Woods’ positive attitude remembered

Published 2:03 am Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Larry Woods was looking forward to the next Habitat for Humanity build.

As a Habitat homeowner himself, Woods and his family had participated in many Habitat projects over the years, bringing a positive attitude and a strong work ethic.

But other Habitat volunteers are now mourning Woods’ untimely loss; he died last week at just 44, not long before Habitat is scheduled to begin another build for Woods’ neighbors, Janice and Robert Thompson.

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The Woods house was built in March 2008, part of Habitat’s “Mission Possible: House in a Week” build.

Woods is survived by his wife, Jennifer, stepsons Dana Smith and DeAndre Smith, and daughter Raven.

“Larry was so proud of his Habitat home,” said Escambia County Habitat for Humanity Director Alecia Glaize. “When we were building his house, he and the boys stayed up all night guarding the construction materials. When Rusty Miller and Terrence Breckenridge were chosen as Alabama Asso-ciation of Habitat Affiliates’ volunteers of the year in spring 2009, Larry and Jennifer made the trip to Montgomery for the ceremony.”

Part of what makes Habitat such an amazing organization is the partnership that the group makes with those it helps — new homeowners must complete “sweat equity” hours on other builds before their own home projects begin.

Everyone participates, but perhaps not always with quite the enthusiasm and effort that Mr. Woods brought.

Glaize recalled that Mr. Woods accompanied a Brewton team when they went to Pike County in December 2007.

“Our ‘road crew’ spent a couple of nights in an inexpensive motel and did construction work in the cold during the day,” she said. “After the trip, Larry said, ‘Miss Alecia, I really enjoyed that trip. It’s the first vacation I ever had.’”

Mr. Woods’ dedication to Habitat will not soon be forgotten.

Longtime Habitat volunteer Bobi Rush said Woods “knew the true meaning of what Habitat was all about. He was funny, fun loving, serious when he needed to be, worked hard or hardly worked.”

Habitat volunteer Keith Dixon said the Woods build was the “funniest” he had worked.

“I will never forget him and his thankful attitude to each of us that were on the build,” Dixon said.

Habitat has set up a fund to help the Woods family.

“If you would like to make a constribution in memory of Larry, you can make your donation through our webiste (www.escambiahfh..org) then just let me know that it was for the Woods family,” Glaize said. “If you prefer to make your contribution by check, make your check payable to ECHFH, mark it in memory of Larry Woods, and mail it to ECHFH, P.O. Box 119, Brewton, AL 36427. We will make sure that Larry’s family gets 100 percent of your donation.”

Another great tribute to Larry Woods would be to volunteer for for Habitat’s next build, which begins Nov. 5. The group will build a home for the Woods’ neighbors, the Thompson family, beginning at 8 a.m. that day and continuing at least for the next two weekends.

The “Home for the Holidays” build, as usual, does not require any prior building experience, although experienced builders are welcome.

But if you bring the kind of attitude and spirit that Larry Woods had, everyone will be blessed.

Kerry Whipple Bean is publisher of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 867-4876 or by e-mail at kerry.bean@brewtonstandard.com.