Gilbert E. Woodard, Sr.
Published 11:11 am Tuesday, August 22, 2023
REIDSVILLE – Gilbert “Lefty” Etheridge Woodard Sr., 99 years old, passed away on Friday August 18, 2023 at UNC Rockingham Rehab Center. His Lord and Savior Jesus was holding his hand and now has him in his loving arms.
Lefty was born on October 14, 1923 to Aubrey Otis Woodard and Beatrice Boothe Woodard in Branchville VA. Lefty attended both Severn and Conway High Schools and played baseball and basketball for both. He was a graduate of Conway High School and attended Wake Forest College until he was called for military service in 1942. He proudly served his country during World War II on board the USS Maui in the Pacific Theater until the end of the war with Japan in 1945. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his Service. Upon his return from the war, he resumed his romance with his high school sweetheart, Kathleen White, and they married on March 1, 1947. Lefty was a 3rd Degree Master Mason, a longtime Shriner, and member of Sudan Temple.
Lefty went to work with his father and brothers in the Studebaker Automobile Sales and Service business in the late 1940s and took over Woodard Auto Sales (dealership) in 1951. He ran Woodard Auto Sales until 1963. After closing Woodard Auto Sales, Lefty worked in sales for several different companies, culminating in working for 20 years with Armour Fertilizer Company which later became USS Agri Chemicals. Lefty retired in 1985 and enjoyed working in his yard and growing roses and tulips. He also enjoyed telling jokes and delivering the punch lines with great enthusiasm!
Lefty was a lifelong Baptist and had great faith in his Lord Jesus Christ. He loved his family including his brothers, his sister, and many nieces and nephews. He will be sorely missed!
Lefty was preceded in death by his parents, Aubrey Otis Woodard Sr. and Beatrice Boothe Woodard; his wife, Kathleen White Woodard; his son, Gilbert E. Woodard Jr.; his brothers, Aubrey Otis Jr., Kenneth, Linwood, Shirley, John; and his sister, Onita Woodard Sexton.
Lefty is survived by his son Gary W. Woodard (Charlotte B.); daughter in law, Anne B. Woodard; four grandchildren, Catherine A. Woodard, Laura J. Woodard, Dr. James T. Woodard (Liz O.), and Beth W. Armstrong (Matt); and two great grandchildren, John R. Woodard and Thomas O. Woodard.
A celebration of life funeral service will be held for Lefty at Conway Baptist Church at 11 a.m. on Saturday August 26, 2023, with Rev. Willie McLawhorn officiating. The family will welcome friends one hour prior to the service at 10 a.m. at the church. Graveside Service will follow in the Town of Conway Cemetery following the church service.
Garrett-Sykes Memorial Chapel is handling the arrangements for the Woodard family and online condolences can be directed to the family by visiting www.garrettsykesfs.com.