OBITUARY

Richard David Woods

September 4, 1935January 28, 2021

Richard David Woods born September 4, 1935, died on January 28 at the age of 85. Dick was born to Andrew and Beryl (Evens) Woods in Lansing, Michigan. He graduated from Sexton High School in Lansing in 1953, obtained a BS in Civil Engineering in 1957, MS in Civil Engineering in 1962 from Notre Dame University. From September 1957 through August 1960 he served in the United States Marine Corps as an engineering officer. In 1967 he received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan and went on to become a member of the University of Michigan faculty for over 35 years. He served as the Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 1994 to 2001. Dick received numerous awards for his pioneering work in his field and in 2003 was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering.

Dick was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Dixie L. (Davis) Woods, in 2012 and his daughter Kathleen (Woods) Laird in 1981. He is survived by his daughters, Cecilia Woods of Dexter and Karen Woods Bochenek (Andrew) of Royal Oak, grandson Trevor Laird (Nina) of Glasgow, Scotland, granddaughters Jane Woods (Ross) of Cincinnati, Ohio, Audi Woods of Ypsilanti, Sarina (Parks) Pankey (Kevin) of Belleville, Tori Parks of Ypsilanti, great-granddaughters Daisha Wilson, Siobhan Woods, Alanna Armstrong, Hella Woods, and great-grandsons Zyhare Scott- Woods, and Kevin Pankey jr.

A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on March 13, 2021, at Saint Joseph Catholic Church located at 6805 Mast Rd. Dexter, Michigan. Visitation will be from 11 AM to 12 PM the mass will begin at 12 PM.

Memorial gifts can be made to Notre Dame University, University of Michigan, and St. Joseph parish of Dexter, MI.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.muehligannarbor.com for the Woods family.

Services

13 March

Gathering of Family and Friends

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Saint Joseph Catholic Church

6805 Mast Road
Dexter, MI

13 March

Mass of Christian Burial

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Saint Joseph Catholic Church

6805 Mast Road
Dexter, MI

Memories

Richard David Woods

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Vincent P. & Drnevich

March 3, 2021

Dick Woods was like a big brother to me. He and I both graduated from Notre Dame at the same time, he with the MS degree and I with the BS degree. At ND, we collaborated on building a prestressed beam for an engineering open house. It held me up and when Dick got on it, an explosion occurred, and it ended in the dumpster. I kept in contact with Dick and Dixie while Dick was at the Air Force Lab in Albuquerque NM and then Michigan Tech. We both started and completed our PhD degree programs at the same time. Dick and Dixie enabled my courting of my wife Roxanne. We have stayed close to the Woods ever since. We both studied under Professor F.E. Richart, Jr. He and his wife Betty were our Ann Arbor parents as Betty referred to us as her boys. Below is a photo taken at the 2010 Purdue Geotechnical Society Workshop where Dick presented the Gerald A. Leonards Lecture. It also was the occasion of my retirement from Purdue. Dick is in the center front. To the left of him is Betty Richart. Next to her is Jack Hall and peering over Dick’s shoulders are Ken Stokoe and Bobby O. Hardin. Betty was with five of her boys.

Amy Shepherd

February 22, 2021

I worked with Professor Woods for the last 4 years because I work in the main office for Civil and Environmental Engineering. He would come in on a routine basis and stop in to chat with me. He was one of the nicest and smartest men I've met and his age did not stop him. He knew how to run the copier, send a fax and compute the strength of concrete! If we had left over dessert or lunches from events, I would save some goodies for him. We worked closely on the Richart lectures and the lasts one had a great turn out. He was very happy with the details. I will miss him very much when we return back to the office. It will not be the same.

Judi Ellingsen

February 5, 2021

Dick was the kindest, gentlest man. Family was always first. RIP Dear Cousin.

Theresa Marsik

February 3, 2021

I am saddened to hear of Professor Woods' passing. He taught the first geotechnical engineering class that I took at Michigan, which led a concentration in geotech. I greatly enjoyed his teaching style, and found him to be a kind man. Prayers to his family.

Ned Glysson

February 3, 2021

I'm so saddened to learn of Professor Woods' passing. He was such a great man, being both a brilliant academic, supportive friend to my family and business, as well as a guy that loved classic cars and could turn a wrench. He was a cherished friend and colleague to my folks and I hired his grandson Trevor and very much enjoyed that relationship. Professor Woods leaves quite a legacy and I am honored to have known him, learned from him and called him a friend.

I hope the warm memories of his life are a comfort to his family during these challenging times.

Richard Ray

February 3, 2021

I remember the opera music, the click-click-click of the selectric typewriter, the jangling of the phone and muffled conversations. I spent 6 years in G.G. Brown in the office next to his. Sometimes he let me borrow a Pepsi (but not too often). We traveled to Corning together; flew out but had to drive back because of the snow storm.
We had a student-faculty softball game, I was playing shortstop. "Move back, big hitter," I called to my teammates in the outfield, Dick laid down a bunt and beat my throw to first base. I gave a stunned look to my teammate playing second base. He shrugged and said "Told you he could really move for a big guy...."

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY