Condolence & Memory Journal

John was a good friend . We had lots of fun together, in our early years.
He shall be missed greatly.
Sympathy and Love to his family, Dick & Lenore

Posted by Richard & Lenore Hauch - Ft. Myers, FL - friend for years.   May 14, 2013


my sympathy goes out to the family .Mr Woods was a great man and im sure he is greatly missed he always listened to what i had to say and ill never forget when i left jr high he looked down at me and said i hope your the only Mc Grath and i looked up at him and said nope theres17 more Mcgraths you will get meet.

Posted by lynette a (mcgrath) cunningham - savannah, TN - student lakeshore junior high   May 11, 2013

I was a student at Lakeshore Jr High when Mr. Woods was our principal. I remember one day during lunch, I was shooting milk through the straw out of the carton (just being silly) but I got caught. I was sent to the Principal's Office. I thought, "oh no, I did it now" but Mr Woods sat me down and had a nice chat with me. He was very fair but let me know what he expected from me. After I graduated and later came back to coach, Mr Woods was there and always made me feel welcomed. I certainly will always remember him, respected him and even had some good laughs together. Thank you Mr Woods for being such a great guy.

Posted by Jodi Rabbers - Arlington, TX - former student   May 08, 2012

I have a number of Lakeshore pics at

Included is the "winning basket" that didn't count, some classroom photos, some math field day, and some faculty vs student games, and the Lakeshore pennant on top of Mt. Fuji (before the pennant was blown away out of my hands)

Posted by Ron Dirkse - Tokyo - Teacher at LJHS   April 26, 2012


John was my Principal from 1967 to 1974. What a giant of a man in so many ways. I think the only thing we ever "disagreed" on was my growing of a beard. He was a Lancer 24 hours a day. Honest and forthright in all that he did. My condolences to Ann and the girls (I had Kim as a student)

Posted by Ron Dirkse - Tokyo   April 26, 2012

Coach Woods was a 'gentle giant', especially to us 'short', non-athletes.
I'll never forget the first time I stared up at him. Had to be the tallest person I'd ever seen. He was always encouraging, in good humor and always with a smile on his face. It's such a tribute to see this large outpouring of remembrances from some of his earliest students and to see how scattered across the country they now are. Coach Woods was certainly one of the most memorable leaders in Lakeshore's history.

Ed Niedbala, Class of '65

Posted by ed niedbala - Signal Mountain, TN - Former Student   April 24, 2012


So sorry to hear about John he was my principle in jr.high and what a great person he was, he could always make a person laugh and feel better if they were having a bad day. I was just talking with John a few weeks ago it seems at the speedway when he was getting his newspaper and I was blown away when he called me by my name what a memory he surprised me being I was a student so long ago. I will be out of town and will not be able to make the funeral but I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. Jeff Starbuck

Posted by Jeff Starbuck - Bridgman, MI - Past student   April 17, 2012

I always liked Mr. Woods, but when I saw him 20 some years after being at the junior high, at the gas station, excitedly, I approached him to say hello, thinking for sure he would not remember me. He seemed just as excited to see me, and whether he really remembered me or not, he made me feel as though he did. He was a special man, and he will be missed. I was blessed to have had the opportunity to know him. God bless you, Mr. Woods.

Posted by Tomeka Kinne - Baroda, MI - Former Student   April 15, 2012

" Big Blue " was very special to me. I will never forget the good times we shared together and how can I forget Annie. She's a special lady and a good friend. I can hear you now, dear one. Always the quick rejoinder. May God bless you and your family.

Posted by Frank Wesner - Bothell, WA - Friend and teammate   April 15, 2012

To the family of Mr. Woods;

Working with him over the years was a pleasure. He was truly a man among men, standing tall in his believes, and sharing that million dollar smile. His memories will last a life time.

Rest in Paradise
sonny bowens

Posted by L. Sonny Bowens - Battle Creek, MI - Friend   April 13, 2012

We recall "coach Woods" in so many of his rolls. He fit them all to a tee. Whether he was teaching a skill, running a practice or leading staff he had the personality and leadership skills to make us want to shine in his eyes. We never wanted to disappoint him.
Even when he stopped in to observe other practices everyone would feel the need to play just a little harder and better. There is no better epitaph than to be one who always brought out the best in others. Thanks John and our best to your family.

