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ORANGE- Roland Elmer (Woody) Woodbury Sr. of Orange passed away peacefully in his sleep, Friday December 29, 2023, at the age of 90.
Woody was born June 29, 1933, the fourth of nine children, to Carroll D. Woodbury Sr. and Dora (Morton) Woodbury. He lived in Athol area and attended schools there. He graduated from Athol High School in 1952. He was very proud of the fact that he was member and co-captain of the Championship Athol High School Football squad.
Following high school, Woody enlisted in the United States Army and served fro 1953 to 1955. He joined the National Guard in 1955 and stayed for 20 years; retiring with the rank of Captain. He was posted at the Orange Armory and served with his unit in the Korean Conflict.
Woody married Janet Fournier in 1956, and they lived and loved together for more than 60 years until her death June 3, 2019.
After his time in the Army and while serving in the National Guard, Woody held many jobs in the area. One of his first jobs was short-order cook at the Summit Restaurant in Athol. His longest lasting job was working at Starrett Tool Company in Athol, from which he retired in 1995. He loved cooking and will always be remembered for his melt-in-your-mouth braised beef. He worked for many years catering for friends and family. He provided delicious meals at the Athol Orange Elks Club for several years.
He was an active member of several clubs and organizations throughout his lifetime. One of the earliest memberships was to the Highland Young Men’s Club of Athol. He kept his membership his whole life. He also joined and managed the Wheelerville Community Club in Orange, the Orange Gun Club, and the Orange American Legion. He was a member of the Lithuanian Club, the Athol VFW, and the Athol Orange Elks Lodge 1837.
Woody loved one football team- the Dallas Cowboys. He had a large star decal on the back window of his car, and everyone recognized his allegiance to that team. He played on a beer league softball team for several years. His kids remember him taking them to games. He always wanted everyone to have a good time, and always had a drink in his hand and offered a drink to everyone whoever visited him. He loved gin and Fresca. Never saw him without a highball in his hand. One other memorable feature of Woody was his curly “handlebar” mustache. He was very proud of that mustache and preened it regularly.
“Grampa” will be remembered fondly by his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He loved them all dearly and loved to spend time with them. He was a big part of their lives. He took them on field trips, fishing and bowling. He even hosted a “back to school” party for them each Fall at his home in Orange.
Woody was a man of his word and a friend to all. It was easy to know him and to like him, and a person can’t drive into the Orange Transfer Station without thinking of him with affection when passing his Woody Woodpecker wood sculpture outside his house.
Woody leaves his children, Scott, Roland Jr. (Butch), Brian, Charlene, and Michael. He also leaves 14 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, and 5 great, great grandchildren. He is also survived by his siblings, Doris (Woodbury) Stewart of Athol, Lorraine (Woodbury) Smith of Homasassa, FL, Louise (Woodbury) Mayo and Roy Woodbury of Garner, NC, and Clyde Woodbury of Templeton, MA.
Roland was predeceased by his parents, his wife Janet, and his siblings, Carroll Woodbury Jr., Morton Woodbury, and Alice (Woodbury) Newbury.
Calling hours will be held on January 13, 2024 from 1-3 p.m. at Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange.
A brief funeral service will follow in the funeral home at 3 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Orange American Legion, P.O. Box 172, Orange, MA 01364-0172.
Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange, is assisting the family.
Guest book and directions at WWW.WITTYFUNERALHOME.COM