Paul H. Woods (1921 - 2014)

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  • "Pyslease accept my condolences,sorry for your loss of love..."
    - E R
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OXFORD, Fla. – Paul H. Woods, 93, of Steeplechase Retirement Community, Oxford, Fla., passed away Dec. 10, 2014. He was born in Independence, Iowa, Jan. 12, 1921 to Emil Vandersee and Elizabeth Anderson Vandersee. He later took the name of his stepfather, John Woods. A 1939 graduate of Independence High School and Independence Junior College, he was an Eagle Scout and avid basketball player. He remained lifelong friends with his scout master, Harold Turner of Independence.
He married Thelma L. King October 27, 1943. He is survived by their two daughters, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild, and by five of his sister's sons. There are many cousins in Ohio and Iowa that he enjoyed knowing through the years. He moved to Florida from Del Rio, Texas, to be near his daughter Bonnie Gore who lives in The Villages.
He launched his military career at Chanute Training Field, Rantoul, Ill., in 1940, enlisting with his lifelong friend, Dick Nibeck of Independence. From 1946 to 1956 he and his family were pioneers of the fledgling Muroc Army Air Base in the Mojave Desert, California, which later became known as Edwards Air Force Base. In 1951 he obtained his commercial pilot's license. In the Air Force he served as a flight instrument instructor and in the synthetic trainer branch, as training devices superintendent. He started with Link Trainers and ultimately worked with jet simulators. He retired from duty at Laughlin AFB, Del Rio, Texas, in 1967, with the rank of Senior Master Sergeant.
He returned to the midwest and his home town regularly but remained in Del Rio where he loved the desert and the lake of the Amistad Dam. He was a Master Mason most recently of the Val Verde Lodge, Del Rio, Texas, and a member of the Del Rio-Laughlin American Legion Post 298.
Fishing, hunting and the great outdoors were always part of his life. He lived in
good health and contentment all of his 93 years. At a later date he will be laid to
rest at Sunset Memorial Oaks Park in Del Rio, Texas, next to his beloved wife of
thirty years, Lucille Allen Woods.

Published in Independence Bulletin-Journal on Jan. 7, 2015