PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

July 11, 2013

Longtime South County Physical Therapy aide to retire

Sherry Koonce
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Seldom does a day go by that Earl Edgar Woods Jr., does not have a good story to tell.

Whether providing details of his latest hunting trip, talking about the big fish that got away, or poking fun at Texas A&M University with an Aggie joke,  “Eddie,” as he is known by those at South County Physical Therapy, can put a patient at ease quicker than the many years he has worked there have flown by.

“It’s been a good, wonderful journey to have Eddie. He’s been a good employee, a loyal employee. He’s been dedicated to his work ,” Roy Culver St., 85, founder of the  longtime Port Arthur physical therapy facility, said.

After working 47 years at the clinic, and 48 with Culver, the 66-year-old physical therapy aide is ready to retire.

Those who have worked with him for so long say he can’t be replaced.

“He has made such a difference, and always has a good story to tell to put the patients at ease,” Culver said. “He gets them on their feet and off their seats.”

The two first met 48 years ago when Culver hired Woods to assist with physical therapy needs of children at The Hughen Center.

After working together for a year, Culver opened his practice in Port Arthur, and was so impressed with Woods’ ability with the patients that he offered him a full-time job.

Since then Culver has semi-retired. His son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Tonya Culver, took over the practice and moved to a new Ninth Avenue location, where Woods remained an integral part of the business.

 “You can’t replace Eddie; he’s one of a kind, a hard worker, with a good attitude, and is great with patients,” Tonya Culver said.

While he’s best known for his rapport with the patients, Woods can be counted on each morning to get the coffee brewing, and to always be willing to pitch in and keep the clinic clean.

“We don’t know who will do the coffee now; we’ve got a couple of three people in training,” Tonya Culver said.

In addition to working with the physical therapy patients, Woods has enjoyed playing Santa — a practice he started at The Hughen School so long ago.

Woods is married to wife Fannie, and enjoys spending time with his numerous nieces and nephews.

He will be feted with a retirement party Saturday at The Palms golf course club house at Pleasure Island. There, friends, co-workers and some of the patients he has cared for through the years will celebrate with Woods’ favorite foods: Fried fish and barbecue.

His last day at work is July 20 — a day the owners say they are dreading.

“Ed has been such a vital part of the business. We can always count on him. He learned from my Dad the importance of customer service, and that is so important today in medicine. Quality, he’s learned it, he’s executed it; he teaches it. He’s set a standard that will be hard for others to measure up to,” Mark Culver, said.

E-mail: skoonce@panews.com

Twitter:  skooncePANews