Lifetime of service

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Woods served as assistant fire chief for 35 years


Charles Woods Jr. probably never set out to be a role model, but Lawrenceburg would be hard-pressed to find a better one.

Woods, who died Saturday at the age of 76, epitomized the ideals of small-town America by quietly giving of his time and talents to make Lawrenceburg a better, safer place to live.

“His record of service should be a role model for anyone,” said Lawrenceburg Fire Chief Robert Hume. “He was a defender of our country, worked with crippled children and did his best to protect this community from fires and disasters. I think that says it all.”

Woods served as the city fire department’s assistant chief for 35 years, overseeing nearly every aspect of the department at one time or another. But that title only scratches the surface of his charitable activities.

A member of Sand Spring Baptist Church, Woods was a Mason, Shriner, Kentucky Colonel, former vice president of the Jaycee’s, captain of the rescue squad and was one of the first emergency medical technicians in the county.

He was also active in the Toys for Tots program, Crusade for Children, Fire Safety House and worked with the Anderson County Ambulance Service.

If all that weren’t enough, he also served in the Kentucky National Guard and retired as a staff sergeant.

To earn a living, Woods worked at Universal Fasteners for over 40 years.

His years of service were rewarded Monday when fellow firefighters placed his casket in the back of a fire truck which carried him to Lawrenceburg Cemetery.

Following his funeral, a contingent of firefighters gathered at Ritchie & Peach Funeral Home to lift his flag-covered coffin into the truck.

Fittingly, the truck, a 1965 GMC acquired by the fire department around the time Woods joined in 1967, is being retired.

“He will ride to the funeral site in that truck with all the honors we can present,” Hume said just hours before his funeral. “That truck is getting ready to be retired, and that will be its last purpose.”

Hume said firefighters removed hoses from the rear of the truck to make room for Woods’ casket and his escorts, his son Charles Willis Woods and grandson Charles Brandon Woods.

Charles Willis is a member of the city and county fire departments and provides fire training for the state. Charles Brandon is a full-time member of the Shelby County Fire Department and also works with the Anderson County Fire Department, Hume said.

“That he will be missed goes without saying,” Hume said. “He retired some years back due to his health, but he was still at our dinners and attended fire department activities. He will be missed by us and lots of other folks.”

In addition to his wife, Nellie Ann Shouse Woods, he is survived by a daughter, Patricia Ann Ginn and her husband James Richard of Frankfort, a son, Charles Willis Woods and his wife Patty of Lawrenceburg, three grandchildren, Adam Willis Ginn (Stella) of Frankfort, James Michael Ginn (Jemilyn) of Arizona, Charles Brandon Woods (Laura) of Lawrenceburg and two great-grandchildren, Aradia Lynnette Ginn and Jackson Ryan Ginn of Frankfort.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two infant sons, Rory and Cory Woods and a sister, Mary Frances Woods Iverson.

E-mail Ben Carlson at bcarlson@theandersonnews.com.