WOODALL, Howard Leon (Woody): 1924 – 2002

Howard Leon (Woody) Woodall, 77, former mayor of Grand Saline and retired publisher of the Grand Saline Sun, died Monday, June 17, 2002.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 20, at First United Methodist Church of Grand Saline. Rev. Roger Garbs will officiate. Bartley Funeral Home will direct the services. Burial will follow a Woodside Cemetery in Grand Saline.

Mr. Woodall and his wife, Fern, owned the Grand Saline Sun and Edgewood Enterprise from 1972 until late 1986. They also owned and operated, at various times during that period, the Van Progress, the Tri-County News in Mabank and the Wood County (Quitman) Democrat.

Mr. Woodall was born August 18, 1924, in Goodlett, Texas, and later graduated from Williams High School near there. He was a medical corpsman in the European Theater during World War II and survived both the Normandy Invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. After the war he attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo. In 1949 he married Fern Barham of Wright City, Texas.

He worked as a roughneck and then as a pumper and gauger in the East Texas oil field and later in Kansas and Oklahoma. In 1963, he joined the Jacksonville Daily Progress as an advertising account executive but most loved his additional duties as a sports writer. He worked there until he and his wife bought newspapers in Grand Saline and Edgewood.

While in Grand Saline, he served as president of he Chamber of Commerce and held various other offices in the chamber and the Grand Saline Economic Development Corporation. He served as mayor for two terms from 1987 until 1991.

In 1991, he was named Man of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce. He was an active member of First United Methodist Church of Grand Saline. He was for many years an active member and director of Texas Press Association and North and East Texas Press Association.

After they sold the newspaper company, the Woodalls traveled extensively by motor home, spending time in every state except Hawaii and visiting most of the Canadian provinces. He was an avid reader, hobbyist photographer and loved maps. Mr. Woodall was also an amateur artist, working in pencil and watercolors. He completed art consignments for a number of families and organizations in Grand Saline and Jacksonville.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Fern; by son, Bill and his wife, Nanette, of Tyler; by son, Bert, and his wife, Denise, of Prescott, Ariz.; and by daughter, Lisa Reid, and her husband B.J., of Tulsa, Okla.

He is also survived by grandson, Josh Woodall, and his wife, Emily, of Omaha, Neb.; granddaughter, Katie Noland, and her husband, Mike, of Tyler; granddaughters, Meagan and Kelsey Reid, both of Dallas; step-granddaughter, Heather Crist, and her husband, Chip, of Tyler; and by step-grandson, Phil Shinalt, and his wife, Reagan, of Jacksonville. He is survived by two great-grandchildren, Jackson Noland and Faith Crist, both of Tyler; and several step-great-grandchildren in Lubbock and Forney.

Also among the survivors are sisters, Beth Homes of North Plate, Neb., and Barbara Woodall of Grove, Okla.; and brother-in-law, Con Rogers of Manassa, Colo. He also leaves countless friends.

Pallbearers will be John Rash, Floyd Stewart, Bruce Cheatham and Jimmy Shield of Grand Saline, Oscar Rodgers of Will’s Point and Pat Allison of Dallas.

Published Wednesday, June 19, 2002