Walter James Woods (1930-2017)

Walter James Woods
July 11, 1930 – May 14, 2017 

Walter James Woods passed away on Sunday, May 14, 2017 surrounded by his family, having attained the age of 86 years, 10 months, and 3 days.

Born on July 11, 1930 in O’Fallon, Ill., he was the son of Walter J. and Genevieve F. Woods, nee Schmidt.  He was united in marriage to Virginia L. Fitch on September 23, 1950 at St. Clare Rectory in O’Fallon, Ill.

Walter was a meat cutter by trade and the owner of Woods Meat Market in O’Fallon.  He also worked for many years as custodian and sacristan at St. Teresa of the Child Jesus Parish in Belleville.

Walter loved his country and was proud to fly the American flag every day without fail. He was a true patriot and brave soldier, having served in the United States Army, Company D, 772nd Military Police Battalion.  He served his country twice; in Germany during the U.S. Occupation and again in Korea during the Korean War.  He received the Korean War Service Medal with three Bronze Stars for his participation in various campaigns during the war.

Walter was a charter member of the Knights of Columbus Council 4239, where he served 2 years as Grand Knight.  He also held the office of Financial Secretary for 23 years.  For many years, he was very involved in the various activities of the K of C.  Walter was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion.  In his earlier days, Walter was involved in the O’Fallon Rotary Club, Homecoming Association, and Chamber of Commerce.

On January 12, 2017, Walter lost the love of his life, his bride of nearly 67 years, Virginia L. Woods, nee Fitch.  Also preceding him in death were, his parents, his brother, Raymond C. Woods and his sister, Patricia A. Smith.

Surviving are his loving children, Keith (Cynthia) Woods, Janet (Gregory) Butler, Diane (William) Heizer, Gregg (Jodi) Woods, Neill (Pam) Woods; his grandchildren, Whitney (Bryan) Kossow, Kristen (Benjamin) Smallwood, Lauren (Joshua) Clark, Christopher (Michelle) Heizer, Jason (Kelly) Heizer, Sarah Heizer, Emily (Anthony) Kimutis, Alexander Woods, Zachary Woods, Hannah Woods, Jake Edwards; his great-grandchildren, Taylor and Nicholas Heizer, Brooke and Carson Heizer, Baylee and London Clark, Elizabeth Smallwood, Emery Frieden and his beloved pets, Jacob and Abigail. Walter is also survived by two sisters, Theresa Nix and Linda Guisgond and two sisters-in-law, Carole Deibert and Linda Fitch, along with many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests with gratitude that memorial contributions in Walter’s name be directed to St. Clare Catholic Church Building Fund or Hospice of Southern Illinois. Online condolences may be offered at

Visitation: The family will receive friends from 4:00 – 8:00 pm, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, at St. Clare Catholic Church, 1411 Cross St., Shiloh, and from 9:00 – 9:45 am, Thursday, at the church.

Funeral: Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10:00 am, Thursday, May 18, 2017, at the church, with Rev. James Deiters presiding. Burial, with military honors will follow at Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Shiloh, Ill.

Arrangements entrusted to Wolfersberger Funeral Home.