Alberta Woods

Published 3:41 pm Friday, June 26, 2015

FLORENCE, SC – Alberta D. Woods was born in Jeanerette, Louisiana on February 4, 1907.  Her father, George Davezan (Davidson) was a country farmer and local Methodist preacher.  Her mother, Coralee Gravenberg was a busy housekeeper keeping track of ten children, five boys and five girls, of which Alberta was the last child.
There wasn’t much opportunity for public education during that time and place, but her parents did provide their children basic instruction at a small private church school.
In 1925 at age 18 she moved to Chicago to live with relatives and see the big windy city, but she returned home after a year to care for an ailing mother.
She moved to Port Arthur, Texas in 1929 to live first with her brother Albert and then with her sister Elizabeth.  She worked as a housekeeper for a while for the Goldberg family, a prominent department store owner.  Then she met Bennie Woods, a Maritime Association longshoreman, fell in love, and married him in 1933. Her sister Della moved to Port Arthur and moved in with them in 1934.  The Woods’ only child, a son, Bennie Woods, Jr. was born on September 21, 1946 at St. Mary’s hospital in Port Arthur, Texas. Being happily married for 53 years, her husband died in 1986. Her sister died in 1987.
Alberta Woods remained in Port Arthur, living independently. There she received commendation for fifty years of membership and service as a Church Usher, Wesleyan Service Guild/Esther Circle member, and faithful church member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.  Later, she decided she wanted to be closer to her children, so at age 93 she chose to move to Florence, SC to be near her son and his family. She joined Central United Methodist Church in 2000.  A member of the Wesley United fellowship Sunday School Class, she briefly served as a Sunday morning greeter at the church.
Until recently, she lived independently in her own home.  In January, 2008, she moved to the independent section of The Carolinian Retirement Community where she settled in to her new apartment and new lifestyle.
However, she loved her independence, so she briefly lived in a lovely house on Tanglewood Circle in Florence. Failing health dictated that she move to an assisted living facility. She chose the Elmcroft Senior Living Facility where she was beloved by all, residents and staff.
After a brief illness, she passed on Sunday June 21, 2015 at 9:05 PM at the McLeod Hospice House.
She is survived by her only child, a son, Benjamin Woods, a Professor Emeritus of Music at Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina, his wife Sherry, a violist, teacher and composer, their children, grandson Christopher, a violinist, and granddaughter Adrienne, a cellist, both now freelance musicians in Los Angeles, California.  She also leaves behind many loving nieces and nephews now living in Texas, Louisiana, and California.
Funeral Service will be 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, June 30, 2015, at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church with burial following in Greenlawn Cemetery, Groves, TX.  Hannah Funeral Home is assisting the family of Mrs. Woods.

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