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Yvonne Waters Woodard

August 29, 1936 — December 12, 2022

Yvonne Waters Woodard

Yvonne Waters Woodard passed peacefully from this life to a better one on Monday, December 12, 2022. Both of her sons were at her bedside at the time.

Yvonne was born August 29, 1936 in Keechi, Texas; the firstborn of Layton and Gertrude Danford Waters. She was a graduate of Buffalo High School, Class of 1954. She began her working career at the age of 15, managing the register and the bookkeeping for her father’s feed store in Buffalo. She used to say that she loved the sacks of flour that were packaged in decorative floral cotton sacks because her Grandma Waters would make skirts for her from them.

After high school, she moved from Buffalo to Dallas and obtained her cosmetology license from Fields Beauty School. But her heart was never in fixing hair, and she frowned on the other hairdressers nipping vodka in between clients. She was a numbers person and preferred office and business work.

In 1959, she met and married the love of her life, Kenneth Wiley Woodard, who was also from Leon county and attending Texas A&M University. She often said that she would have attended university but it was not particularly encouraged at the time for women, nor were they even allowed to attend Texas A&M. She took a job working for Williams Insurance Agency as well as the Brazos County Democratic Party Chairman, while Ken attended school.

After Ken graduated, the couple moved to Beaumont where he worked for International Harvester. In 1963, their first son, Dugan Layton, was born. Shortly thereafter, Ken was offered the opportunity to return to Leon County and teach at Lone Star School in Flo, where he was a former student. The young family moved into the small brick house behind the school and their second son, Eric Kenneth, was born in 1964. Yvonne worked diligently as a homemaker and doting mother during this time.

After Lone Star school was annexed in 1971, Yvonne moved with her family to Elkhart. In 1973, she became the first secretary for the Plan A Coop which had just been created. In 1976, she became a licensed realtor and kept her license current throughout her life. While working as a teacher’s aid in Elkhart and Neches schools, she became friends with Dr. Nell Hassell. With her encouragement and assistance she began her employment with Henderson County Junior College, now known as Trinity Valley Community College. She eventually became assistant to the Dean until her retirement in 1997. She managed a million-dollar budget and helped many young adults begin their college education. She was also finally able to attend college and obtained her associate degree in business and accounting.

After retirement, Yvonne and Ken moved back to Flo and built their dream house, similar in style, and less than 500 feet from Ken’s birth home. Over the years, Ken and Yvonne loved traveling throughout the U.S. One of their favorites was an Amtrak trip to San Francisco to visit Eric in 2002.

After 50 years and 4 months of marriage, Kenneth departed this earthly life in 2009. Although she did not slow down, Yvonne never stopped missing him. She started a grief support group to help herself and others. She kept busy with the Lone Star Community Center as well as the Lummus Cemetery Memorial Committee. She continued to travel, especially with her dear friend, Martha Parrish. The stories of their trip to California are still talked about to this day.

During the last two decades of her life, nothing brought her more happiness than her granddaughter, Jenna. If her husband and children brought her love, Jenna brought her pure joy. She made a point to attend as many of Jenna’s school activities as she possibly could. She could not say her name without beaming.

Yvonne was a devout Christian and read the Scriptures daily. She lived her life accordingly and was kind, generous, and empathetic. She was also sharp as a tack, and a self-described “tough old bird.” She could haggle a business deal with the best, just like her father taught her to do. She was not one to be trifled with and was the epitome of a “steel magnolia.”

Yvonne would not want people to feel sad for her at her passing, because she knew that she would be in heaven with her husband, parents and brothers. Many times she said, “Remember the good times, and do not dwell on things you can’t change.”

Yvonne Waters Woodard was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth Wiley Woodard; her parents, Layton Waters and Gertrude Danford Waters; her brothers, Alvin Layton Waters and Jerry Ray Waters. She is survived by her sons, Dugan Layton Woodard and Eric Kenneth Woodard; granddaughter, Jenna Mae Woodard, and sisters-in-law Barbara Waters and Debbie Waters.

Visitation will be at Buffalo Funeral home on Thursday, December 15, from noon to 5 pm for all, and 5-7 pm for family. The funeral service will be at First Baptist Church in Buffalo, Texas on Friday, December 16 at 1 pm. The committal service will follow at Lummus Cemetery in Flo, Texas.

Arrangements are under the direction of Walters' Buffalo Funeral Home.

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Thursday, December 15, 2022

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Friday, December 16, 2022

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