Rev. Jack Little Woodward
Jackson - Rev. Jack Little Woodward - devoted husband, awesome father, teacher, carpenter, philosopher, theologian, college financial aid guru, and most importantly true friend and authentic human being - fell asleep in the Lord on Feb. 23, 2018, at the age of almost 89.
After sharing heartfelt moments with his beautiful bride of 60 years, his children and grandchildren, Jack seized the eternal rest and embrace of the Lord in the early hours of that day.
The son of Shelby and Thera Little Woodward, Jack grew up in Louisville, Mississippi, the youngest of three and the only boy. He is predeceased by his parents and his two sisters, Dorothy Kearns and Annette Crawford.
He is survived by his wife, Nelda, two sons, David (Pat) and Jonathan (LouAnn); a daughter, Mary; eight grandchildren - Jacob (Amy), Kayla, Taryn (Miles), Colton (Victoria); Julianna, Laura Leigh, Olivia and Jack; and three great grandchildren - Owen, Dylan and Elizabeth.
Jack's life and ministry was directed toward the service of others. After graduating from Millsaps College in 1951, he completed his divinity studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1954. Jack returned to Mississippi to receive his first assignment as Associate Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Corinth. It is during this time that his life changed forever when he met Nelda Ruth Wright. They were married on June 30, 1957.
In 1961, he received his second and only other assignment as Director of Religious Life at Millsaps - his alma mater. Jack also became Director of Financial Aid for the college.
This position grew into a full-time ministry and Jack became Dean of Student Aid Financial Planning. During his time in financial aid at Millsaps, he encountered many families who wanted a Millsaps education for their child and may not have had the means to send them there. Jack always said: "We will find a way." And he did.
Because of this, Jack envisioned an organization that would help families navigate the paths of college financial aid and provide assistance in charting a post-secondary course for their children. From this vision, he joined with the late Herman Hines in 1979 to create this entity, which in 2017 was renamed for its two founders as the Woodward Hines Education Foundation.
Jack retired from Millsaps in 1999 but remained active at the college and in the foundation. He also continued in service by teaching the Ben Fatheree Sunday School Class at Galloway UMC - a ministry which brought him great joy.
In the many lives he met on his journey, he tried to convey to each person a sense of service, humbleness and love. He quietly went about serving his fellow human beings with an authentic caring and compassion that was driven by his love for God and for humanity. He truly left a mark on all whom he encountered, and his sweet spirit will remain in all of us as we move forward in his shadow.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, March 3, at 11:30 a.m. at Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. at the church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Shelby and Thera Woodward Scholarship Fund at Millsaps College; Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church; or a charity of your choice