Richard Peyton Woodson III

March 1, 1923January 5, 2017

Richard Peyton Woodson III, born March 1,1923 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, only son of Richard Peyton Woodson, Jr. and Katherine McMillen Woodson died January 5, 2017 in Raleigh, NC. Peyton grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico and attended Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. He was honored to serve his country in World War II flying 26 missions as a B-17 pilot in the Eighth Air Force in the air war over Europe. While experiencing life changing events, the most memorable for him was the mission one week before VE day. Operation Chowhound flew over The Netherlands to drop crates of food for the starving Dutch masses who were still suffering under German occupation. In June 2016 the French Government “with endless respect and affection, in recognition of (his) noble contribution during World War II” honored him with the Legion of Honor medal. After the war, Peyton returned to Princeton and in 1949 graduated cum laude. He then attended Stanford Business School where he was elected President of his class. After his father’s death, Peyton was called upon to return to Albuquerque to run the family grocery business. There he met and married Martha Avison. They soon moved to Raleigh, where he took a role in the family insurance business of Occidental Life Insurance Company of North Carolina and British-American Insurance Company, Ltd based in Nassau, Bahamas. He spent more than thirty years in the insurance industry. His greatest honor was to serve as the chairman of LOMA, the life insurance industry's largest professional association. Peyton served on many boards and committees in Raleigh and the Triangle: Shaw University, NC Symphony Society and it’s Foundation Board, United Arts, Chairman of the Triangle Community Foundation board, Triangle Foundation Investment Committee, West Raleigh Rotary Club, Chairman of the "Mayor's Committee" on Community Relations to bring about the peaceful integration of Raleigh's public spaces and services. For close to three decades, he served on the board of FHI360, a company that has tackled the challenges of family planning and the spread of HIV/AIDS in more than seventy countries around the world. Several of the years were spent as chairman, as well as serving on the Family Health International Foundation Board. In 2013 Peyton was honored to be inducted into the Raleigh Hall of Fame. He has been grateful for the opportunities to give back to the community as thanks for the many blessings of family, friends and a fulfilling life. Peyton’s wife, Martha Avison Woodson, originally of Greenfield, MA, pre-deceased him in 2011 after 58 years of marriage. He is survived by his daughter Sheila W. Horine (Stace) of Asheville, NC; son Richard P. Woodson IV (Susan); daughter Martha W. Dunnagan (Clay), both of Raleigh; seven grandchildren, Margaret K. Horine, Katherine P. Horine, Hannah W. Horine, and William Jessup (Lauren), Alex J. Hughes (Josh) and Peyton R. Dunnagan, and Evelyn F. Dunnagan; three great grandchildren, Emma A. W. Horine, Peyton G. Hughes, M. Addison Hughes; and Millie Sanchez, Albuquerque, NM and Katherine Roe, Santa Fe, NM, the two daughters of his first cousin. The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to the staff at Springmoor Health Center and most especially Dr. Wells Edmundson for their outstanding care. In lieu of flowers donations made to the NC Youth Conservation Corps, a project of the Conservation Trust of North Carolina would be most welcome. Please send to: Conservation Trust for North Carolina, 1028 Washington St., Raleigh, NC 27605 The family will receive friends Wednesday evening, January 11, 2017 5:00-7:00 pm in the Jane Bell Gathering Space at White Memorial Presbyterian Church. A memorial service will be held at White Memorial Presbyterian Church, Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 2:00 pm. Arrangements by Brown-Wynne, Saint Mary’s St., Raleigh, NC.


  • Visitation Wednesday, January 11, 2017
  • Memorial Service Thursday, January 12, 2017

Richard Peyton Woodson III

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January 14, 2017

We of the 96th. Bomb Group convey our deepest and most sincere sympathies to the entire Peyton family. Woody was a fantastic asset to the 9th. B.G. We shared many great memories at our reunions. He was our Parlamentarian
bill Thorns, 96th. Bomb Group

January 12, 2017

Peyton was a mentor and friend for 53 years.
All I accomplished in my insurance career was launched when I joined Occidental Life in 1963 while in my last semester at NC State. Peyton asked me to design and build Occidental's first computer system and he cleared the way for me to have whatever resources I needed to do the job. We have been close friends ever since.

I will miss our annual exchange of Christmas cards.

Peyton was a man of great integrity.

Allen Wiser

Robert Kennel

January 11, 2017

I only met Mr. Woodson several times beginning when he invited me to be his guest for lunch at Carolina Country Club. Our business discussions were around BioMarck Pharmaceuticals for which he is a stockholder and which will soon be testing a unique cancer cure.
But what overwhelmed me was the nature and longevity of the man, a true giant of the human spirit. I have never met anyone with the breadth and length of service to mankind that Peyton possessed. He was truly unique --- and beloved. Blessings on his family!!

Mark and Betsy Megalos

January 11, 2017

Condolences to the whole Woodson extended family and greater Raleigh community. Peyton's passing marks the end of the greatest generation. He and Martha were true community supporters and their work lives on.

Eternal be his memory, Eternal be his rest.

Betsy Ludwig

January 10, 2017

Mr Woodson was a patron and friend to Arts Access ( and we are so appreciative for all his good work for our community, we will miss seeing him coming into 505 Oberlin, condolences to his family.

January 9, 2017

My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. May you find comfort in the promise made at 1 Thessalonians 4:14. Please read and share with others this promise from God.

January 9, 2017

My sincere condolences to the family. It is truly a blessing Richard lived a long life. It remind me of Psalm 90:10, an especially strong individual.

Rebecca Dameron

January 8, 2017

Mr. Woodson was such a great man and a gentle giant. Had dinner with him, Mrs. Woodson and my mom many times. Such a loving man to Mrs. Woodson and a great friend to my mother. He will be missed. My love to you all.

January 7, 2017

Peyton Woodson was the epitome of a fine gentleman and a civic-minded individual. His example and leadership in so many areas live on.

Sincere condolences to the entire family,

David and Jeanne Smoot
Wake Forest, NC

Marie Porter

January 7, 2017

I met Mr. Woodson in 1982 when he joined the Board of Directors of Family Health International (FHI 360). As the Assistant Secretary to the FHI 360 Board as well as the FHI Foundation Board of Trustees until my retirement in December 2014, I had the honor and privilege of knowing and working with Mr. Woodson. He was a gentleman of distinction and wisdom who was revered by those who knew him. The community has lost a great servant.

Our condolences to Mr. Woodson's loving family.

Marie F. Porter