ForeverMissed
     Verle Duane Woods completed his gentle, giving life’s journey on Thursday, March 11, 2021 at Northwest Texas Hospital in Amarillo, TX after a valiant effort to overcome a neck injury sustained on February 20, 2021. Verle was the son of Clinton and Eva Woods and was born and raised on the family farm in the Sunset Community near Logan, Oklahoma.
     Verle completed grade school at the Sunset school and graduated from Laverne High School in 1951. He went on to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater where he graduated with a BS Degree in Soil Sciences. While there, he met two life-long buddies that were close friends his entire adult life: Vernor Bell and the late Lyndon Imke, both of Follett, Texas. There are lots of entertaining stories about the trio’s college days.  Another special friend and running buddy was the late Wade Phillips of Enid, OK.
     While at OSU, Verle completed the ROTC program, and after graduation, he served in the US Army 17th Armed Corps of Engineers as a First Lieutenant with his specialty being a Combat Engineer United Commander. He received an Honorable Discharge in August of 1957, and went on to serve in the USAR Oklahoma Military District Reserves until May of 1963. Verle often talked of his memories at Engineering School in Fort Belvoir, VA and time in Germany as some of his most cherished experiences.
     After returning from active duty to manage the family farming, Verle worked as a Soil Conservationist for the United States Department of Agriculture in both Panhandle and Dalhart, TX. In May of 1959, Verle married Cheri Laurie in Darrouzett, TX. Verle and Cheri had two children, Valerie Camille Woods Schmalhorst who was born in Dalhart, TX,and Maurice Clinton Woods who was born in Beaver, OK.
     Verle married Sandra McGregor Kirk on April 21, 1973 at the San Miguel Mission Church (the USA’s oldest church) in Santa Fe, NM. They met in Sante Fe where Sandy actually interviewed Verle for a job and hired him to work for her in the summer of 1970 at the Sangre de Cristo Girl Scout Camp in Eagle Nest, NM.  Sandy often tells the story about the day they met for the interview and learning that Verle also was a “Movie Star.”  The John Wayne movie, “The Cowboys” was being filmed near Sante Fe then, and Verle was cast as the blacksmith. To this day, Verle remains Darrouzett’s one and only “movie star” when in the last few minutes of the film Verle can be seen tall in stature and strength as the town blacksmith.
     Verle was at his happiest hosting what he called “A BLOWOUT” at the family farm on Coon Creek among the majestic 100 year old cottonwood trees and lush Bermuda grass he hand sprigged in the late 1950’s. The creek area at the family farm was his first love. He kept the creek looking like a western travel destination for many years.
     After years of research and trips to area museums, Verle spent several summers building a dugout by hand to match the construction of dugouts built in the days his family settled first on Kiowa Creek near Darrouzett, TX and then exchanging it for land on Coon Creek near Logan, OK. The dugout was furnished with family heirlooms and was the spot of many church, school, community, and family gatherings .Verle would stir up his campfire stew, sourdough biscuits, and cobbler in Dutch Ovens by the fire in his restored green antique chuck wagon. Almost all “BLOWOUTS” ended by the campfire with Verle telling his favorite stories resulting in lots of laughs from his guests. From fall Hobo Suppers to The Fourth of July church celebrations and school field trips, he loved to host guests at the dugout.
     “Pa,” as he was known to his children and grandchildren was adored. From snowy Christmas Eves in the dugout cooking on the wood stove, to stalking deer and turkey from the dugout window when hunting season approached, Verle was an encourager and a steady guide with a gift for wisdom in all things. He was a kind man, a gentleman in all things, and a friend to all.
     Verle also restored a covered wagon and with his treasured team of mules, Red and Rowdy. He, Sandy, and Bryan would travel to summer rodeos and celebration parades where his wagon and robust mule team would steal the show. For many years, Verle would bring Santa Claus to Darrouzett with his wagon and mules for the annual community Christmas celebrations.
     Verle was a history buff. He loved to spend his evenings studying history of the Panhandles and particularly the history of the Woods family. The Woods homesteaded in the area in 1892, coming from West Virginia in a covered wagon. He loved to attend area historical events, old time threshing bees, and antique machinery events.He was fascinated with World WarII history, particularly because Sandy’s Dad, Bill McGregor, was a POW captured by the Germans on an undercover OSS mission in Czechoslovakia.
     He owned and operated Woods Contract Pumping and farmed in Lipscomb County, TX and Beaver County, OK. Verle continued checking his farm and his wells until the day he was admitted to the trauma center in Amarillo after his injury, despite many health issues over the years. He had an incredible spirit to keep on keeping on, despite his decline in health. He never lost his smile or kindness through it all.
     Verle spent most of his life serving his church and community. He served as a Lipscomb County Commissioner for over 20 years bringing conservative but progressive leadership with him. His Army road-and-bridge-construction experience helped Verle pioneer the county road paving program that continues to this day.
     Verle also served on the Darrouzett School Board and was an active member of the Darrouzett Village Improvement Program for many years. His vision and planning were the jump start for construction of the Darrouzett Deutsches Gardens located on Main Street. Verle served on the Lipscomb County Central Appraisal District Board  for several years, also being named Board President. He was a cast member of many Deutsches Fest melodramas and is particularly remembered for his hilarious and out of character Oleo performance of Tiny Tim’s Tiptoe Through the Tulips at the Deutches Fest Melodrama in 1975.
     He taught the Adult Sunday school class at the First Baptist Church for over 45 years. He devoted many hours each week to in-depth study of the Bible and loved to tell others of his love for God. He was on the Logan Cemetery Board and a devoted member and worker for the Lipscomb County Historical Society.
     Verle was a giant of faith and a long time member of the First Baptist Church of Darrouzett. His church family was very, very close to his heart.
   Verle is survived by his wife of 47 years, Sandy, and her son, Bryan Kirk: his daughter and her husband, Valerie and Stephen Schmalhorst of Lacomb, LA; his grandson Brian Schmalhorst of Lacomb, LA; his granddaughter Natalie Kathryn Hano and her husband, Jack Daniel Hano; his great grandson Nathan Jackson Hano all of New Orleans, LA; his son Maurice Clinton Woods and his wife Patti of Perryton, TX; his grandson Clinton Shane Woods of Amarillo, and his great grandson Slayton Woods of Amarillo, TX and his grandchildren Kale Lane Kirk and his fiancé Audri Turner; Kalley Anne Kirk and her fiancé, Ryan Sanders, Kolton Shane Kirk and Kalynn Dane Kirk; his sister Delores Castleberry and her husband Sam Castleberry of Oklahoma City, OK along with his nieces and nephews, Tammy and Mike Cooper, Tina and Pat Berglundand Clint and Michelle Castleberry.
     Memorial services for Verle are planned at the family farm by his beloved dugout, with the Rev. Jim Peabody of Clovis, NM officiating later in the spring. Gravesite rites will follow at the Logan Cemetery in Logan, OK. Plans include his memorial service along with a meal featuring his famous sourdough biscuit recipe, Dutch oven cobblers, a campfire, and music by Brett Duke. The Woods family hopes to see everyone in May. Bring your lawn chairs and help honor the Cowboy and our “Pa.”
     In lieu of flowers the family requests any memorial remembrances benefit the First Baptist Church of Darrouzett, The Lipscomb County Historical Society and Museum or the Town of Darrouzett Volunteer Fire Department.

