Joseph R. Woods, III


1946 – 2019

Joseph Robert “Bob” Woods, III, 73, died Monday, October 21, at home. He was the son of Joseph Robert Woods, Sr., and Irene Woods of Madison, Ala., both deceased. He is survived by a sister, Donna Smith, of Huntsville, Ala., and an ex-wife, Susan Woods, of Camden. He was born in Memphis, but the family moved to Madison, outside Huntsville, when his father went to work for NASA.

Bob attended Auburn, Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes) and Murray State. He lacked one semester graduating with a degree in sociology and a minor in Russian language. He studied Russian the summer of 1980 in the Soviet Union through a government student exchange program. He served in the Navy on the USS Shangri-La and was honorably discharged in 1969.

Bob lived on Long Island, N.Y., from 1968-1972 and worked in quality control for Helena Rubenstein and the Nassau County Highway Department. A highlight of his life during this time included performing the wedding ceremony of two friends through his credentials as a Universal Life minister. He enjoyed hiking and camping in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The most historic mistake in his life was probably being involved the “Days of Rage” protest in 1969 in Chicago (Google it).

Bob married Susan in 1971 and they moved to Tennessee in 1972 where he became the owner/operator of Shady Woods Farm Greenhouse in Manleyville. He organized the Free Spirit Running Club of Henry County whose mission was to raise money for a track at HCHS. During this time, he completed several marathons and the 40 Mile Ultra Run in LBL. He became a USATF road racecourse certifier. He was the certifier of one of the earliest used courses for the Music City Marathon. He enjoyed working for Event Technical Services, a road race timing and scoring company, helping with timing and equipment transportation.

After completing a course in modeling, he landed a job in an ad for a hardware magazine and as an extra in a Patty Loveless video before deciding the drive to Nashville made modeling not worth his time.

Bob enjoyed writing and completed several novels but made no attempt to have them published. He did have a poem published in the Georgia Review. At one point he thought he might use his writing skills to become an obituary writer and attended a conference for professional obituary writers.

Other interests included being a ham radio operator and a fancier of tattoos. He successfully completed a fire walk and an Outward Bound course in rock climbing in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho.

Bob chose to make a body donation and his body was sent to Genesis in Memphis. There will not be a service.


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