GASTONIA - Wilford "Woo" Capps Jr., 64, of Gastonia, passed away Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, at the Robin Johnson House, Dallas.
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He was born April 23, 1950 in Wake County, N.C., son of the late Elizabeth and Wilford Elmo Capps Sr.
Woo enlisted in the N.C. Air Guard July 1968 right after graduating from West Mecklenburg High School. He completed Basic Training in November 1968 and very shortly thereafter went to work full-time with the Air Guard as an Administrative Specialist. Upon his promotion to Staff Sergeant in 1971, he attended the NCO Academy in Knoxville, Tenn., becoming the first Honor Graduate (later titled the John Levitow Award) winner from North Carolina, recognizing his leadership abilities and scholastic excellence. He continued serving in Group Administration for the next 10 years, progressing to the grade of Master Sergeant with duties as Administrative Supervisor. During this time, Senior Master Sgt. Capps had a tremendous influence on many young airmen as their supervisor, mentor and trainer. In 1979, he applied for and was selected to be the Recruiter for 263rd Combat Communications Squadron, then located at Badin, N.C. After serving with distinction in the recruiting job at the 263rd, Woo applied and was selected as the first Base Career Advisor for the 145th Airlift Group and North Carolina Air National Guard. During this period, he established one of the most effective and outstanding Career Advisor programs in the country, receiving nationwide attention and resulting in one of his unit career advisors receiving the Outstanding Unit Career Advisor of the Year Award for the Air National Guard. His next assignment was as Recruiting & Retention Superintendent, HQ NCANG, where he spent the remainder of his military career ensuring that North Carolina recruited and retained the most talented airmen in the Air National Guard, many of those still serving today. Woo retired after 32 years of dedicated and faithful service, he and Rose operated a Pet Sales and Supply store in Cramerton, N.C., for a number of years and he worked in a couple other jobs until his medical issues began.
Will is survived by his loving wife of 23 years, Rose Capps; sons, Justin Capps and wife, Ryan; Michael Aaron Capps; Bryon Adkins and wife, Tammy; Tony Adkins and wife, Dawn; brothers, Alan Capps and wife, Amy; Dale Capps and wife, Cathy; grandchildren, Cailey Capps, Austin Capps, Kayla Elliott and husband, Joe, and Samantha White.
A celebration of life service will be held 4 p.m. on Tuesday at Greene Funeral Service South Chapel - 1503 S. York Road, Gastonia, N.C., officiated by the Revs. Jeff Johnson and Frankie Sneed.
Visitation will be held 2:30-3:45 p.m. on Tuesday prior to the service at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Gaston Hospice (The Robin Johnson House), P.O. Box 3984, Gastonia, NC 28054.
Arrangements are with the South Chapel and Crematorium, Gastonia.
A guest registry is available online at www.greenefuneral.com.
Greene Funeral Service, Westside Chapel
216 Archie Whitesides Road
Gastonia, NC 28052
Published in Gaston Gazette on Aug. 31, 2014