Landscapes 15

George W. Woodard, Jr.

July 4, 1945 ~ January 15, 2024 (age 78) 78 Years Old

George Woodard, Jr. Obituary

George Washington Woodard, Jr was born July 4, 1945. He was the oldest son and first child born in Albany, NY to the late George Washington Woodard, Sr. and Dora McCall Woodard of Shubuta MS.  He was educated in the Albany Public School District.  While attending Phillp Livingston Jr. High School he was the winner of the 1960 Yankee Doodle Dandy Oratorical Contest on “What American Freedoms Mean to Me.” George graduated from Phillip Schuyler Sr. High School in June 1965.   After high school, he briefly attended Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) Auto Mechanic Program.  He withdrew from the program for an apprenticeship at International Harvester as a General Mechanic.  He received special training on the latest innovative methods in engine repair and maintenance on trucks.  Due to a long-lasting strike at International Harvester George transitioned his career to the New York State Office of General Services as a Stationary Engineer at the Sheridan Avenue Steam Plant. He was responsible for maintaining, repairing, and overhauling the steam boiler systems.  At the Empire State Plaza, he maintained the skating rink, reflecting pools, and external waterfalls overlooking the Dunn Memorial Bridge.  

George was an entrepreneur.  During the early years of his career, he independently serviced vehicle repairs at his home.  He also purchased several properties throughout the city, which he rented. He was an active landlord until his passing. 

George loved the City of Albany and served on the City of Albany’s Water Board and had a special affection to his childhood community in North Albany and Arbor Hill where he served in the early 1970’s as the Committee Person for the Ninth Ward and in 1990 he became the Ward Leader for the Fourth Ward.  Along with his brother-in-law he managed the North Side Recreation Center located in the former Sacred Heart School in North Albany.  Throughout his travels within the City of Albany, George was a “street” life coach, encouraging young people to lead a productive life, stay in school, and get a good education. He helped young people in Albany obtain city and state jobs.  He didn’t stop there. Geroge encouraged many young people to get involved in Albany’s politics, to fight for the rights of African-Americans in the City of Albany, in order to be treated fairly so they could reach their goals.  George served on the Albany Academy for Girls (currently The Academies) Trustee Board.  During his time as a trustee, he urged the Board to diversify admissions at Girls Academy in which his three daughters and great-niece attended.  

George enjoyed a good jazz concert. He made frequent trips to Philadelphia and Maryland attending the West Oak Lane Jazz and Arts Festival and the Capital Jazz Fest, respectively.  One year, he traveled to Canada for the Montreal Jazz Festival.  George would attend many of the local jazz concerts because there wasn’t a jazz concert that he did not miss.  He made frequent trips to see Broadway plays and shows in NYC as well as plays local to the Capital District and the Berkshires. For years he attended the Unity Day Festival in Philadelphia until the city stopped hosting the festival. Internationally he made trips to Toronto, Canada for Caribana Festival and Barbados for the Crop Over.   He loved the arts, jazz, and attending festivals. 

 

During the months of July and August he was excited to travel to Saratoga, NY with his brother-in-law Emmett Brooks to purchase the sponsored memorabilia. Being an avid automobile enthusiast, he made sure to attend the Philadelphia Car Show as often as possible. He was a collector of Hess Toy Trucks which he has been purchasing for many years. 

Big G was an avid foodie. He enjoyed cooking, grilling, and shopping at William Sonoma until they closed.  He frequented many restaurants and diners in the Capital District. There wasn’t a day that he wasn’t at Cider Belly Donuts at both the Fuller Rd. and the North Peral St. location, Freihofer’s Discount Bakery, Honest Weight Co-op, or Price Chopper, Hannaford and Shop Rite looking for a good deal.

George loved the outdoors. For many years he would go deer hunting with his father, cousins, and brother-in law Sammy Koonce.  He continued to hunt, up until his knees got bad and his first hospitalization. During the spring and summer months he spent most of his time gardening. He had multiple plots throughout the Capital District.  Throughout the years, he attended all of his grandson’s Flag, Pop-Warner, High-School, and College football games.  He continued his joy of attending football games when his great-great nephews played football. He would travel to Delaware and Maryland to meet up with his childhood friend Dr. Charles Lownes to see North Carolina A&T play against Historic Black Colleges and University (HBCU) local to the area.  He attended many NY Giant’s training camps. 

George was an active member of the Knights of Pythias, which he was introduced to by a good friend Steven Safranko. George also enjoyed selling the giant coloring books as a fundraiser with his brothers from the Knights of Pythias at the local shopping malls. 

George married his high school sweetheart Janice (Brooks) Woodard on March 19, 1966, in Albany, NY and from this union they had three daughters, Stephanie D. Woodard, Albany, NY; Stacey L. Woodard, Wilmington, Delaware; and Sheraqua R. Woodard-Olarinde (Edward), Schenectady, NY.  Two grand-sons, Xyier Woodard and Elijah Olarinde.  He leaves, siblings: Evangelist E. Geneva Conway, Albany, NY; Reverend Ethel M. Locke, Ellicott City, MD; Rose Mary (Samuel) Koonce, Albany, NY; Evangelist Rose M. Geraldine (Allen) Brandon, Albany, NY; William L. Woodard, Honolulu, Hawaii; David (Cheryl) Woodard, Bradbury, England United Kingdom; and RG (Ruth Mea) McCall, Albany, NY. George leaves the legacy of a host of nieces and nephews. 

Proceeding his death were his sister Catherine Brown and brother Douglas Woodard.

Services will be held at Wilborn Temple Church of God and Christ, 121 Jay Street, Albany, NY

 

Wake and expressions Friday, January 19, 2024, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Visitation Saturday, January 20, 2024, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

Service honoring the life of George Woodard Saturday, January 20, 2024, 9:00 AM

 

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Rapp Road Historical Association, in memory of George W. Woodard, Jr. at 33 Danker Ave, Albany, NY 12206. For more information contact the Association at sdxwood@hotmail.com.

 

Interment - Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery - 2150 Central Ave. - Schenectady, NY 12304

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Services

Wake
Friday
January 19, 2024

5:00 PM
Wilborn Temple First Church of God in Christ
121 Jay Street
Albany, NY 12210
 

Video is available for this event



Visitation
Saturday
January 20, 2024

8:00 AM to 9:00 AM
Wilborn Temple First Church of God in Christ
121 Jay Street
Albany, NY 12210

Funeral Service
Saturday
January 20, 2024

9:00 AM
Wilborn Temple First Church of God in Christ
121 Jay Street
Albany, NY 12210

Interment following funeral service
Saturday
January 20, 2024

Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery
2150 Central Ave
Schenectady, NY 12304

Please note
Funeral Service begins at 9am until 10am.
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