He was born in Benton on Dec. 2, 1923, to James Newton Woody and Mattie Wiley Woody.
He was married to Frances Rose Woody for 51 years, when she passed away in 2008. He was, also, preceded in death by two sisters: Lorene Woody Beard and Golda Woody Ellis Jones; and stepmother, Thelma Woody.
He is survived by daughters and sons-in-law: Cynthia and Brian Cox of Knoxville and Jennifer and Jim Palecek of Gardiner, Mont.; grandchildren: Brady and Logan Cox of Knoxville and Sarah Palecek Newsome and husband, Charlie, of Livingston, Mont.; sons: Larry Woody of Mississippi and Steve Woody of Texas; daughter, Linda Woodland of Nevada; grandchildren: David, Kim, and Shawn Boothe, Ron and Christopher Woody; great-grandchildren; brothers and sisters and their spouses: James and Mary Woody of Benton, Carol and Ken Pirtle of Decatur, Ala., Pauline and Charles Barnett of Alabama and Debbie Carver of Benton; and several nieces, nephews, cousins, and wife’s family.
He always wanted to “make a positive contribution to Polk County.” He was a Southern Baptist minister for more than 50 years, having pastored Sulphur Springs Baptist Church in Alabama, Wetmore, Pleasant Grove, Shiloh, Clear Springs, and Antioch Baptist Churches in the Polk County Baptist Association, along with performing a multitude of funerals, weddings and baptisms.
He was owner/editor of the Polk County News for 21 years and founder of WBIN radio, owning it for 22 years. He was a Benton City commissioner for two terms including two years as mayor and city judge.
He was involved with the Polk County Fair, Polk County Baptist Association, Polk County Chamber of Commerce, Benton Lions Club, Scottish Rite and Shriners. He was an originator of Benton Family Health Care Center as well as People’s Bank of Polk County.
He was a big fan of the Tennessee Vols football and basketball teams, the Atlanta Braves baseball team and Fox News.
In 2004, he had a book published, “Know That He Is” in which he tells how his relationship with God influenced his ministry and business careers.
He was a very active member of First Baptist Church of Benton, teaching a Sunday school class and a weekly Bible study group, as well as greeter for the church’s “Happy Hearts” monthly ministry to the community until age 89. “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”
The family will receive friends from 1 to 3 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, at First Baptist Church of Benton with the funeral to follow at 7 p.m. The Revs. Robbie Speights and Harrill Millsaps will officiate.
Interment will be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday at Benton Memorial Gardens with a white dove ceremony concluding the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in memory of Jasper to “Happy Hearts Ministry” in care of First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 326, Benton, TN 37307.
Higgins Funeral Home of Benton is in charge of arrangements.
We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Woody family guest book at www.higginsfuneral.com.