Ashley Thomas "Woody" Woodward (1931 - 2005)



Ashley Thomas "Woody" Woodward’s biography is built and maintained by people like you. Create an online profile of Ashley so that his life is remembered forever. If any factual information is incorrect, please edit Ashley’s biography.

Like his brothers, Ashley was also called "Woody" by many people.

Ashley Thomas "Woody" Woodward Biography & Family History

This genealogy profile is dedicated to the life and ancestry of Ashley Thomas "Woody" Woodward and his immediate Woodward family. Add to Ashley Thomas "Woody" Woodward's genealogy page to share your memories & historical research with his family and other genealogy hobbyists.


in Campti, Natchitoches Parish County, Louisiana United States


on in Shreveport, Caddo Parish County, Louisiana United States
Cause of death: Thyroid Cancer

Cause of death

Thyroid Cancer

Burial / Funeral

Do you know the final resting place - gravesite in a cemetery or location of cremation - of Ashley Thomas "Woody" Woodward? Add burial and funeral information.


Last Known Residence

shreveport, caddo County, Louisiana us

Average Age

Life Expectancy


Mother: Vivian (Goodson) Woodward
Father: William Armond "Willie" Woodward
Siblings: William Woodward, Ruby Merle (Woodward) Salvail, Betty Jo (Woodward) Gay, Doris "Teny" (Woodward) Todd, Ellen Frances (Woodward) Barr, Ella Marie Woodward, James Edward Woodward, and Edna Maxine "Mackie" (Woodward) Hester

Wife: Mary Sue Gourdon Woodward
Children with Mary: Thomas Wayne Woodward, William Owen Woodward, Richard Ashley "Rick" Woodward, Dennis Edwin Woodward, Kay Suzette Woodward Sears, and Douglas Glen Woodward


Did Ashley finish grade school, get a GED, go to high school, get a college degree or masters? What schools or universities did Ashley attend? Add education.


Owner of Woodward Painting and Decorating


Add organizations, groups and memberships.

Military Service

It is unknown if Ashley Thomas "Woody" Woodward is a military veteran.

Middle name






United States


Baptized Catholic as an infant



Family Photos

Historically notable or family photographs that show the life of Ashley Thomas "Woody" Woodward and his immediate Woodward family.


1931 - In the year that Ashley Thomas "Woody" Woodward was born, on May 1st, the Empire State Building opened in New York City. At 1,454 feet (including the roof and antenna), it was the tallest building in the world until the World Trade Center's North Tower was built in 1970. (It is now the 34th tallest.) Opening at the beginning of the Great Depression, most of the offices in the Empire State Building remained unoccupied for years and the observation deck was an equal source of revenue and kept the building profitable.

1947 - He was 16 years old when in June, the Marshall Plan was proposed to help European nations recover economically from World War II. It passed the conservative Republican Congress in March of 1948. After World War I, the economic devastation of Germany caused by burdensome reparations payments led to the rise of Hitler. The Allies didn't want this to happen again and the Marshall Plan was devised to make sure that those conditions didn't arise again.

1965 - By the time he was 34 years old, from August 11 to 16, riots broke out in Watts, a Black section of Los Angeles. An allegedly drunk African-American driver was stopped by LA police and, after a fight, police brutality was alleged - and the riots began. 34 people died in the rioting and over $40 million in property damage occurred. The National Guard was called in to help the LA police quell rioting.

1979 - When he was 48 years old, on November 4th, Iranian militant students seized the US embassy in Teheran and held 52 American citizens and diplomats hostage for 444 days. They were released at the end of the inauguration speech of the newly elected Ronald Reagan.

1986 - Ashley was 55 years old when on September 8th, the Oprah Winfrey Show went into national syndication. A popular talk show, it was number 1 in the ratings since its debut. The last show aired on May 25, 2011.


This obit of Ashley Thomas "Woody" Woodward is updated by the community. Edit this biography to contribute to his obituary. Include details such as cemetery, burial, newspaper obituary and grave or marker inscription if available.

