Richard Ernest Woodard
July 26, 1926 – August 24, 2019
Richard (Dick) E. Woodard, 93, of Davenport, Iowa passed away peacefully August 24th with his daughter by his side at MercyOne Hospital in Clinton, Iowa.
Cremation rites have been accorded. A memorial Celebration of Life is pending at First Presbyterian Church, Davenport, Iowa. Weerts Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.
Born to Josephine and Ernest G. Woodard on July 26,1926 in Britt, Iowa. He attended school in Fort Dodge, Iowa and graduated from Fort Dodge High School in 1944. He lettered in football, wrestling, baseball and received a football scholarship to the University of Iowa for which he was forever grateful.
Dick was a four-year starter for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes football team beginning in 1944, and he played both on offense (lineman, center) and defense (linebacker). While attending the University of Iowa, he also played for the University baseball team as catcher during his freshman year, wrestled for the University during his sophomore year, and he was a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity.
He was drafted into the U.S. Navy half-way through his sophomore year and served on the USS DD-Renshaw, after which he was honorably discharged in 1946. Upon discharge, he returned to the University of Iowa to continue his athletic career and finish his degree in Finance. Following graduation from the University of Iowa in 1949, he married Elaine Vifquain of Ames, Iowa in 1950, and they had two children, Kristine Woodard and Craig Woodard.
Dick Woodard’s professional football career began in 1949 when he signed with the Los Angeles Dons and played one year in the All-America Football Conference. He then joined the National Football League and played as offensive lineman (primarily center) and defensive linebacker for the New York Giants (1950-1951), the Washington Redskins (1952), and the New York Giants (1953-1954). After his retirement from professional football in 1954, Dick continued his business career as a dedicated financial life insurance professional for 62 years with Bankers Life, then Principal Financial Services, Inc. He passed as one of the oldest living NFL players in the country.
In 1973, Dick married Grace King of Davenport, Iowa. Together they spent many weekends attending Iowa athletic and social events with long-time friends, and enjoying the company of family, extended family and professional colleagues. A lover of music, movement, and humor Dick enjoyed life and could be quite entertaining. He was a loyal Hawkeye and supporter of the University of Iowa, and Iowa athletics his entire life. He held season tickets for basketball and football and he attended home and away games for 70 years. He was president of the National I-Club, served two years as president of the Davenport Quarterback Club, and was an active member in the Kiwanis Club.
He is survived by a daughter, Kristine E. Woodard, Davenport; a son, Craig R. (Janis) Woodard, Belle Mead, NJ; two granddaughters, Mackenzie Woodard and Kelsey Woodard; his first wife, Elaine (Vifquain Woodard) Bath, Ames; and two stepsons, Scott (Paula) King, Davenport and Tom (Sandy) King, LeClair. He was preceded in death by his parents Josephine and Ernst Woodard; his wife of 40 years, Grace (King) Woodard; a brother, Dr. Ralph Woodard; a sister-in-law, Martha (Pray) Woodard; and a stepson, Stephen King
The family would like to thank The Alverno Care Center, especially “his girls” (Clinton, Iowa) and Senior Star-Elmore Place (Davenport, Iowa) for the special care given to Dick. Memorial contributions may be directed to the First Presbyterian Church, Kings Harvest Pet Rescue, or the University of Iowa Scholarship Fund.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Richard Ernest Woodard
September 13, 2019
Fond memories of my co-worker and friend Dick Woodard.
I worked with Dick for 12 years at Principal Financial Group. Dick always knew I was a fan of Iowa State University and would always gently try to convert me to a full time Hawkeye fan.
He faithfully attended the Friday morning Johnston county I-club breakfast. On the day before the big Iowa vs Iowa State game, he returned to the office with his warm smile and laughingly handed me a miniature Iowa State football helmet. He always knew on that one day I would have to cheer for Iowa State.
Dick always had a gentle, warm smile for friends and laughed easily, never taking life to seriously.
Again I look forward to the annual Cy/Hawk football game. But this one time, I will say "Go Hawks" for my long-time mentor and friend Dick.
September 6, 2019
I cared for Dick at Senior Star. He was a wonderful man, and one of my favorite residents! He was a very stand up man, and always pleasant to work for. We had a lot of great conversations, and many shared laughs. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this very sad time.
September 2, 2019
I worked with Dick for 25 years at the Principal Financial Group and attended many company functions and Iowa Hawkeye athletic events with him and Gracie. Dick was an interesting and colorful guy who wasn't afraid to speak his mind. You always knew where you stood with Dick. The University of Iowa will never have a more loyal and passionate supporter. I will never forget him. Mary and I extend our condolences to Craig and Kris.