Posted by Marc and Mary Del Mariani - Stevensville, MI - Student, athlete & staff member   April 11, 2012

To the entire Woods Family: Because of John's retirement, I was able to come to Lakeshore High School and take over as Assistant Principal for Denny Kniola and a year later, Principal. That was almost 21 years ago. John was a true friend and colleague. With his encouragement, I ran for President of the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals and was elected in 2002. So, Lakeshore Public Schools has had two presidents for MASSP. (3 counting Dave Feenstra from Hudsonville HS who got his start at Lakeshore). I will truly miss Big John and his guidance. The Lakeshore Family will miss him, too. He will always be in our thoughts and prayers. Bill Scaletta

Posted by Bill Scaletta - Stevesnville, MI - Colleague and Friend   April 11, 2012

My sympathy to Coach's family all. Lakeshore wasn't a job location to him.

He was an encourager to years and years of young people crossing his path. He was admired and respected by all. When he spoke--no one doubted his sincerity. He made a point to know families and relationships and followed them his entire life -- students, colleagues, and community folks. There was no doubt, he loved everything RED and WHITE!!
He was a stalwart in Lancer Land.
I remember him with fondness. As in the past, I think I will always look above the Lancer crowd at Athletic competitions to check if Coach made it.
He has left a big mark on Southwest Michigan--we grieve this day with you---his family. Karen Kolberg Kietzer. LHS Class of '65

Posted by Karen Kolberg Kietzer - Stevensville,, MI - Admirer   April 11, 2012

Being the daughter of a former LHS superintendent, I knew a lot of the staff. Big John would always remind me of the time my dad stayed with him and Anne when he first came to this area and accepted the position. My sister Pam, my brother Scott, and I moved here to join our dad at Lakeshore Public Schools. I never had Big John for a coach, teacher, or principal but I would see him at sporting events and he always asked about my dad. You will be missed John and and know that Stew is praying for you and your family at this difficult time.

Posted by Chris Seeley - Baroda, MI - friend   April 11, 2012

I would like to express my sympathy to the Woods family. I did
not know John well but enjoyed talking to him at Lakeshore school events. Also hello to Missy and Kim, I had the pleasure working with them at the funeral home.It was always enjoyable. Ron Willit

Posted by Ron Willit - Grand Rapids, MI - friend   April 11, 2012

As my drivers Ed. teacher he sat with his knees up to his chin. Rest in peace .

Posted by LindaMiller Keefer - Baroda, MI - freind   April 10, 2012

It's difficult to say good-bye when someone we love dies, To know we'll miss the laughter and the love found in their eyes, Yet much emptiness and heartache, much loneliness and sorrow, Will be eased by cherished memories living on in us tomorrow. May your sorrow be less and your memories more dear with every passing day. Our thoughts are with you and your family. All that has been written about Mr. Woods is so true. We ditto everything. He was our 7th grade science teacher. We loved seeing him at the different athletic events. Was always comforting to know that he still cared about you even after so long a time. He was just one of those teachers, mentors, educators, coaches, friends you could not forget. You could be glad to call him your friend.

Posted by Mike and Kathy (Rozinski) Phipps - Stevensville, MI - friends/students   April 10, 2012


You must be proud of John's dedication of caring for every life he came in contact with, especially young people, his country and community. His life
in education touched and helped so many.
He was a very special person to me as we worked together when I served on
the Board of Education in the early 1970's. He had that special way working
things out.
May all your happy memories comfort you in the days ahead.

Our prayers are with the family.

Posted by Mary Jane & Walt Waldenmaier and family - Saint Joseph, MI - A very special friend   April 10, 2012

Dear Anne and family: My thoughts and prayers are with you at this most difficult time. Big John will be remembered by all who met him, especially by those of us who grew up with him and had him as a teammate. A highlight of my annual trips to New Troy from California was spending time with John and brother Ron. We shared stories from the past and talked about our families. Our days playing together at Benton Harbor J C and Hillsdale College will always be extra special to me.
RIP Big John and may God Bless Anne, his family and his friends as we mourn his passing. 8

Posted by Al Schaffer - Ramona, CA - Teammate and friend   April 10, 2012


Dearest Anne, Kim and family, Missy and family...

