they could. One particular Christmas remembered by his children was the time he and Mary took the greenery branches home from the church after the Christmas program. Mother took us kids into one room and played the piano, while Walter tied the branches together making a beautiful little tree to surprise us. There was no money for presents, but Walter's boss provided a used electric train for Don and Walter and a doll each for Nancy and Judy.

Walter took an active part in the Joplin Church of God (Holiness). He loved music and was the song leader and board chairman until he moved to Kansas City. To this day many of the younger generation remember Walter's singing and love for others. In 1998, Walter and Mary moved to Kansas City to live with their youngest daughter, Judy, and husband Mervin due to Mary's poor health. Fortunately, Mary's health improved and they enjoyed fourteen additional years with children and grandchildren. Mary passed away on January 30, 2012.

Walter went out on lawn jobs with his grandson, Brian, keeping himself active and young at heart. He continued to serve the Lord by attending church with family members and enjoyed playing his harmonica for church and other events. Just one year ago he played his harmonica at General Camp Harmony Hour and attended every night service and several of the day services. He enjoyed attending "coffee break" at the Herald and Banner Press with his wonderful friends there.

Due to failing health and lack of mobility, Walter moved to Trinity Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in July 2016. He dreaded making this move but ended up being a huge blessing to other residents and the nursing staff. After deteriorating health and two hospitalizations Walter was transferred to Sharon Lane Nursing Home. He again made so many friends with the staff. He was such a blessing with his positive outlook and strong voice, singing when he couldn't do anything else. Due to injury to his neck, he lost most of the use of his upper limbs and required so much care, yet he worked hard to be thankful for the care given him. Several were very faithful to visit him, including Pastor Don Englund making weekly visits to read scripture and pray with him. At one time he made the statement, "I did not know I had so many friends."

Walter passed away quietly on the evening of June 16th with family at his bedside. He is survived by his daughter-in-law, Noreen Bistline, and husband Ed of Kimberling City, MO, and surviving children Walter (Gene) Woods and wife, Dorothy of Springfield, MO, Nancy Snider and husband, Gordon of Peculiar, MO, and Judy Hershberger and husband, Mervin of Kansas City, KS; Grandchildren, Kevin Woods of Overland Park, KS, Kimberly Trammell and husband, Doug of Springhill, KS, Brent Woods, and wife, Stephanie of Fulton, MO, Brian Hershberger and wife Grace of Shawnee, KS, Kristi Shackelford and husband, Matt of Springfield, MO, and Jeff Hershberger of Kansas City, KS; great-grandchildren, Brittany Gertis and husband, James of Shawnee, KS, Jarred and Jordan Hershberger of Shawnee, KS, Harold and Nikita Woods of Fulton, MO, Jacob and Samuel Shackelford of Springfield, MO, and Alex and Shawn Trammell of Springhill, KS; two siblings, Velma Hinds, (106 years old) of Macon, MO, Lester Woods (99 years old) of Pomona, CA, multiple wonderful nieces and nephews and a multitude of friends.

Visitation will be from 5:30-7:30 pm, on Friday, June 23rd at the Overland Park Church of God (Holiness), 6801 W. 74th Street, Overland Park, KS with Funeral Services to follow at 7:30 pm. Graveside service will be 10:00 am on Saturday, June 24th at the Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery, 415 N. St. Louis Avenue, Joplin, MO 64801. Memorial contributions are suggested to Gideons International or Kansas Christian College in Overland Park, KS.