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Columbia Missourian

Larry M. Woods, July 13, 1929 - Feb. 26, 2013, of Columbia

February 27, 2013 | 7:32 p.m. CST

Larry M. Woods, 83, of Columbia passed away Tuesday afternoon, February 26, 2013, surrounded by all of his children. Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 4, 2013, at Memorial Funeral Home. A graveside service for family and any friends who would like to attend will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March, 5, 2013 at Memorial Park Cemetery. The Law Firm of Eng and Woods will host a celebration of Larry’s life on Wednesday,March 6, 2013, at Shiloh Bar and Grill, 402 E. Broadway from 5:00 to 7:00pm.

Larry was born July 13, 1929, in Columbia to Newton Malone Woods and Lorene Minor Woods. On January 2, 1954, he married Joan Hatfield in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. They were married 52 years before she preceded him in death on April 10, 2006. Larry is survived by his four children, Leslie Creath Roby (Brad), Lisa Nelson (David), Bill Woods (Susan), and Matt Woods (Stacey). Also surviving are his 11 grandchildren, Abby Lenger, Tyler Creath, Colin Creath, Ben Baeker, Sarah Nelson, Emily Harding, Ashley Woods, Lisa Jo Woods, Wells Woods, Andrew Woods, and Alexandra Woods. He is also survived by four great-grandchildren, Analise, Madilynn, Liam, and Leo.

Larry attended Columbia Public Schools, graduating from Hickman High School in 1947. He went on to the University of Missouri, graduating from the School of Journalism. He graduated from the University of Missouri School of Law in 1953, where he obtained his Juris Doctorate. After passing the bar exam and receiving his law degree, he practiced law as an associate in the office of Howard Major, attorney, until May of 1954 when he entered the Air Force. While in the Air Force, he acted as government prosecutor or as defense counsel in the trial of almost 100 criminal cases, obtaining the rank of Captain as a Judge Advocate General. In May, 1956, he returned to Columbia and began to practice law as an associate with Mr. Ralph Alexander in the law firm of Alexander, Welliver & Wayland. He went on to become Boone County Prosecuting Attorney in 1958, prosecuting many high profile cases. Larry served as prosecutor until he became State Representative for District One, which included Boone County and surrounding areas. After serving one term as State Representative, he went into the private practice of law with Carl Sapp, practicing law continuously for almost 50 years, ultimately ending his law career with his son, Matt, and Pat Eng as "Of Counsel" with the law firm of Eng & Woods.

During his law career, he was a member of the Boone County Bar Association, the Missouri Bar, American Bar, Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, American Association for Justice, and the American Judicature Society, as well as being appointed by the late governor Warren Hearnes as a member of the prestigious Missouri Banking Board. In 1965, he was selected as one of the Outstanding Young Men of America. For many years, Larry was a member of Calvary Episcopal Church, where he served in many capacities. Larry also was a past president of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, member of the Lion’s Club, and was actively involved in many other charitable organizations.  

Larry was known for his work ethic and community involvement. In addition to being a talented and effective lawyer, he was an honest, ethical, and loyal friend and law partner. Larry was loved by many, including his wife, Jo, and his children. To his family, he was a loving, caring, good hearted individual who cared deeply about those he loved. He had a great sense of humor and was a wonderful storyteller, well known for his poetry recitations, including The Cremation of Sam McGee, Whippoorwill, and Forgiven (as a result of his grandfather, Watt Woods, putting him on the tree stump to practice his public speaking).

Larry was also an avid golfer, and was known in the golfing community as having a great "short game," and as an excellent putter. He and Jo took many golfing vacations with close friends, in addition to their extensive travels to Europe, Africa, and the Mediterranean. They retired to Tucson, Arizona, living many happy years together.

Memorials may be made in Larry’s name to the charity of the donor’s choice.

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