ForeverMissed
Gilbert B. Woodford, "Woody", 97, of Orangeburg SC, passed away peacefully at JFK Medical Center in Edison, NJ on Saturday, September 24, 2022.

Gilbert, born in Charlottesville, VA on May 21, 1925 to William and Margaret Woodford, was the youngest of seven children. He lived most of his life in New York City, but spent six years in the Dominican Republic, and lived the last years of his life in Orangeburg, SC.

During World War II he served as a merchant marine until being honorably discharged on August 13th, 1945, after which he worked as a shoe shiner and cook on the SS United States, beginning his lifelong love of the sea.

He held numerous jobs including railroad worker, postal worker, school bus driver, cab driver, and farmer, and dabbled in real estate, becoming landlord of several properties.  He retired from the post office in his 60s but didn’t stop working until he was 80, even owning a laundromat for 10 years in between.

With a contagious smile and laugh, and a booming voice, his presence was felt when he entered a room. He was a great storyteller who could go on for hours with colorful jokes and tales about his life experiences to anyone who would listen.

Gilbert was lovable and kind, also manly, with a love for tools and fixing things. When not tinkering in his garage, he loved sitting in his yard, lost in the blue skies listening to the rustling leaves and singing birds, a spell only broken by the call for dinner where a burger and beer would be enough to make him grin from ear to ear.  He also loved music, politics, Westerns, ice cream, animals, and he had an infinite curiosity and desire for learning. His philosophy for life was, “If you do the best you can, you’ve done all you can.”

He never hesitated to offer a hand to those he loved and cared for.  Over the course of his life he helped many in their time of need, and with a joyful outlook on life he illuminated the lives of those fortunate to know him.  He was a loving and affectionate father and a loyal husband, dedicating his last years to taking care of his ailing wife, Clara Woodford.

He is preceded in death by his sisters Raydell, Margaret, and Susan; brothers Preston, William, and James; his daughter Joan; his grandson Mason; and his nephews George, Victor, and Henry. He is survived by his wife, Clara; his children, Gloria, Gilda, Gary, Brenda, and Gilbert (Papo); his grandchildren Jennifer, Jeff, Lisa, Miles, Matt, Malik, Mitchell, Malcolm, Mackenzie, Ryan, and Olivia; his nieces Margaret and Patricia; his nephew Sidney; and many other relatives. 

Gilbert lived a long and interesting life; he will be forever loved and missed.

Services will be private and by invitation only.

In lieu of flowers for Gilbert's family, please plant a tree in his memory at https://thetreesremember.com and help reforestation efforts. 

Fertig Funeral Home
Posted by sidney smith on October 28, 2022
The Old Man's Last words

I have lived and I have seen, I have felt and I have dreamed, for all the wonders of mankind, but I find my soul is crying.

Why is it not a dream? My reality is nothing but a foolish scheme.

The love, the care, the hope the despair, all these things I cherish not, and I find then to be a complete paradox.

The love that is, is not, for is it was I would love and understand every man. The care we speak of is nothing but a foolish dare, and hope the anguish cry of a wounded antelope. Finally despair the true meaning of which we can define as touching the untouchable atmosphere.

I have watched the suffering of all mankind. Felt the profuse pain as if it was all mine. I have love and cared personified, and as I lie here to die, I ask why?

My life is now an ending plight, my cross was not light. Now it has come time for me to lay it down, my struggle is over now. I go now to my destiny to receive my crown.

As I take a last journey through the celestial darkness of night, I am on the threshold of eternity, I feel the light of darkness, through which the songs of peace entices me. My heart beckons me to go, but I must say one more thing to those who will listen and believe me.

Through it is hard for you to understand, try to hold your cross tight. Fight to learn with all your might. Through the cross may be laden with weight, and your feet pain with blisters, your eyesight obscured from the sweat of your brow, your heart and muscles grow weary from the torture of carrying the weight of life. Hold on for as long as you can, so you can see, feel, and love those things which are around you. For they are the way to the final journey of a painless life. There is love, hope, care minus despair in a world where there is you and you.

sidney
Posted by Patricia Reyes on September 30, 2022
Dear Uncle Gilbert. You will be forever missed. When I was a little girl, I remember you coming home from the Merchant Marines in your sharp “sailor suit”, which was quite impressive to me. Since then I have looked up to you for your help and well-appreciated advice with love, compassion and wisdom. It’s going to be hard now knowing I can’t pick up the phone to hear your voice and cheerful laugh. But you will always be with us in spirit. We love you. Rest In Peace, your niece Pat.
Posted by Leah Loca on September 28, 2022
I am Olivia’s friend and I am here for Olivia and her family. My condolences <3 My family and I will keep you in our prayers <3

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Posted by sidney smith on October 28, 2022
The Old Man's Last words

I have lived and I have seen, I have felt and I have dreamed, for all the wonders of mankind, but I find my soul is crying.

