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Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Charles E. Woodford, 82, of Cape Girardeau died Thursday, May 31, 2007, at his home.
He was born Feb. 22, 1925, in Osmond, Neb., son of Fay D. and Emma Rohrberg Woodford. He and Eileen C. Caldwell of Jackson were married Oct. 21, 1944. She died June 1, 1977. He and Lois Leming Weber of Cape Girardeau were married Dec. 22, 1978.
Charles enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 17 and served three years during World War II. He was discharged at the war's end in 1945 as a petty officer 3rd class. Following the war he served as a buck sergeant in the Army National Guard.
He entered the U.S. Air Force in March 1950. His area of specialization was communications and electronics. He retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1971. During his military career he spent a total of 10 years overseas in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
He held a bachelor's degree from Southeast Missouri State University and obtained a master's from the University of Southern California. He taught school at Dexter, Mo., before joining the Air Force. In 1973 he obtained his realtor's license and operated Owl Realty until 1977. He also did some substitute teaching in the Cape Girardeau Public Schools during that period of time.
Since retiring from the Air Force in 1971, Charles was active in the American Legion Louis K. Juden Post 63 and served two terms as commander. During that time, he was instrumental in drafting legislation to officially recognize the Missouri Mule as the state animal. He organized the effort to raise money for the chapel at Missouri Veterans Home and raised money for the renovation of the columns and new benches at Freedom Corner in Capaha Park.
He also organized bringing the Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall to Cape Girardeau and encouraged local Vietnam veterans to join American Legion Post 63.
Charles received the award of Distinguished Legionnaire of Eastern Zone of Missouri. He was a member of Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He did volunteer work at the Veterans Home and was a long-time blood donor at the American Red Cross. He attended Centenary United Methodist Church.
Survivors include his wife, Lois; a son, Lt. Col. Paul Q.G. (Donna) Woodford of Tucson, Ariz.; six daughters, Susan J.D. (Leroy) Ginther of Belleville, Ill., Mary E.L. (Dennis) Honrud of Glasgow, Mont., Cecelia R.F. (John) Boos of Cape Girardeau, Charleen C.C. (Larry) Biester of Jackson, Janet L. (Dave) Rigdon of Cape Girardeau, and Kathleen (David) Bertrand of Cape Girardeau.
He had 19 grandchildren, including Gregory (Beth) Woodford of Las Vegas, Polly Woodford of Phoenix, Cindy Higgerson of Belleville, Michele Luster of Belleville, Gwen Sanders of Monterey, Calif., Kim Gonzoles of Lawton, Okla., Dawn Condrad of Chicago, Arkadia DeLay of St. Louis, Jackie Boos of Cape Girardeau, Steven Boos of Cape Girardeau, Raymond Boos of Cape Girardeau, Lana Koeppel of Columbia, Mo., Justin Biester of Jackson, Josh Biester of Jackson, Laura Biester of Jackson, Jenny Goncher of Cape Girardeau, Megan Goncher of St. Louis, Adam (Katie) Bertrand of St. Louis, and Ben Bertrand of Cape Girardeau; 12 great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandchild.
He is also survived by two brothers, Fay (Frances) Woodford of New Carrollton, Md., Lindley Woodford of Lee's Summit, Mo.; and a sister, Audentia Foreshoe of Vancouver, Wash.
He was preceded in death by his parents of South Sioux City, Neb., and a brother, Francis (Shirley) Woodford of Ponca, Neb.
Visitation will be from noon to service time Sunday at Ford and Sons Mount Auburn Funeral Home.
The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home, with the Rev. Karen Mustoe officiating. Burial will be in Russell Heights Cemetery at Jackson with full military rites by Missouri Honor Team and American Legion Post 63.
Pallbearers will be grandsons.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to American Cancer Society or Southeast Hospice.