So many thoughts and never the right words come to mind when such a treasured family member had has passed from this life. What a wonderful family he as left to keep his legacy alive, so he will never actually be gone or forgotten, not only by his family, but by the many people whose lives he touched so kindly and generously.

May you know his love is always with you, and you will remain wrapped in his love and hugs as each day passes until you see him again.

Much love to everyone...


Posted by Lynne Rochau and Ed Beregsasy - Baroda, MI - friend   April 10, 2012

Thinking back so many years ago, I always have fond memories of Mr. Woods. He was a nice man and will be missed.

Posted by Michael Turk - St. Joe, MI - Lakeshore Middle School Student   April 10, 2012

Everyone who ever met John was blessed. I will always remember,and miss him.

Posted by Ed Coombs - Mountain Home, AR - Friend   April 10, 2012

I am truely saddend at the loss of my former drivers training teacher. John was as everone has commented here, a great educator, and a fine gentleman. Great photo of our friend. I will miss you, rest in peace friend. My sincerest condolences to the family.

Posted by Stan Bennett - St. Joseph, Mi. (presently i, MI - former Lakeshore student   April 10, 2012

what seems like yesterday, john woods was my gym teacher when i attended lakeshore junior high school in stevensville in the later 50's. we would crosover from the junior high school (now gone many years) over the street and go to the elementary school (now a church) which was exciting in itself. then change and play either in the gym there or go behind the school for whatever sports. mr. woods was a kind young man who enjoyed what he was doing and passed that on to us. i remember one time in particular when mr. woods spent a great deal of time trying hard to talk one of our classmates out of dropping out of school, which cemented my respect for him always.

Posted by terry l. pfliger - bridgman, MI - former student   April 09, 2012

Oops I got that wrong, Johns DAD was my Grandmothers Brother, that is the relationship, That doesn't change anything, He was a great man. RIP.

Posted by Kenneth Woods Zimmerman - st. joseph, MI - Family   April 09, 2012

John's mom was my Grandmother's sister, I'm not sure how that makes us related but my Great Grandmother Woods is where my middle name comes from. I passed that on to my first born, Taylor Woods Zimmerman.
I remember many trips to New Troy growing up. One summer while working at Gary Roofing Company in St. Joe we put a new roof on the school in New Troy next to Aunt Pearl's house, She brought us lemon aid and made lunch for the whole crew on the second day. Even being a St Joe guy all my Lakeshore friends always spoke very highly of John Woods. I was proud to be related to him.
His legacy will live on at that school for all time. God Bless all who loved him.

Posted by Kenneth Woods Zimmerman - st. Joe, MI - Family   April 09, 2012



Posted by Joyce (Geipel) Gano - Stevensville, MI - LHS Class Of 1965   April 09, 2012



Thinking of you and your family in this difficult time.


Posted by Tracy London - MI   April 09, 2012


My condolences Missy! Your Dad was loved & will be missed! (Class 1980)

Posted by Sonja Henschel - Stevensville, MI - Lakeshore Alumni   April 09, 2012

I know Coach Woods will always be remembered for much more than being the easiest guy to find in a crowded school hallway or gym. We will remember him as the "big guy" who never raised his voice, wore a genuine, welcoming smile and always had a warm welcome for those he knew. Those of the now "senior" group of John's driver's training classes know we are the best and most polite drivers on the road. We learned from a friend, not some guy from a driving school. Coach knew us, those who would be hysterical drivers, nervous drivers, hot doggers and day dreamers. Even now, when I see a driver do something foolish or wrong, I think to myself "that isn't one of coach's students". He risked his life, literally, so we would all learn well and stay safe.

Rest in peace, coach and watch for those pedestrians and left from the right lane turners. Your legacy will remain with all of us.

