Ardell Woodard Jr.

ARDELL WOODARD JR., 81 ROCKFORD - Ardell Woodard Jr., 81, peacefully departed this earthly life Friday, January 17, 2014, at Rockford Memorial Hospital. Ardell was born January 14, 1933, in Shivers, Mississippi to Ardell and Eunice Woodard. He attended school at Lily Hill High School in Pinola, Mississippi. He accepted Christ as his savior at an early age. He married the late Idella Sanders, to this union 6 children was born five boys and one girl. He left Mississippi in 1956, relocating to Rockford. Ardell was employed at Valspar for many years as a Master Mechanic before retiring in 1998. He met and married Vernola Murphy in 1987. He was a faithful member of Macedonia Baptist Church, where he served as the Trustee Board Financial Secretary, and also an overseer of janitorial services. He was a member of the Blackhawk Elks Lodge #921, where he served as President, and Exalted Ruler. He loved traveling, sports and most of all cooking as he previously worked as a chef at North Towne Manor Restaurant. After retirement, Ardell diligently continued serving the community with organizations such as Meals on Wheels, Take-A-Tot, and Rockford Transit Company. He was a true inspiration to all who knew him with his charming, bright, witty, and jokingly personality. In February 2013, Ardell was honored by Rockford Ethnic Heritage Museum, and also nominated for grandfather of the year 2013 by Laclede Heart Ministries. Heaven has truly gained an angel of wisdom, whom will be missed by so many. Ardell leave to cherish many loving family members. His loving wife, Vernola; 3 sons, Curtis (Edell) Feazell of Mississippi, Stanley (Cheryl) Woodard of Rockford. Michael (Zina) Woodard of New Orleans; 6 daughters, Gloria (James) Howell of Rockford, Lisa Brown, Jennifer Johnson, Grace (Jay) Young, of Virginia, Charlotte Brown and Tina (Lloyd) Farrar of California; 1 stepdaughter, Celestine (James) Jones of Tennessee; 2 stepsons, Calvin (Tiffney) Rhodes of Rockford, Reginald (Patricia) Rhodes of Georgia; 37 grandchildren; and a host of great-grandchildren; 5 brothers, Earl C (Betty) Woodard, J.L. (Faye) Woodard, and N.C. Woodard of Mississippi, Booker Woodard and L.V. Woodard of Rockford; 4 sisters, Ardella Keyes, Catherine (Melvin) Callendar of Mississippi, Barbara Marshall of Indiana, and Eunice Darlene (George) Smith of Colorado; a host of nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends. Predeceased by his parents; 3 sons, Johnny, Willie and Donald Woodard; 3 brothers, E.L., Lewis, and Elois Woodard; 4 sisters, Odessa Woodard, Delma Woodard, Rodella Walker, M.A. Moore; and stepdaughter, Veronica Rhodes. Ardell lost his youngest son, Donald, 30 days prior to his departing life. Service at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at Macedonia Baptist Church, 1720 Perry Bennett Way, with visitation from 11 a.m. to time of service. Pastor Perry Bennett will deliver the eulogy. Burial in Cedar Bluff Cemetery. Arrangements by Collins & Stone Funeral Home.

Published in Rockford Register Star from Jan. 23 to Jan. 24, 2014