Ashley Thomas "Woody" Woodward, father to 6 children, died on June 21, 2005 in Shreveport, Louisiana at 74 years old. His cause of death is listed as: thyroid Cancer. Ashley was born on April 3, 1931 in Campti, Louisiana. He was born to Vivian (Goodson) Woodward and William Armond "Willie" Woodward, with siblings William, Ruby, Betty, Doris, Ellen, Ella, James, and Edna. He married Mary Gourdon. and they gave birth to Thomas Wayne Woodward, William Owen Woodward, Richard Ashley "Rick" Woodward, Dennis Edwin Woodward, Kay Suzette Woodward Sears, and Douglas Glen Woodward.

Share a Memory about Ashley Woodward

What do you remember about Ashley Thomas "Woody" Woodward? Share your memories of special moments and stories you have heard about him. Or just leave a comment to show the world that Ashley is remembered.

As posted by Ashley Thomas Woodward about his father Willie Armond "Papa" Woodward.

May 07, 2015 · Reply
As posted by Kay Woodward Sears for Ashley Thomas Woodward.

Ashley Thomas Woodward - Born on 4/3/31 on the outskirts of Campti, LA on a dirt road leading to a place called Clouds Crossing on Black Lake. I think all the older brothers and sisters were born there too. I think Ellen, Marie and Mackie were born in Campti.

Daddy planted the few acres in corn, cotton, and vegetables after he worked at the saw mill every day. It was about 3 miles outside of Campti. I think we lived there because of Mama's Mama. In the mid 30's we moved to Campti in a shack, but we called it home. That's where the 3 younger sisters were born.

I started school when I was 5 yrs. old because Mama couldn't keep James in school unless I went. She would take him to school and he would beat her back home, so I've been told. We went to a catholic school called St. Cecelia's Convent. It was a 3 room school with two or three grades in one room. The nuns were very strict. One tried to make me sing in music class. After a few licks with the thick yard stick, she convinced me that I could sing. I don't remember all of the other times the yard stick came into play, but most of the time it was for altercations on the school grounds with another boy and his sister. We had an ongoing thing throughout my elementary years. We then had to go to high school in the 8th grade, and the first thing was a fight with the same boy. After a trip to the principle's office and a few whacks with a paddle that had a hole in it, we were friends afterward.

Sometime in the late 30's Mama convinced Daddy to buy a piece of land (11 acres) not too far from where we were living. The man lived in Natchitoches, but before he moved to Natchitoches, he had owned a grocery store on that property. One of Mama's brothers was a wild one. He thought he was Wild Bill. He went into the store a little on the high side and the man tried to put him out and a wrestling match occurred. The man's ear was bitten off. I'm surprised he sold them the property. I think the cost of the property was $100. It took forever to pay off. I think Daddy was making $12 a week and had nine kids to feed. He got lots of help from his sister, Aunt Edna, and his Dad, Grandpa Woodward. Aunt Edna worked at a dry goods store and Grandpa owned a grocery store. I used to help in the store at different times. One summer he wanted me to paint the metal roof on his store. Not knowing any better, I put the ladder next to an electric line. I was going to pull myself up on the roof and caught the line with one hand on the roof. Luckily it knocked me off the ladder and onto the ground. Someone else painted the roof.

I used to spend the night with Aunt Edna. It was nice to get up and she would have a good breakfast fixed. Cornflakes and bananas or breakfast sausage, eggs and toast. My other favorite, Aunt Emeline, took up a lot of time with me. She also lived on the dirt road to Clouds Crossing. I spent a lot of nights with her. Her son was in service and when he came home she would also feed me good. Fried chicken for breakfast or pork chops. That was a lot different than what we were used to.

Back to my side of the story. In the summer time we used to have to work for the nuns (for free) doing odd jobs like cutting grass or cleaning class rooms. One summer James and I had to paint the inside of a water tank (cistern) which caught rain water that was the main water supply. It was an asphalt base paint and we had a small hole to crawl in and out. We could only stay a few minutes at a time. We finally got through, but we were cooked from our waist to the top of our head. The skin peeled to another layer. Needless to say, the nun got an ear full from Mama. I don't think we worked there anymore. As we got a little older, we had a lot of odd jobs like peeling poles, cutting pulp wood, loading crossties, loading telephone poles, and fence posts.