Posted by Shari Del Mariani - Stevensville, MI - Student   April 09, 2012


My father hired Coach Woods in 1957 and was proud of John from the start. As a young boy I always wanted to make coach proud of my work ethics in PE. We used to play PIG from center court in the Stevensville gym before PE class started. Students would often ask him how tall he was and Big John would simply reply 5'20". His memory is Big and seen in a simple tear drop. See you in heaven coach.
Larry L. Stewart "65"

Posted by Larry L Stewart class of 65 - Lake Worth, FL - Student 57 to 62   April 09, 2012


Coach Woods was a big man in so many ways. Coach would always 'get your attention' because of his physical stature and would really capture you with his awareness of what you really are or were. He was one of those educators who just knew what you can do and also knew what you should do to get to the can do. Those qualities are rare in individuals. Those are the qualities that shape ones life. That was Coach Wood's life. He lived what he taught.

I especially remember Coach in our Faculty/Student basketball games. Art Spear and I would have the task of guarding Coach and running somekind of an inside offense. What a disaster, but fun. Again, Coach showed his gentleness but let you know that you are playing with the 'Big Boy'.

RIP COACH and say HI to my mother and father on your new journey.

Posted by Robert Stewart LHS Class of '60 - Lawrence, MA - Student   April 09, 2012

John's passion as a Principal had a huge impact so on many people. He always
had something to say about how to do things right because he cared so much for Lakeshore students, staff, and community members. His wonderful spirit as an educator was very persuasive and influential on impressionable young administrators. He is a legendary figure in the History of Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP) as a Past President and especially at the Chewing Match Conferences at Higgin's Lake which he attended for 25 years. I was fortunate to know him as a friend and mentor during my years at Lakeshore. He left a Legacy at Lakeshore Public Schools that will never be forgotten.

Posted by Dave Feenstra - Hudsonville, MI - Friend/Administrator   April 09, 2012

I am sorry about the death of Mr. Woods and I pray you will be comforted in the days ahead. I sent the following letter to the newspaper editor today that summarizes my thoughts on Mr. Woods:

Having moved away from Southwestern Michigan over 20 years ago, I appreciate keeping up with what is going on there through the e edition of your newspaper. Today, I was saddened to read the obituary for John Woods, however, it brought back many great memories of growing up in Stevensville. Moving from a small elementary school to the large Lakeshore Junior High, where Mr. Woods was principal for 25 years, was intimidating by itself. However, the first encounter with Mr. Woods, at 6 feet, 7 inches, was even more intimidating. He ran the school with a firm hand. Over the years, I learned that he was anything but intimidating. Instead, he was a kind, gentle giant that loved his job. As the public address voice for Lancers sports, I have many fond memories of his announcing Lancer games, particularly the first Lancer District basketball victory in 1973 (the overtime thriller) and how excited he was about that victory.

While I failed to stay in touch with Mr. Woods, I am grateful for his work at LJHS and the positive impact that he had on me and, I'm sure, many other students. Thank you, Mr. Woods!

Chuck Hoge
Lakeshore class of 1974

Posted by Chuck Hoge - Fargo, ND - student, friend   April 09, 2012

Mr. Woods had such a presence in all of our lives at Lakeshore Jr. High and he will truly be missed. Everyone alludes to his great stature but it was more than just his physical size that left an impact. He had an equally warm and giving heart to all of us students. A reassuring word here and there, shooting tips on the basketball court, or hearing his great voice over the loudspeaker during sporting events - he was always there.

Our prayers are with Mr. Woods' family for the loss of such a great man.

Posted by Megan (Schinkel) Suitor - Lewis Center, OH - Student   April 09, 2012

When I was playing basketball at Benton Harbor Jr. High, we played the preliminary games before Lake Michigan Collage. John was the center for the collage and what a great player he was. That year Lake Michigan Collage played in Kansas at the Nationals. John was the leading scorer and most valuable player in the tournament. I always remember how nice John was to our little team of freshmen. He truly was a nice guy!

Posted by Jim Brow - Baroda, MI   April 09, 2012

My father was excited about John the day he hired him. I never wanted to dissapoint John in PE class. Before class we used to play PIG from center court when I was in the eighth grade. He said many times he was 5' 20" tall. You can't help but love the big man with the biggest heart.

