Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

Obituary: James Woody, 91, educator, businessman, farm leader

Mr. Woody was a respected teacher, businessman, farm lender and Adair County farm leader

James Woody, 91, Columbia, KY, died early Wednesday morning, October 24, 2007, at the Golden Age Retirement Home.

The funeral service will be Saturday, October 27, 2007, at 11:00amCT, at Grissom-Martin Funeral Home, with Bro. Raymond Martin officiating. Burial will be in Columbia Cemetery.

A native of Laurel County, Ky he was the son of the late William Wyatt and Myrtie Mae Miller Woody. He was preceded in death by his wife, Emma Brenda Woody, in 1998.

He is survived by the following:
  • One son and daughter-in-law: Jimmy and Jan Woody, Columbia, KY.

  • Two daughters: Brenda Pezzarossi, Lexington KY; and Laverne and her husband Mike Jankowski, Evansville, IN

  • One brother: Robert (Bob) Woody, Lexington, KY

  • Two sisters: Geraldine Herron, London, KY; and Pearl Woody, Columbia, KY.

  • Seven grandchildren: Jordan and Jameson Woody; Nicklaus and Jill Jankowski: and Karla, Bert, and Jay Pezzarossi.
He was preceded in death by one brother, William (Wid) Woody, and by one sister, Ruby Edwards.

Visitation will be after 4:30pm, Friday, October 26, 2007, at Grissom-Martin Funeral Home, 200 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY.Casket bearers: Randall Banks, John Ballou, Robert Flowers, Mike Glasgow, J.C. Lasley, and Dwayne Loy. Honorary pallbearers: Calvin Aaron, Bill Ballou, Jr.; Charles Barnes, Marilyn Coffey Jr. Corbin, Shirley Glasgow, Grover Gilpin, and Cathy Martin.Grissom-Martin Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

His contributions to, and life in Adair County

James Woody was a graduate of Berea College. He settled in Columbia as a young man in the early 1940s with his wife, the fomer Emma Brenda of Ottenheim, KY, who was also Berea-educated. Both taught at Columbia High School, just a few yards from the home they built and where they raised their three children.

Mrs. Woody was the school's German and Latin teacher, an he was the high school's Smith-Hughes Act vocational agriculture teacher. Later, he continued in the same position at Adair County High School, when Columbia and Adair County Schools were merged in 1954.

He was a successful farmer, with extensive land holdings at various times, including a partnership in what was once considered the best of Adair County's Green River valley farms and owned, at times, other productive acreage in Adair County.

Mr. Woody was manager and chief loan officer of Production Credit Association (PCA) in Columbia for many years. He was also a founding partner and long time owner, with Shirley Glasgow, of the Columbia Southern States store, Adair Farmer's Service, which continues to operate to this day.

Perhaps Mr. Woody's biggest impact on this community was the role he played in helping to transform an Adair County farm economy from one struggling to survive on a single major cash crop, tobacco, to one which thrived with the growth of a dairy industry which continues to rank in the top tier of Kentucky milk-production counties.

A Columbia street, Woody Avenue, is named in honor of Mr. Woody, his wife, and family.

This obituary was made possible through the support of Grissom-Martin Funeral Home, established in 1926, located one block off the square at 200 Campbellsville Street in Columbia. To reach David and Cathy Martin, phone 270-384-2149, or E-mail: Large enough to serve comfortably; Small enough to serve personally.ts.

This story was posted on 2007-10-25 15:31:37
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.

Grissom-Martin Funeral Home
Located one block off the Square at 200 Campbellsville Street in Columbia, KY.
To reach David and Cathy Martin, phone (270)-384-2149, or e-mail:
Large enough to serve comfortably; Small enough to serve personally.

G & G Monuments
Todd and Mandi Green and Jared Conover
1670 Liberty Road, Columbia, KY. email:, 270-634-0359
First Quality Marble and Granite

Stotts-Phelps-McQueary Funeral Home
Established 1922 | 210 Greensburg St., Columbia, KY 42728 | Jeff Jessie, Owner
270-384-2145,, email

Remembering Mr. Woody: 1916-2007

2007-10-29 - Photo From Family Collection.

James Woody had a major impact on the lives of thousands of Adair Countians in his years in Adair County, particularly in the field of agriculture.

Mr. Woody died October 24, and was buried in Columbia Cemetery on Saturday, October 27, 2007.

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.


Quick Links to Popular Features

Looking for a story or picture?
Try our Photo Archive or our Stories Archive for all the information that's appeared on


Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270.403.0017

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.