Woodson E. Dryden

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Woodson E. Dryden, 88, of Beaumont, passed away on the 18th day of November 2013, at Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth, Beaumont, after a brief illness, surrounded by his five children. He was born in Anadarko, Oklahoma, on December 21, 1924, the second of four children born to Harry Ernest Dryden and Ruth Woodson Dryden, who preceded him in death. Woodson spent most of his early life in Kansas and graduated from Fort Smith, Arkansas High School in 1942. His college education commenced at The Rice Institute, and he made the Dean's List every semester while enjoying some success in athletics. Woodson was captain of The Rice Institute baseball team in 1944, and by his own words was, fortunate enough to be selected as catcher on the All Southwest Conference baseball team for that year. Woodson was commissioned as an ensign in the United States Naval Reserve in January of 1945, whereupon he joined the United States Pacific Fleet. While checking on orders in San Francisco, he happened upon a sign that said catcher wanted, where he joined one of the Treasure Island baseball teams. Woodson played behind such luminaries as New York Yankees Hall of Fame catcher, Bill Dickie. He was en route to join the invasion of Japan, when the atomic bomb was dropped and World War II ended. After the war, he enrolled at the University of Kansas to complete his education. Woodson was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity at the University of Kansas, where he received a bachelor's degree in business in 1948. He then enrolled at The University of Texas School of Law and graduated in the top 15 percent of his class in January of 1951. Woodson spent nearly his entire professional career in Beaumont, Texas, practicing law and in 1972, was elected President of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. He was selected by the Jefferson County Bar Association to receive the Blackstone Award in 2001. Survivors include his five children, whom he dearly loved, Judith Dryden Breidenbach, Carol Dryden Bellomy, Kimberly Harper Brand, Christine Dryden Neal, and Woodson Erich Dryden, his only son, and their mother, Nancy J. Dryden; eight grandchildren, Taylor Woodson Harper, Bryce Richard Neal, Connor Donovan Bellomy, William Carroll Harper, Weston Dowling Bellomy, Reed Dryden Neal, Emily Grace Breidenbach, and Griffin Erich Neal, all of Austin or Wimberley, Texas; and sisters, Ruth Ann Neilson, and Claire Drullard He is preceded in death by his sister, Virginia Dryden; brother, Malcolm Dryden; and grandson, Nicholas Woodson Bellomy. Woodson also leaves, as special friends, Sheila Elizabeth Kiefer of Port Neches and Dr. Todd Lee Kiefer of Durham, North Carolina, and he credits his being able to conquer a very serious bout with cancer to Sheila Elizabeth Kiefer, who gave him care and another special reason to live. Our family would like to thank the endless service, support, love, and care provided to our dad by Lou LaFleur, Sandra Wood, and Theresa Batiste. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to UBI Caritas Community Clinic and Health Center, a charity facility for the underprivileged, 4450 Highland Avenue, Beaumont, Texas 77705. A funeral service for Mr. Dryden will be 11:00 a.m., Thursday, November 21, 2013, at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 680 Calder, Beaumont, under the direction of Broussard's, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. A family committal will be held at Greenlawn Memorial Park, Groves. Complete and updated information may be found www.broussards1889.com

Funeral Home
Broussard's Mortuary
1605 N Major Dr Beaumont, TX 77713
(409) 866-3838
Published in The Beaumont Enterprise on Nov. 20, 2013
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