In our spare time we played summer baseball and went to the movies on Saturday nights (tent shows). Don't want to forget the time we tied Teny to a rocking chair, put a rope around it, pulled her off the porch and broke her arm. She was not the only one who played with paper dolls. I had a shoe box full of my own. I also spent a lot of time under the house (it was high off the ground) building dirt roads and playing with small cars and trucks.

Daddy built the house mostly by himself in his spare time. It was one bedroom, dining room and kitchen on one side. One bedroom and a long room that had 3 or 4 beds for the smaller kids on the other side. It didn't have a living room. The front bedroom was used as a multipurpose room. It had the only wood burning heater in the house. That's where we spent most of our winter evenings. We had oil burning lamps and we had to do homework with those lamps. I don't think much homework got completed. Finally in the early 40's, during World War Two, Mama got running water and electricity. We still had to use the outhouse.

We had to serve the priests as altar boys during our years at the convent. I don't remember if it was voluntary or not, but sometimes I think we were forced to get up early to go serve at 6:30 mass. I enjoyed it at times though.

I was more interested in sports (softball, track and basketball) than academics after getting established in high school. I was better than fair in all sports, but I liked basketball the best. Although, I did win 3rd place in district at track (22.7 in 220 yd. dash). Me and two more boys went to state that year. We had to go without a chaperone, so it was quite an experience for three people who had never rode on a train before. The morning we were supposed to run we got large milkshakes. Needless to say, I got about halfway in the competition and got sick and had to leave the track. I ran the 220 yd. dash. One guy ran the 100 and the other threw the shot put and javelin. We came back with a lot of experience and had fun.

I met Mary as a result of being able to play basketball where we had a lot of contact. She was on the girl's basketball team (they played half court). I must say she was a pretty good forward. We started dating in our junior year and through our senior year. I guess it was my good looks that attracted her, and I thought the same about her except she had the brains to go with her good looks. She was valedictorian of her class. We finished school in May. Some things between May and July are a bit fuzzy. As I remember, James and Aunt Emeline had a big part in us getting married. James could drive and he took me over to Natchitoches for the blood test and license. I think Chubby Robinson knew a Justice of the Peace in Coushatta and they made the arrangements, so we got married on Sunday night. We spent most of the night at Aunt Emeline's and then I took Mary home.

I had already signed up to go in the army, so I left Monday morning to go to Natchitoches. James was the driver again. After eight weeks of basic training, I got to come home. Aunt Emeline told Mama what we had done (gotten married) after about two or three weeks. I guess she took it calmly. This was July, 1948. I got assigned to Fort Jackson in South Carolina. Mary came and we lived in a duplex with another couple (older) and I guess they kind of showed us the ropes.
In May of 1950 Thomas Wayne was born in Fort Jackson. While I was at Fort Jackson I worked in a branch of the Post Office. Before that I went to a clerical school and got a MOS to do office work. It wasn't long before they shipped me to Fort Benning, GA. We didn't stay at Ft. Benning long when the Korean War broke out and I was shipped overseas.

We first went to Japan then they sent us to Seoul Korea. At Ft. Benning they put me in the Quartermaster Corp. We had the responsibility of getting the food supplies to the front line. That was a break because we stayed behind the lines. Each company would send us a list of how many people they had to feed and we had to break down how many cans, pounds of rice (dried fish if Korean), and C rations, etc. per man. I was fortunate to be a platoon leader (Staff Sgt.) so I didn't have to do a lot of the work. My biggest job was to assign the different jobs. We also had a lot of Korean labor. They worked 12 hr. shifts on two bowls of rice the size of a small cantaloupe. Sometimes dried fish. At first it was difficult to see the way the Koreans were treated, but after a while you got used to it.

We moved pretty close to the Chinese border, but that didn't last long. We had to retreat. That's when I lost all my possessions. The pictures were what I regret losing. The clothes and shoes I had replaced. When we got back to a safe distance we stopped and set up camp at night. It rained that night and we were in an old rice field. The water got about six inches deep. When we woke up we were floating on our air mattress. Wouldn't you know someone stole my boots. A trip to the Quartermaster that handled clothes fixed me up with a new supply.

