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Woodhouse, of Houston, died on October 29, 2012. Born on November 30, 1930 in Wilmington, Delaware he graduated from Wesleyan University and Harvard Business School. He started his career with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Toronto. Subsequent positions were with the Ford Motor Co and as the treasurer of Cooper Industries. He joined Sysco Corporation at its formation in 1969 as CFO and a founding director, ultimately becoming Chairman and CEO. Under his leadership Sysco grew to be a multibillion dollar food service distributor.
He also served as a director of several large corporations, but in recent years had focused on non-profits and educational institutions. He served Wesleyan as a trustee (16 years) and continued to serve on their Development Committee. His leadership efforts on behalf of Wesleyan were recognized with an honorary doctorate and an alumni medal of honor. He was also a Presbyterian Elder and was currently vice chairman of the board of the Presbyterian Mo-Ranch Assembly. In his leisure time he enjoyed hiking and canoeing; he was also an enthusiastic traveler.
John is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Marilyn (Lyn) Morrow Woodhouse; son John C. Woodhouse, II and his wife Deborah; daughter Marjorie Ann Woodhouse-Purdy and her husband R. Scott Purdy; as well as three beloved grandchildren: William C. Purdy, II, Demaris Lyn Purdy, and John P. Woodhouse. He is also survived by his brother Robert W. Woodhouse and his wife Barbara of Blue Hill, Maine.
A service in celebration of John's life will be held at St. Thomas Presbyterian Church, 14100 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77079 at 11 AM on Saturday, November 10, 2012. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Thomas Presbyterian Church, the Presbyterian Mo-Ranch Assembly (2229 FM 1340, Hunt, TX 78024-3037), or the
(2030 North West Loop West, Suite250, Houston, TX 77008, or online at www.lung.org/donate).
Published in Houston Chronicle on Nov. 6, 2012