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John William Woodward

December 23, 1944 - December 2, 2020

John W. Woodward, age 75, passed away on December 2, 2020 following a battle with mesothelioma. John was born on Dec. 23, 1944 in Washington DC to the late William Bryce and Anne Josephine Woodward.   

John lived most of his life in Virginia Beach, graduating from Princess Anne High School in 1962.  He received Bachelors and Masters degrees in Engineering from Old Dominion University where he was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.  A registered professional engineer for his entire career,  John worked for 26 years for the Department of the Navy. He held numerous positions with the Naval Sea Combat Systems Engineering Station culminating in being selected as the Technical Director, the command senior civilian, in 1989. During his time with the navy, John earned one patent and was awarded the Navy Meritorious Civilian Award in 1992. His leadership helped the command to win the US Senate Productivity Award for the state of Virginia in 1993. Following his retirement from the Department of the Navy in 1994, John spent 17 more years as a Vice President with American Systems Corporation before retiring in 2012. He was an adjunct instructor in Electronics at Tidewater Community College for seven years in the 1970’s and served on the curriculum advisory council for several years thereafter.

John’s family was his passion. He was always involved in his children’s activities, including coaching various youth sports, serving as an active leader of Boy Scout troop 481 in Little Neck, and attending many campouts and summer camps. 

John was an active member at the Church of Ascension Catholic Church in Virginia Beach for over 40 years.  He served in numerous ministries including Eucharistic minister, RCIA sponsor, confirmation sponsor, liturgy coordinator, parish council, chairman of the finance committee, building committee, and member of the Ascension Construction Crew. He was a long term volunteer at Kings Grant House senior care center. 

John loved boating on the Lynnhaven River, taking on many home projects, traveling, and any occasion to be with his family. Things were best when he could combine his love of travel while being with his family and he made that a priority. He leaves behind many memories of family trips taken near and far. 

John’s memory will live on through Francine, his wife of 52 years and the love of his life; a brother Will Woodward (Diane) of Escondido, CA; son Brant (Kim and granddaughter Caroline) of Atlanta, GA; son Steven (Anna and grandsons Jackson and Mason) of Haymarket, VA; sister-in-law Jane Taylor; brother- in-law and sister-in-law Rick and Nancy Richardson; and Nieces Sara Taylor, Natalie Vilas, Kelly Honeck, and their families.

Reverend Daniel Malingumu will celebrate a mass for the family on Dec 17 at 1:00PM, and we will gather to celebrate John’s life with friends at a later date when it is safe to do so.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Church of Ascension Social Ministry, For Kids, The Virginia Beach Rescue Squad, or the charity of your choice.

Service Information

Memorial Information

Date: Thursday, December 17, 2020

Time: 1:00 pm


Church of the Ascension Catholic Church

4853 Princess Anne Rd
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462

Services for Mr. Woodward will be private.

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