William Lane “Bill” Woods
William Lane “Bill” Woods, 80, passed away at home on the evening of Monday, June 29th, 2015.
Bill was born June 20, 1935 to Robert and Mildred (Lane) Woods in Kansas City, MO. He grew up in Arkansas City, KS, where his family owned and operated a 3rd generation Woods Lumberyard. Bill grew up learning and loving the family business. In 1953 Bill graduated from Arkansas City High School, he then enrolled in the School of Business at the University of Kansas. In 1956 he earned a B.A. from K.U. Bill was a member of the School of Business Honor Society; Beta Gamma Sigma, R.O.T.C., and the social fraternity, Kappa Sigma. Bill was a life-long Jayhawk fan, with center court basketball seats for over 40 years. Go K.U.!
Days after his college graduation, Bill married his high school/college and life-long sweetheart, Sara Gilbert. They were wed in Ark City on June 10, 1956. Later they were assigned to Norfolk, VA Naval Base and he was commissioned as an ensign in the United States Navy, on the destroyer Robert S. Owen. Bill was honorably discharged at the rank of Lieutenant J. G.
After completing his commission, Bill, now all of 23, moved with his wife back to Lawrence to build a new business and family. He designed plans and had a 4th generation Woods Lumberyard built at 1516 West 6th Street. The doors opened in June of 1959. His first child, Cynthia Lynn was born 2 weeks later and his son Phillip Lane was born just before Christmas 1960. Bill was very proud of his 21 years of success with the family business. And he never stopped loving his family.
In 1980, Bill sold Woods Lumber to Wheelan’s. Afterwards he worked for CIGNA as a financial planner. He then semi-retired but continued to work at Payless Cashways until they closed in 2001.
Bill was actively involved at Trinity Episcopal Church, a member since his college days in 1953. He served as an usher, and also on the Vestry Board and the Endowment Committee.
In the 1970’s Bill lobbied for the Kansas Water Commission and was instrumental in securing funding for the building of Clinton Lake. He and Sara hosted a party at their home to celebrate the opening of Clinton with Governor Bob Bennett and U.S. Senator Bob Dole in attendance.
As a boy, his first job was a paper route, which earned him enough money to buy and board his first horse, Buck, a palomino. Bill continued to love horses, raising cattle, and farming much of his life. He thought of himself as a “gentleman farmer” and enjoyed the hard work that came with the title. He made a dream come true when he earned his pilot wings and loved flying small aircraft around Kansas. His education interest didn’t stop with his formal education and he continued to avidly read about politics, local and world events, history, and travel. Bill had stories about traveling to the top of Pikes Peak and as far away as the Great Wall of China, which he shared with many friends.
His dear wife and children feel very blessed that her loving husband and their treasured father was here on this earth to celebrate 80 years of life and 59 years of marriage.
Bill is survived by: his wife Sara, daughter Cynthia Lynn and her husband David Kim (Rhinebeck, NY), son Phillip Lane and his wife Cathy, four grandsons: Ryan and his wife Elizabeth Kim (Colorado Springs), Wm. Scott Kim (Brooklyn, NY), Tyler (Overland Park), and Daniel. His sister Betsy, who preceded him in death and her husband Stuart Luder (Ark City), a brother Thomas and his wife Jean (Florida), and four nephews and one niece, and a myriad of cherished friends.
Memorials may be made in his name to Trinity Episcopal Church or Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association ~ Fit for Life Program and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.
Memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lawrence.