Posted by Larry Howard on March 22, 2021
I am sad to read of Verle's passing. He was a gentleman and top shelf fella. May the Lord surround the whole family with peace and comfort in the days and weeks ahead. God bless all of you.
Posted by Valerie Woods-Schmalhorst... on March 22, 2021
March 10th will forever be a heart breaking day for Maurice and I, for it was on this date that both our mother ( Cheri Laurie Steed) and our father (Verle Duane Woods) left this world for a better one in heaven. I’ve attached recent pictures of their great grandson, Mason Jackson Hano, their granddaughter, Natalie Kathryn Schmalhorst Hano and grandson Brian Randolph Schmalhorst. Your Loving daughter,
Valerie
Posted by jayanna coleman on March 21, 2021
sure am sad to hear of the passing of this true gentle guy. verle was forever kind. prayers for his family sandy, maury, valerie and brian.

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Posted by Larry Howard on March 22, 2021
I am sad to read of Verle's passing. He was a gentleman and top shelf fella. May the Lord surround the whole family with peace and comfort in the days and weeks ahead. God bless all of you.
Posted by Valerie Woods-Schmalhorst... on March 22, 2021
March 10th will forever be a heart breaking day for Maurice and I, for it was on this date that both our mother ( Cheri Laurie Steed) and our father (Verle Duane Woods) left this world for a better one in heaven. I’ve attached recent pictures of their great grandson, Mason Jackson Hano, their granddaughter, Natalie Kathryn Schmalhorst Hano and grandson Brian Randolph Schmalhorst. Your Loving daughter,
Valerie
Posted by jayanna coleman on March 21, 2021
sure am sad to hear of the passing of this true gentle guy. verle was forever kind. prayers for his family sandy, maury, valerie and brian.
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Shared by John Darrouzet on March 22, 2021
What a beautiful obituary for a man loved by so many!

When my wife, Lynne, my son, John, and I came to Darrouzett, Texas, to help with my son's film documentary project, we met Mr. Woods when Sandy took us out to see the dug-out he had constructed by hand. The level of historical detail in the dug-out was amazing and the love these two shared for it and and each other was profound and inspiring. They, and the friends they introduced us to, made Darrouzett a real community for us. Mr. Woods is looking over us all now. Doubtless he is already constructing his home in Heaven for us all to visit, now in our dreams, and in the future in person.