Posted by Larry Stewart - Lake Worth, FL - PE student from 57 to 62   April 09, 2012

John Woods was a gentle giant. While pitching in a LHS baseball game, Coach Woods came out to the mound and told Fred and me that if I ever threw that knuckle ball again I would never pitch for LHS again. It was relayed to me in a very soft and gentle voice. In driver education Coach also taught me to parallel park with one simple hint and to this day ever time I parallel park I think of him. God bless and rest in peace my friend, teacher, and coach. Condolences to his family. He will be missed by many.

Posted by Steve Coleman - Tampa, FL - student, athlete   April 09, 2012

Mr. Woods was one of my favorite teachers/educators at Lakeshore. He was a kind and sweet man that was a comfort to me when I came to Lakeshore due to the fact that he so resembled my own Grandfather is size, and kindness. God Bless you Mr. Woods -- You meant a lot to so many people that passed through your school. Deepest condolences to the family - we were all so very lucky to know him.

Posted by Kimi - Coloma, MI - student/admirer   April 09, 2012

I remember Mr. Woods as my junior high science teacher. He made learning fun and he had a warm personality. I extend my sincere condolences to his family.

Posted by Beth (Fiebich) Foyder - Genesee, MI - student   April 09, 2012

I remember the first day of middele school and being introdced to Mr. Woods. He wa a giant compared and scared me. However, as I got to know him, he was a very nice man and always a great leader and example to all of his students. I ran into him around town many times and he always said hello. He will be greatly missed.

Posted by Kelly - Lakeshore, MI - Student   April 09, 2012

He was the first GIANT that me and so many other kids in the LHS school system ever met...
He was always available to talk to regardless of where I was in the world...literally...See you out West, John...
Tom Zuppke

Posted by Tom Zuppke - Velma, OK - student, friend...pal   April 09, 2012

My deepest sympathy to Mrs. Woods and family on the loss of a wonderful husband and father.

Mr. Woods was my drivers education teacher and he was such a wonderful instructor. He gave me good instructions on parallel parking while driving the 1958 red Chevy. To this day I have used his suggestions for parallel parking and I have never had a problem. He was a wonderful teacher and he will be missed.

Carol (Arndt) Jancy
LHS Class of 1962

Posted by Carol Jancy - Oak Park, IL   April 09, 2012

Coach Woods cut me from the freshman basketball team but took me under his wing as a sophomore and junior so I could develop into a starter as a senior. I so much appreciated his patience.

We had some great experiences in drivers training, many humorus stories were told at our 50th reunion. We were always appreciative when coach would attend our reunions over the years. He was a great man, leader of youth and coach. So sorry to hear of his passing.

Posted by Carl Fiebich - Fenton, MI - Student   April 09, 2012

John was a great customer and friend. When I first met him at Baroda Supermart/Baroda Phillips 66 he was like a big friendly giant. My husband remembers him as a kind but strict person from school. Tim spent a few moments in the office from what I hear. I am sorry for the loss of such a friend as he was to everyone in the Lakeshore district. He is resting now. Bless him.

Posted by Ann Bohm - Baroda, MI - He was a customer and friend   April 09, 2012

Mr. Woods was a prime example of an educator. He always had time to offer advice or just listen to a problem. I wish there were more educators like Mr. Woods. He genuinely cared about every student. My condolences to the Woods family.

Posted by Barbi Hammond - Coloma, MI - Former Student - Class of 1994   April 09, 2012

John shaped young people's lives. We called him "good John"which was started by Stockman and used by many of the kids he touched. He was a leader among many of the great influences in my early days! Thank God for John Woods!

Posted by Mike Hoganson - Littleton, CO - John was my coach, teacher, and   April 09, 2012

Mr. Woods was one of the good ones. Mentor,coach and drivers ed teacher. We still hear his words and remember his instructions and that is amazing given our ages. Do teachers ever really know how much their students lives ae affected by them? John will be remembered always.

Posted by Tom&Mickey Reid - Charlvoix, MI - students   April 09, 2012

Mr. Woods was always one of my favorite people from my school days. He always had kind words to say and a moment to share those words. I feel such sorrow for his family, losing someone so special. But I feel glad for Mr. Woods and for my parents, because they are all up in heaven looking down on us all on this wonderful Easter Sunday. God bless his survivors. Take care and be comforted. He is with the Lord today.

