ANTHONY RICHARD WOODMAN
May 11, 1924 – November 10, 2014
‘Dick’ Woodman passed away unexpectedly, yet peacefully, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Comox BC on November 10, 2014. During his brief admission to the hospital, Dick was surrounded and enveloped by the enormous love and devotion of his wife Shirly, children and grandchildren.
A long time resident of Comox BC, Dick Woodman was born in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta to Thomas and Anne Woodman in 1924. He was the ninth of thirteen children. He was predeceased by his parents, 12 brothers and sisters and his first grandchild Curtis. His early life reads like a Canadian adventure story. His father was a fur trader with the Hudson Bay Company, while his mother ran the Northern General Store.
Dick was a wireless air gunner during WWII from 1943-45, enlisting at 17 years old. After the war he received his radio ticket. This began a new adventure that took him to the Middle East for work on an American oil tanker. After his marriage, to Shirly McPhie in 1951, Dick launched his Air Force career with the 426 Transport Squadron in Trenton, Ontario. During that time he experienced many international missions and was lucky enough to have visited most continents. His only regret was not landing in Antarctica, only flying over it. Among his most memorable missions, was bringing a B-24 Liberator back from India to the Air Force Museum in Rockcliffe Ontario in 1967.
Dick was transferred to the 442 Squadron in Comox BC in 1968. In 1970 he retired after having achieved 10,000 hours of flying time.
Dick and Shirly, with six children in tow, then made their new life in the Comox Valley. Dick moved into a civilian job, working for Island Ready Mix from 1970-1987. His community involvement included Toastmasters, the Kiwanis Club, the Legion and the RCAFA 888 Wing. Dick was instrumental in the building of the 888 Wing and was the honorary president from 1988-90.
Dick Woodman enjoyed a long and celebratory life after retirement. He and his wife Shirly enjoyed many overseas trips and cruises with a special group of friends. They welcomed twelve grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Their door was always open and welcoming to family and friends alike. Everyone had a seat at the table. Dick’s 80th and 90th birthday celebrations played out in the local paper like a ‘guessing’ game’. “DO YOU KNOW DICK?” was posted weeks before the Birthday celebrations. Everyone wore their buttons declaring “I KNOW DICK”!
2014 was a landmark year for Dick Woodman. He celebrated his 63rd wedding anniversary to his beloved ‘Shirl’ and a 90th Birthday party, which welcomed over a 100 well-wishers to the family home on Strathcona Crescent. The highlight of the year was a surprise Alaskan cruise that brought 25 children, spouses and grandchildren together for 7 days. They were the crazy fun and infamous family, as they all wore baseball caps declaring, “I’m With Dick”.
From his early days in Fort Chipewyan, to his adventures on the high seas, to international missions and travels Dick had many, many hilarious and memorable stories to recount. He liked nothing more than to be part of a big gathering of family and friends, drinking and talking into the wee hours of the morning. All that knew him enjoyed his humour and good nature.
Dick, Dad, Grandpa will be greatly missed, but never forgotten. He will always be in our hearts.
Dick Woodman is survived by his devoted wife Shirly. His eldest son Tom (Sandy), grandchildren Lara (Rob), great-granddaughter Shae, granddaughter Margaux (Ryan), great-granddaughter Chloe. Daughter Jori (Alan), granddaughters Colette, and Lola. Daughter Shelley (Bobbie), grandchildren Lindsay, Ty, and Woody. Daughter Wendy, granddaughter Jenessa, great-granddaughter Elaya. Son Kevin, granddaughters Alana (Christian), and Danielle. Son Don (Alisia), grandson Evan
We are all comforted by knowing that his pre deceased family and favorite brother-in-law (neestow) John McPhie are welcoming Dick and enjoying his company and stories now!
With much love in our hearts we can say
“WE ALL KNEW DICK”!
And the story continues…
A Poppy Ceremony and Celebration of Life will be held at 888 Wing sometime in the New Year.