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Glenn C. Woodard, Jr. February 23, 1936 -January 14, 2020
Glenn C. Woodard, Jr.
Glenn C. Woodard, Jr. passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at the age of 83. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, son, cousin, nephew, uncle, friend and colleague to so many, and will be greatly missed.
Glenn was born February 23, 1936 in Oriental, North Carolina to proud parents, Lottie Mason and Glenn Woodard Sr. Glenn was a big, well-liked fish in a small town pond. He had great adventures there with friends, boats, motorcycles (broken leg!) and baseballs. One of his most cherished memories was playing baseball with his father, Hot Ziggety Woodard, for the local Oriental Hardcrabs team. Glenn drove the town school bus and worked in his father's grocery store but his favorite thing growing up was to be on his grandfather’s shrimp boat with him.
In 1954, Glenn moved to the big city of Greenville, North Carolina to attend East Carolina College (now East Carolina University) and graduated with a degree in geography in 1958. There he became a member of Kappa Sigma Nu that became the Eta Beta Chapter of Sigma Nu fraternity. He continued to attend the annual Sigma Nu reunions in Greenville.
After graduating from East Carolina he moved to Atlanta to attend graduate school in City Planning at Georgia Tech in 1958.
Glenn began his career as a Community Planner in Atlanta, Georgia followed by Rome, Georgia. He became Director of Local Planning with the Georgia State Planning Bureau. He moved to the federal government as an Urban Planner with HUD, was promoted to Regional Director of the Federal Insurance Administration, followed by multiple Director positions within FEMA, Region IV. Those few lines do not do justice to the incredibly successful career he had helping people in communities in times of crisis. His colleagues and bosses all loved and respected Glenn's professional and friendly way. His Georgia Tech classmate from 1958, Stan Kidwell, explained Glenn's successful professional trajectory as "you instinctively know who's got the most talent." Glenn retired from full-time work in 2001 and continued to work for FEMA as a reservist with coveted experience, though he turned down more offers to work than they would have liked.
Glenn was a two-time recipient of “The Order of the Long Leaf Pine” from governors of North Carolina. He was a member of the American Planning Association, the American Institute of Certified Planners, and the Georgia Planning Association, of which he was a past president.
In retirement, Glenn served 20 years on East Carolina University’s Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Advancement Council. He has been a part of the Chancellor’s Circle at ECU since 2005 and an active supporter of ECU’s Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences and Voyages of Discovery Series.
Glenn's hometown never left him; and he returned to Oriental multiple times per year for his entire life. He felt most at peace there, with his childhood friends and relatives. He was the major driver for the annual Caho Woodard Family Reunion, escorting it to its 50th year celebration in 2019. The attendance of 60 friends and relatives brought the happiest of smiles to his face as did the fried shrimp and collard greens. He loved that town and all that it is.
Glenn is survived by his wife, Renae, his daughter Cara Hurst (Jeff) and son Ryan Woodard (Hilary); his grandchildren Holden and Erin (Cara) and Sophie and Charlie (Ryan); and his former wife and mother of his children, Bette. He is preceded in death by his parents.
Glenn was diagnosed with ALS in early 2018. The disease took a toll on his body and frustrated him. Yet he handled it with the most elegance, grace and humor that one could. He was truly impressive until the end. Glenn’s final requested was for his friends to support the ALS Association of Georgia.
A Celebration of Life was held at the Heritage Springs Clubhouse, the community where Glenn and Renae have lived for the past five years. That Celebration took place Sunday, January 19, 2020. And his funeral service took place in Oriental, NC on February 29th at the Oriental Freewill Baptist Church.
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