Julie K. Stelter

Posted by Julie K. Stelter - Baroda, MI - Former student   April 09, 2012

R.I.P. Mr. Woods. I am thankful that I had the honor of knowing this kind and wonderful man. He was truly one of the greatest educators I have ever met. He loved what he did and it showed. I never saw him yell at a student, and even after nearly 20 years, he always knew exactly who I was. He would ask about the family and cared. Thank you for so many years of giving and friendship. I will truly miss you.

Posted by Lorie Looney Bronson - Bridgman, MI - former student   April 09, 2012


Mrs. Woods and Family,

We are very saddened to hear of the loss of John, such a Great man larger than life itself. He was my prinicpal and was a caring one. He loved his job and he loved his students.. He was our neighbor for 14 years and he was always likable and willing to talk. My dad recently was placed at Caretel, and to our surprise we saw John and we started yapping. He sat at the dining room table with my dad. He will be remembered for years because he left so many fond and good memories. God be with you all at this difficult time.

Posted by Tony, Denise, Jennifer, and Mary Milliken - Bridgman, MI - Friends   April 09, 2012


John was such a special person as I look back at my days as a student at Lakeshore. I had John as a P.E. teacher in 1958 in the 7th grade at Baroda, play JV basketball for him as a freshman in 60-61, and played baseball for him in 61 and 62. John was sooooooooo nice to me and always treated me fairly. He made practice fun. John had a great sense of humor. I have never forgotten all that he did for me. May God be with him

Posted by Dave Bartz - Charleston, IL - player. student, friend   April 08, 2012

I want to express my condolences to everyone that knew and loved John. He touched so many lives and I considered him a great influence on how I conducted myself as an athlete and a person in High School.

In a day and age when we seem to be losing so many great ones, John literally good head and shoulders among most.


Mike Mason

Posted by Mike Mason - Mishawaka, IN - Friend   April 08, 2012

I will miss you so much , especialy when we use to talk at the gas station and I have always thought of you like my own dad you made a giant difference to me in my growing up days and my adult days to we will miss you forever in our hearts this is not good bye but I will see you later Bye dad #2 xxoo

Posted by Sandra (thompson) Gerlach - baroda, MI - he was my principal in school   April 08, 2012

I always enjoyed Coach Wood's dedication and enthusiasm as he coached our JV basketball teams in '58 &'59. Also he taught driver's training classes, that was how I not only learned to drive but also to operate a stick shift in the '58 Chevy the class used.

Paul Fiebich

Posted by Paul D. Fiebich - Derbyu, KS - Student at LHS   April 08, 2012

I will always remember Mr. Woods as a gentle giant of a man - who had a wonderful smile and was a great teacher. To his family - I hope that your special memories will help you through this difficult time. He was so loved by anyone from Lakeshore schools who ever had contact with him!

Posted by Pat Zinkil Kretchman - Coal Valley, IL - former student   April 08, 2012

My deepest hart felt condolences to Coach Wood's family. He was truly respected by all.
I remember him well as my driver's training teacher and many times he would have to reach down with his right hand and hit the bineders.

Posted by Steven R Arend - Baroda, MI - Student   April 08, 2012


My husband and I both remember the first time we saw Mr Woods. We were little 7th graders and in walks Mr Woods and he had to duck to walk thru the door. I didn't get into trouble the whole 2 years of jr high but Jeff sure was and he said Mr Woods hands on his shoulders was a little scary. But he was such a gentle giant.

Posted by Jeff and Denise Connell - Boulder City, NV - Was our principal in jr high   April 08, 2012

My deepest condolences to John's family and friends...
He was my principle at Jr. high...he was a very kind and smart guy, i was one of the trouble makers,me,don,&bill...i remember we always tryed to get to get kicked out, but in his wisdom he knew that,and refused to kick us out, we even had our hair past our collars,among other untill the day we got in trouble at the high school, on monday he calls us in the office and said it pained him ,but he had to suspend us for three days at the request of the high school princible...he says we never should of used les johnson and his GTO as our get away car but i now thank him for making me get an edcucation...Thank You "big" John,Rest in Peace

Douglas Vaughn

Posted by Douglas Vaughn - Ashland, OH - student   April 08, 2012


It is only with fondness that I remember Mr. Woods. He was a a big man in so many ways: a true educator who had a love and genuine concern for each of the students he encountered. He got a big kick out of attending the LHS reunions, catching up with his former students and loved reminding us of some of our misdeeds while in school. We all will take his memory with us. Godspeed, Mr. Woods.

