Royce Brunt Woodard, 87, passed away peacefully at her home on Wednesday August 11, 2021. She was born in Houston on February 2, 1934 to Roy and Jessye Brunt. While finishing her studies at Lamar High School, Royce met the love of her life, Albert Eugene “Gene” Woodard. Royce and Gene married on August 8, 1952 and celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary, days before Royce left with the Lord. Barely twenty-seven hours later, her beloved Gene joins her in paradise.
During their marriage, Royce and Gene created a great life in Briargrove Park, where they were founding members of the community. Royce remembers finding their new home in West Houston and saying they felt like they were moving to San Antonio because the area around the neighborhood was all farmland. Eventually, the city grew, as did the Woodard family and their love of âpublishingâ. Royce was a member of Bethany Christian Church, Grace Presbyterian Church, and volunteered with the Blue Bird Circle and the Junior League of Houston. In his spare time, Royce joined Gene on business and leisure trips, hosted countless dinners, and loved their family outings at his farm in Hempstead. Royce truly lived life to the fullest, but loved the simple pleasures the most; visiting friends and family, weekly bridge outings and laughing with her many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
While the simplest pleasures were always a gift to Royce, she also had a strange sense of style and a passion for dining on the town. Those close to him will forever remember Royce’s love for fresh flowers, his penchant for written words, especially in the form of thank you notes and letters of encouragement, and the perfectly crafted martini. She was the constant recipient of Gene’s favorite love language, the prank, which she took as a champion. The Woodard family jokes that Royce was a “trooper” because she would join Gene and his family on their many hunting and fishing trips, perhaps not because she enjoyed the activity, but because she loved watching those around her in their happiest times. Royce’s fondness for people was felt by all, as she never met a stranger and regularly welcomed family friends as her own children. Of course, the feeling was mutual. Royce’s warmth left a lasting impression on everyone who was fortunate enough to spend time with her.
Albert Eugene “Gene” Woodard, 91, passed away peacefully on Thursday August 12 at his home in Houston. Gene and his wife, Royce Brunt Woodard, celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary together, just three days before they both went with the Lord.
Gene was born in Tampa, Florida on November 15, 1929, and was the second son of George and Bess Woodard. The Woodard family moved to Houston during Gene’s early childhood, where he attended Lamar High School and the University of Houston, where he earned a degree in geology. During this time, he met the love of his life, Royce, on a blind date and “convinced her to marry him.” They were married at Bethany Christian Church, and soon after, they welcomed four children. The Woodards moved to a new neighborhood in the west, Briargrove Park, and built a life surrounded by family, friends and laughter.
Early in his career, Gene became interested in geology and Houston’s prolific oil and gas industry. He started his professional life with Harrison Interests, a career that Gene has consistently referred to as one of the best and most formative years of his life. Gene retired from Harrison Interests in 1985 to start his own oil company, Woodard Energy. His lifelong career has taken Gene to many parts of Texas, searching for oil and making friends along the way. Gene was a member of the Houston Geological Society, AAPG, National Rifle Association, and was a member of Bethany Christian Church and Grace Presbyterian Church.
Gene’s passions extended beyond petroleum as he was a fan of hunting, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors. He frequented their properties all over Texas, but enjoyed farming the land at the Wood-Duck Club in Damon, Texas. Gene worked with Ducks Unlimited to create a sustainable hunting and fishing club and was able to share the experience with his family and friends.
Above all, Gene cherished the family he and Roycie had created the most. Their four children, six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren were Gene’s proudest accomplishments, and he regularly let them know he was honored to be their Patriarch. Gene showed this love in several ways, but he particularly liked pranks. He will be remembered as a joker with a big smile, a man who would do anything for his family and, above all, a true gentleman.
Royce and Gene were predeceased by parents George and Bess Woodard, Roy and Jessye Brunt; siblings Jack Woodard, William “Bill” Woodard and Jessye Ruthe Holleman, son-in-law Mike Fields, niece Patricia Kirkwood Crawford and countless other friends they have made throughout their lives. Children Cathy Woodard Fields of Alice, Susan Woodard Emerson of Houston, Daniel Roy Woodard of Hempstead and Albert Eugene “Rusty” Woodard Jr. of Corpus Christi leave behind to carry on their immeasurable light and legacy; grandchildren Charles “Chris” Christian, Kelly Fields Murdoch, Amy Fields Gunn, Ally Hall Hare, Jaime Emerson Brochu, Matt Fields, 8 great grandchildren and longtime Woodard Energy employee and friend Gail Jones.
The family invites all those whose lives have been touched by Royce and Gene Woodard to attend their joint memorial service. Thursday August 26 at 10 am â¢ The Chapel of the Grace Presbyterian Church â¢ 10221 Ella Lee Lane.
Posted by Houston Chronicle on August 22, 2021.