Why is it not a dream? My reality is nothing but a foolish scheme.

The love, the care, the hope the despair, all these things I cherish not, and I find then to be a complete paradox.

The love that is, is not, for is it was I would love and understand every man. The care we speak of is nothing but a foolish dare, and hope the anguish cry of a wounded antelope. Finally despair the true meaning of which we can define as touching the untouchable atmosphere.

I have watched the suffering of all mankind. Felt the profuse pain as if it was all mine. I have love and cared personified, and as I lie here to die, I ask why?

My life is now an ending plight, my cross was not light. Now it has come time for me to lay it down, my struggle is over now. I go now to my destiny to receive my crown.

As I take a last journey through the celestial darkness of night, I am on the threshold of eternity, I feel the light of darkness, through which the songs of peace entices me. My heart beckons me to go, but I must say one more thing to those who will listen and believe me.

Through it is hard for you to understand, try to hold your cross tight. Fight to learn with all your might. Through the cross may be laden with weight, and your feet pain with blisters, your eyesight obscured from the sweat of your brow, your heart and muscles grow weary from the torture of carrying the weight of life. Hold on for as long as you can, so you can see, feel, and love those things which are around you. For they are the way to the final journey of a painless life. There is love, hope, care minus despair in a world where there is you and you.

sidney
Posted by Patricia Reyes on September 30, 2022
Dear Uncle Gilbert. You will be forever missed. When I was a little girl, I remember you coming home from the Merchant Marines in your sharp “sailor suit”, which was quite impressive to me. Since then I have looked up to you for your help and well-appreciated advice with love, compassion and wisdom. It’s going to be hard now knowing I can’t pick up the phone to hear your voice and cheerful laugh. But you will always be with us in spirit. We love you. Rest In Peace, your niece Pat.
Posted by Leah Loca on September 28, 2022
I am Olivia’s friend and I am here for Olivia and her family. My condolences <3 My family and I will keep you in our prayers <3
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My Uncle Gilbert

Shared by sidney smith on September 29, 2022
The Old Man's Last words
 I have lived and I have seen, I have felt and I have dreamed, for all the wonders of mankind, but I find my soul is crying.
Why is it not a dream? My reality is nothing but a foolish scheme.
The love, the care, the hope the despair, all of these things I cherish not, and I find then to be a complete paradox.
 The love that is, is not, for is it was I would love and understand every man. The care we speak of is nothing but a foolish dare, and hope the anguish cry of a wounded antelope. Finally despair the true meaning of which we can define as touching the untouchable atmosphere.
 I have watched the suffering of all mankind. Felt the profuse pain as if it was all mine. I have love and cared personified, and as I lie here to die, I ask why?
 My life is now an ending plight, my cross was not light. Now it has come time for me to lay it down, my struggle is over now. I go now to my destiny to receive my crown.
 As I take a last journey through the celestial darkness of night, I am on the threshold of eternity, I feel the light of darkness, through which the songs of peace entices me. My heart beckons me to go, but I must say one more thing to those who will listen and believe me.
 Through it is hard for you to understand, try to hold your cross tight. Fight to learn with all your might. Through the cross may be laden with weight, and your feet pain with blisters, your eyesight obscured from the sweat of your brow, your heart and muscles grow weary from the torture of carrying the weight of life.  Hold on for as long as you can, so you can see, feel, and love those things which are around you. For they are the way to the final journey of a painless life. There is love, hope, care minus despair in a world where there is you and you.

My Uncle Gilbert

Shared by sidney smith on September 29, 2022
Uncle Gilbert was like a father to me. I will always remember his kindness and careing emotions towards me. In times of conversations about life and our world he showed compasson and emotions about people and society. His willingness to sacrifice and share his resources to help those in needs will always be cherished. May God bless his soul and give him a life in Paradise for eternity.

Paradise

Shared by Gloria Kirkland on September 28, 2022
Ron and I met this wonderful gentleman and his beautiful  lady about 15 years ago. He was like a father, but yet a dear friend. We loved him dearly. He was one who loved life and family. He taught us so much about life. His family was our family. His footprints will forever be in the sands of time here in Orangeburg, South Carolina. We love you, but God's love for you was greater. Take your rest Mr. GIL.  LOVE MUCH