LILBOURN - T.J. Woods went home to be with our Lord on the glad morning of Sunday, Jan. 15, 2006.
Born Jan. 23, 1923, in Marmaduke, Ark., he was one of nine children born to the late Claude and Frances Allen Woods. In 1969, T.J. became a Christian and a member of the First Baptist Church in Lilbourn. He remained a dedicated member of the church all his life serving as a deacon, training union director, and, his favorite - the position of usher.
T.J. was employed for 33 years by the Ristine Soybean Oil Mill. At the time of his retirement in 1987, he served in the bus maintenance department of New Madrid County School System. He was proud to be one of the first members of the Lilbourn volunteer fire department, where he served in the capacity of assistant chief for a number of years. Soon after the death of his mother in 1985, T.J. began volunteering at the New Madrid Nursing Center. He created his own ministry of monthly rides that often included outings to the river and surrounding communities. His constant joy and never changing smile became a source of hope and happiness for residents and staff alike.
T.J. had a great love of nature, motorcycles, and people, especially children. He never met anyone who wasn't his buddy.
On April 3, 1950, at Piggott, Ark., he married Doris McBride, who survives of the home. This love, powered by their faith and friendship, sustained them for over 55 years. They have one daughter, Terri Woods of Sikeston.
Other survivors include: one sister, Orene Holland of Cape Girardeau; several nieces and nephews, a loving church family, many community friends and a special buddy, Scott Riley.
He was preceded in death by four brothers, Curtis Woods, Cleo "Skeb" Woods, Arvil Woods and an infant brother, R.T. Woods; three sisters, Gladys Woods Norton, Onie Woods Allred and an infant sister, Irene Woods.
T.J. will best be remembered for his warmth and joy. Even when his body grew ill, his spirit allowed him to keep the mischievous smile of a boy. This joy was the result of his faith and the assurance of knowing that he was not leaving us for good. He is just gone home where he waits at the feet of the Savior.
Friends may call Tuesday, Jan. 17, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Lilbourn, where funeral services will be held Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 1 p.m. The Rev. Bob Medlock, a retired Baptist minister, will officiate.
Ponder Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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Memorial Contributions may be made to:
First Baptist Church of Lilbourn
P.O. Box 294
Lilbourn, MO 63862
Christian Motorcyclists Association
P.O. Box 9
Hatfield, AR 71945