Eugene Elliot (Gene) Woodward

Obituary
6 entries
  • "It was a pleasure and honor knowing Gene. His clever humor..."
    - Cheri Cordell
  • "We enjoyed Gene's friendship for many years, thru work and..."
    - Jim and Mary Gilson
  • "What a lovely obituary for a wonderful and quiet man. Hugs..."
    - Sue Deppe
  • "Gene always had a way to make me (and all of us at work)..."
    - Janelle Seward
  • "We always enjoyed our short chats with Mr. Woodward as he..."
    - Ronald & Carol Dutcher
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Eugene (Gene) Elliot Woodward passed away peacefully Sept. 17, 2016 in Midland at Candlestone Assisted Living, surrounded by family.

Gene was born to Mary Mildred (Wenzel) and Ernest Ames Woodward March 3, 1926 in Melrose, Mass. He described an idealistic childhood, stayed close to his siblings and made lifelong friends. (He never lost his Boston accent.) He proudly served in the Army reserves for over 20 years, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was especially proud of his assignment resettling South Korea after the end of World War II. He graduated from MIT in chemical engineering with honors, then married Lois Jean Chauncey the very next day. They started their adventure together by going to Georgia with the Army reserves. Gene took his first job with Kerr-McGee in Oklahoma. His transfer to Shiprock, N.M. proved to be one of his favorite memories, where they lived in a community located within a Navajo reservation. With three children, he moved to Midland in 1956 to start his career with The Dow Chemical Co. He worked in TS&D (technical services and development), was a plant manager in the explosive plant in an iron ore mine in Minnesota, worked in economic evaluation and was a business analyst.

Besides raising five children, Gene and Lois were wonderful examples of leaders in the community. They were involved with activities that supported their children's interests (we could always count on them attending our events) as well as activities involving their own interests. Gene became involved in Boy Scouts before his boys were old enough to participate and continued after they grew out of it. He was a Sunday school teacher and participated in many committees at his church. He was a selfless caregiver to his wife. He continued his lifelong volunteer activities after retirement through National MS Society, MADD, Boy Scouts and Kiwanis. He attributed his commitment to volunteerism to watching his mother collect dimes for March of Dimes as a young boy. He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Midland for over 50 years.

He was preceded in death by his wife; son, Glenn Ernest Woodward; mother and father; brothers, Ames and William; and sister Henrietta (Bill) Caddell. He is survived by his sister-in-law, Margot Woodward; daughters, Kathy (Hans) Heikel and Sue (Mike) Banner; sons Don (Ruth) Woodward, Bob Woodward; grandchildren, Erik Heikel, Chris (Brooke) Heikel, David (Kacey) Woodward, Jessica Woodward, Brian (Kimberly)Woodward, Betsy (Bill) Hosko, Ben (Julie) Woodward, Jennifer (Casey) Smits, Nathan (Shanon) Banner, Audrey (Brian) Kostrzewa and Jodie Banner; great-grandchildren, Norah Heikel, Trenton Woodward, Adelyn Smits, Finn, Sage and Ivey Banner; many in his extended family and many friends.

He was a man of compassion and integrity, which he instilled in the next generation. His wisdom and perspective was sought after by his children through the years. He loved life and lived his faith quietly. He will forever be remembered for his kindness and respect.

It is well with his soul.

Memorial services will be held at First United Methodist Church of Midland at a future date. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider First United Methodist Church of Midland or the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Home.

Funeral Home
Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Home - Midland
1200 W. Wheeler St
Midland, MI 48640
(989) 631-2292
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Published in Midland Daily News from Sept. 18 to Sept. 20, 2016
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