David Woodward, age 86, of Middletown, Delaware, passed away peacefully on Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019, surrounded by his family.
A native Delawarean, Dave grew up on the family dairy farm near Prices Corner, graduating from Conrad High School and the University of Delaware earning a degree in animal science. He was the first in the family to earn a college degree.
Dave loved baseball and pitched for both Conrad and University of Delaware teams, winning several titles. He tried out for the Philadelphia Phillies and Philadelphia Athletics clubs, signing a contract with the Provential League in Burlington, Vermont and Marion, Virginia.
Dave served two years in the U.S. Army, eventually finding himself stationed at Ft. McPherson near Atlanta, Georgia where he continued the pitch for the 3rd Army Baseball Team.
It was at a dance one night at the Fabulous Fox Theater in Atlanta that he met the love of his life and his soon to be wife, Nancy. They were married for 62 years.
After the farm operation was moved to Middletown, Dave continued farming with his brother Ray and father Horace. He also served as ASCS director for New Castle County for three years. In January 1971, Dave started his career with Cooperative Extension at the University of Delaware in Kent County. His love for Delaware Agriculture and the people he served and worked with throughout the years lead to him to being named State Program Leader for Agriculture and Natural Resources in 1984, a position he would hold until his retirement in 1996.
In addition to his love for people, Dave loved travel, all sports, a bad joke, a good story and was an avid golfer, a passion he shared with wife Nancy. His misguided and illogical love of the Philadelphia Eagles, Boston Red Sox and most troubling of all, Duke Blue Devils Basketball, led to many, many animated discussions with friends and family.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy Woodward; brother, Ray (Nancy) of Middletown; son, Mitch Woodward (Laurie) of North Carolina; daughter, Holly Thatcher (Bobby) of Middletown; four grandchildren, Erin Danford (Phil) of North Carolina, Zach Woodward of Colorado, Ethan Woodward of North Carolina and Jenna Thatcher of Middletown; twin great-grandchildren, Ainsley and Jackson Danford of North Carolina; as well as many nieces and nephews that he enjoyed spending time with. Dave was preceded in death by his parents, Horace and Ruby Woodward.
A visitation for family and friends will be held from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Friday, May 3, 2019, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 275 E. Main St., Middletown, where a memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. Interment will be held privately.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to: University of Delaware Baseball Program, IMO David Woodward, Gifts and Records, 83 E. Main Street, 3rd Floor, Newark, DE 19716.
To sign the guest book, visit spicermullikin.com.