Posted by Chris Dwan Preston - Kalamazoo, MI - Former student   April 08, 2012

I remember Mr Woods being so gentle and caring as he took me to the emergency room after breaking my arm at recess. He was genuinely concerned and stopped by my home later that day to speak with my parents. I also remember him being quite firm with a twinkle in his eye when I was sent to his office for hitting a classmate with my cast a few weeks later. My sincerest sympathy goes to the family of such a wonderful man.

Polly Burnside

Posted by Polly Ransom Burnside - Olivet, MI - Student at Stewart Elem   April 08, 2012

Mr. Woods was a "gentle giant" and from my perspective a giant among men. He was a role model for his students, athletes and all of us that had the honor to know him. Mr. Woods will live on in the hearts and memories of all whose lives he touched. We have lost one of the very best and one of the most respected men in our community. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. RIP Mr. Woods

Posted by Denise Varney Gersonde - Stevensville, MI - former student, class of "66   April 08, 2012

May he rest in peace. He was loved and adored - so many of us were lucky enough to have him for our Principal too. My prayers go out to his family and loved ones.

Posted by Judy Luther - from Stevensville MI, now li, CA - Student   April 08, 2012


Mr. Woods was one of the kindest, most understanding teacher/leader I have known. He was always there for his students no matter what. The Family, and the Lakeshore family have lost a great man. May God wrap his arms around the family at this time.
With Fond Memories/ Pam Story Fitzgerald class of 71
My Father Hillard Story who had the privilege of being a fellow Principal and friend of John sends his condolences also.

Posted by Pamela Story Fitzgerald - Sarasota,, FL - Student   April 08, 2012

My sister and I both took driver's training from John and at the same time and in the same car. I think between the two of us we may have aged John a bit. He was also my son, David's principal at Lakeshore Jr. High. Always a pleasant and a fair individual. I know his friends and family will miss him and his smile.


Posted by Lisa Lyons - Payson, AZ - Student   April 08, 2012

My earliest memory of John Woods was when he was our Physical Education teacher. I was in 5th or 6th grade at the old Baroda Elementary School. John was shooting full court baskets in the old gym - not a full length gym, but still I was impressed (he made several).
John was a dedicated professional who contributed a great deal to the educational system in Lakeshore. He was always friendly and always eager to help with anything if and when he could. He was a good man and an excellent role model for his students and teachers alike. He was a caring educator, parent and grandfather and I am glad I had the honor of knowing him for so many years.

Dan and Sharon Deja

Posted by Dan and Sharon Deja - Key West, FL   April 08, 2012



Posted by Donnie Johnson - Baroda, MI   April 08, 2012

Mr. Woods was one of the must gentle man I have ever met, he had a way with the Kids that towered over us all. i remember one time walking down the halls and seeing him stand under one of the clocks and it only being like a inch or less above him, and how he had to duck to come into class rooms just to say HI to the class. HE WILL BE GREATLY MISSED>

Posted by Donnie Johnson - Baroda, MI   April 08, 2012

RIP-to a wonderful man, mentor and teacher. All wo knew Mr. Woods loved and respected him. He was one of the best.

Posted by Becky (Tapp) Arend - annn Arbor, MI - student   April 08, 2012

Godspeed Mr. Woods..

Posted by Traci McGrath - Las Vegas, NV - Friend/Student   April 08, 2012


John was my driver education teacher fifty years ago. I spent the month of February, 2012 around him at Caretel Inns in St. Joseph, MI. We were together alot, in physical therapy and also we shared most of our meals together at Caretel. He enjoyed talking about his days at Lakeshore as a coach and teacher, his family and also his winter home in Arkansas. I enjoyed being around John and will miss him and always remember him as a great friend.

Posted by Larry Zielke - Stevensville, MI - My Teacher & Friend   April 08, 2012


The best grandfather anyone could ask for.

Posted by Michelle T. - Stevensville, MI - granddaughter   April 08, 2012