Richard (Dick) E. Woodard
July 26,1926-August 24, 2019
DAVENPORT-Richard (Dick) E. Woodard, 93, of Davenport, Iowa passed away peacefully August 24, 2019, with his daughter by his side at Mercy One Hospital in Clinton, Iowa. Cremation rites have been accorded. A memorial Celebration of Life will be Friday October 25th, at 2:00 PM, with visitation from 12:30 PM till time of service, at First Presbyterian Church, 1702 Iowa Street, Davenport. Online condolences may be left at www.weertsfh.com
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 older 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, dogs, 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 Woodard, Davenport; a son, Craig (Janis) Woodard, Belle Mead, NJ; two granddaughters, Mackenzie Woodard and Kelsey Woodard; his first wife, Elaine (Woodard) Bath, Ames; and two stepsons, Scott (Paula) King, Davenport and Tom (Sandy) King, LeClair. He was preceded in death by his parents; 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.