After being in Korea one year, I was eligible to come home. They put all of us who were eligible in trucks and took us to the port to catch a ship. While waiting on the ship, President Truman extended everybody for a year. They loaded us back up and sent us back to our outfit. It didn't bother me as much as some of the older men. We had to stay another 6 months. When that was up the C.O. wanted me to stay another 6 months to help train the new replacements. I told him no way. When we got to Japan some of the guys saw him in the airport headed home. After I came back home, I went to Fort Polk and got discharged.

I came home and worked for J. B. Beaird making shells for the services. I did that for 2 years and they closed down. I went to the painters local and they placed me with Schexnaidre's. Then life began, Buddy, Ricky, Dennis, Kay, and finally Doug. As the years passed, I started coaching Buddy, Ricky, and Dennis in baseball. Ricky in basketball. Then Doug got big enough to play so I coached him in football, basketball and baseball. That's another story. We had some very successful years. After coaching, we went to ball games to watch Doug play and Kay cheer. We traveled a few miles with the cheerleaders.

I worked as a painter and estimator for 27 years. In 1979, Mr. Schexnaidre passed away and in 1980 we went to the bank and they agreed to lend a large sum of money to buy the company. It was a big step. It was an established company so it worked out very well. It helped to send kids to college, buy cars, a nice home, office building, and shop. It also helped to provide a living for some family members.

Thank the Lord I have always been healthy up until October, 1997 when I had an operation for cancer in the thyroids. They removed both thyroids and were supposed to have gotten it all. I continued to have follow ups and in January, 2002 they decided it had reoccurred. After some tests, they operated again on April 2nd. The operation was fine except a tooth was knocked out which later I had pulled. While in the hospital Kay brought Amanda, Drew and Tyler for a visit and the bandage got too tight around my neck and I thought I was going to suffocate and they were trying to loosen it. I think it scared 3 kids half to death.

In May I went back for a follow up and we felt like the doctor was not doing all he was supposed to so we changed doctors. Mary convinced me to go see an oncologist (cancer doctor) the first of July. He looked at my records and sent me for a CT. The results are he found cancer in my lungs. Since then I have had a bone scan and a head scan. They didn't find anything. Right now I have been going to an endocrinologist for blood tests and he did the bone thing. In October I am going on an iodine free diet to reduce the iodine in my body. On October 15th I am going to take a radioactive iodine pill in hopes it will reduce the cancer. If not, I might have to take chemo. I went to the doctor today and will have a biopsy done after the radioactive iodine treatment.

I know I have left out a lot because there is a lot of things that happen to a person with 71 years behind them.
◾Riding horses with a black playmate
◾Picking cotton
◾Stealing watermelons & sugar cane that belonged to Papa Woodward. I don't think he cared. He had plenty.
◾Slipping off to swim in Red River
◾Hitch hiking to Shreveport
◾Camping out every weekend with the kids
◾First grandchild and etc.
◾50th Anniversary
◾Caring for mother-in-law in her aging years
◾Hunting birds during winter and roasting them on a bed of coals
◾Watching blacks baptize on the small lake close by
◾Sleeping with the black lady (Alma) while Mama was away
◾Killing hogs in winter and using all the parts for food (like blood pudding)
◾We also used wash pots to boil clothes before washing
◾Water well that had to be drawn by a metal bucket
◾Climbing cherry trees and eating wild cherries until you get dizzy

Well, I guess that's it. I hope it wasn't too boring.
May 07, 2015 · Reply
Write a comment

