Kenneth Eugene “Woody” Woodward


Kenneth Eugene “Woody” Woodward, 76, passed away in his home in Almy on Dec 12, 2019. He was born to Clair and Norma (Keahey) Woodward in Moravia, Iowa, May 20, 1943. He moved to Evanston with his parents and brothers Donny, Bobby and Terry in 1957. He graduated Evanston High School in 1961, “because they didn’t want me back another year.” He boasted that he was given an award at a school assembly for missing the most school that year, but wasn’t there that day to accept the award.

He married Susan Mills Bowns, daughter of Wilburn and Charlene (Mills) Bowns of Almy on Feb. 14, 1963, and had two children, Brian Woodward, 55, of Almy and Calista (Perry) Woodward, 46, of Coalgate, Oklahoma. They later divorced. 

Kenny joined the Air Force in 1962 and was a proud Vietnam veteran. He went into the airline industry in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1969, cleaning ashtrays on airplanes and progressed to be a director of maintenance over several east coast airports. He had many interests and undertook many successful endeavors as far away as Ghana, Africa. He used to marvel that a kid from Evanston, Wyoming, could end up rubbing shoulders with ambassadors and businesspeople on another continent.

After leaving the airlines, he started an indoor shooting range in Mesa, Arizona, and operated it for more than 20 years. Kenny loved firearms and loved teaching others about firearms and firearm safety. He was an NRA instructor and counselor. He taught many, many hunter safety and concealed-carry classes over the years. He even traveled throughout the western United States, teaching law enforcement officers tactical gun scenarios on his FAT simulator. He was a world champion skeet shooter and an avid firearms collector.

Kenny was most at home outdoors, and if he wasn’t fishing or shooting, he was talking about fishing or shooting. He lived his life wide. He dreamed and fought for his dreams, he rode rough stock, built Harleys, flew fighter jets, started businesses, traveled the world, stood up for the weak and motivated others.

His deepest love and sense of pride, however, was his family. He was always a rock to lean on, with sage advice and support, and he seemed to have a solution to every problem. He never ended a phone call with family without saying “I love you.” Kenny loved life, he loved to have fun and he loved people. His ability to laugh and his affable nature made friends everywhere he went.

Kenny was able to move back to Evanston in 2018 to be closer to his son and family. You could often see Kenny driving around town in his copper colored 1957 Chevy Bel Air. He loved to take his car to car shows and talk about the “good old days.” He spent a lot of time the last couple of years shooting, camping and fishing with his brother, Donny, and loved every moment with his family.    

Kenny was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and he often attended the temple with his friends. 

He is survived by his son, Brian (Mardi) Woodward of Evanston, and their children, Brad of Colorado and Payton, Addison and Remington, all from Evanston; his daughter, Calista (David) Perry, and their children, Alyssa, Wyatt, Austin and Morgan, all of Oklahoma; and two great-grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his parents and his younger brother, Bobby. 

Cremation has taken place, and the family will have a private celebration of his life at a later date.

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