Other Records of Ashley Thomas "Woody" Woodward


Other Biographies


Success Stories from Biographies like Ashley Thomas "Woody" Woodward

I have to tell you a VERY special story about how AncientFaces helped to reunite our family. For 13 years, I have been searching for my grandmother's missing sister. She just disappeared from the family in the 1930s without a trace. No one ever knew where or when she died or where she was buried. My years of searching have just run into dead ends, so I had given up. Today, out-of-the-blue, a young lady called me and said that she had seen a photograph on AncientFaces and one of the women in the photo was her grandmother! Little did I know that she had left a small child behind when she died so young of TB. You can imagine our shock and excitement at finding each other and a whole new family that we never knew existed. We only live one state away from each other and very soon plan to have all family members meet to share our sides of "the story" and of course, many, many more picturesl AncientFaces...... without you, this family may never have been complete and Aunt Grace would have been lost to us forever. I hope you realize what a valuable service you provide and how grateful we are to have found you. Thank you!!!! -Lynda B.
I never knew my biological family. My family is my mother and father who raised me. But, as I got older I got curious about my heritage. It took me years of investigation to finally discover my parents’ names. Well, I get goosebumps just writing this, I have found my biological family because of AncientFaces. Yes!! I did a search for my [parents' names] and was shocked to find a photo of them on AncientFaces! I cannot tell you the feeling that came over me when I saw this photo - to see the faces of my biological parents…JUST LIKE THAT. I left a comment on the photo and you won’t believe this - the owner of the photo is MY SISTER!!! Yes, I have a LITTLE sister! It turns out my parents were too young when they had me and had to give me up. My little sister knew I existed and wanted to find me but had no way of doing it. Thanks to you I am meeting my little sister for the first time next month. GOD BLESS YOU ANCIENTFACES. -Anonymous
We have found our missing relative entirely thanks to AncientFaces. We have received a much clearer photo of Captain Grant from his Son. The picture we on AncientFaces is an old yellowed newspaper photo. I am attaching the new photo and ask that you take the old one out and put the new clear picture in its place. With our Canadian Remembrance Day here in 2 days - the timing could not be better. Thank You, AncientFaces. My long lost Aunt is now 86 years old and her Son and I are talking by phone and e-mails. Captain Grant was his Father and died in France in 1944 and is buried there. By posting pictures of the visit to his gravesite - we connected through one of his brothers. Amazing that our prayers have been answered. Thank you -Beth B.
I came home for lunch yesterday and decided to look at my email before going back to work. The weekly newsletter that I subscribe to from the Logan Family History Center had this message in it about AncientFaces. I clicked on the link and the first search I did was for Woodruff, and Mamie was the first picture that came up. I could hardly stand it. I was late getting back to work. I had to add comments and write to you. Thank you for noticing her in the store and for the website. I can't help but wonder how many other family pictures may have ended up in that store and why. I also can't help but feel that it was meant to be and that there is a purpose that this picture is coming home as you say. What are the chances of this all just happening? It's amazing that you even picked it up at the store and then went to all the extra effort to post it. It makes me feel as though you have been my friend forever. It certainly has given me a connection to you, and I have a love for what you do. I just can't tell you how excited I am. I can't even hold it in. -Cathy K., Utah
I have previously submitted several pictures of my grandfather August Zemidat. I have tried for many years to find anyone with that name, and I have searched many genealogy web sites to no avail. Recently I was contacted by someone who saw my pictures on AncientFaces who may well be a cousin. She also provided me with information that seems to indicate her grandparents were my grandfather’s siblings. Considering the many years I have been searching for the name Zemidat, I find this is absolutely amazing that I have finally found a family member. Thank you AncientFaces -Ron D.
I love AncientFaces, a while back I saw that you had labeled Garcia surname pictures. At the time I didn’t have all my family facts for my research. Anyway, I wandered into your site just to check it out AND NOW 1 YEAR LATER I received a picture from an 87 year old aunt and guess what you had this very same picture on your site!! (They were my great aunts and my great-grandmother!). Thank you… -Angela M.
I have loved AncientFaces since I first found it, it's the first thing I check when I turn on the computer. There was a time when even in the most modest households there were three cherished possessions, a family Bible. a family album and a fancy lamp. It was usual for the family to gather in the parlour, generally on Sunday and talk, tell stories of family and friends with the photos in the albums as illustration. Sadly in our modern electronic age we have fallen away from the oral tradition and interest in history has waned. I was quite shocked on the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic to see so many comments from younger people who were surprised to learn that the Titanic wasn't just a movie. This is why AncientFaces is so important, to me it's the electronic age version of the oral tradition on a global scale and the sheer volume of people who follow, comment and contribute seems to prove the point. We are all grateful to you all for providing us with this wonderful site. - Arba M.