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O'Neil Woods passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 3, 2020. He was born on November 9, 1929 to the union of the late Alexander Woods and Eola O'Neil Woods. O'Neil was raised in a Christian home and was baptized by the late Rev. A.L. Davis Jr. As a member of New Zion Baptist church O'Neil was a member of the Usher Board and the Benevolent Society. O'Neil Woods loved his pastor, church family and was proud to be a member of New Zion Baptist Church.
O'Neil Woods lived a life that embodied cultivating his relationship with God, providing for his family, exemplifying a strong work ethic, and embracing the challenges of life with no complaints. He was also a loving son, a dedicated brother to his siblings and a trusted friend to many.
O'Neil is a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School. After high school, he entered the United States Army during the time of segregation. While in the Army, President Truman enacted the Executive Order 9981. Executive Order 9981 abolished discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or natural origin in the United States Armed Forces. Due to the desegregation of the Armed Forces, O'Neil Woods was reassigned to the Air Force.
After he completed his military career, O'Neil Woods came back to New Orleans where he worked at Baptist Hospital. It was there he met and later married Bessie L. Franklin and started a family. During these years, O'Neil also worked diligently as a skilled meat butcher with various grocers in the area. Later, he became the operator and owner of Woods Food Store. It was a local corner grocery store located on First and Robertson Street in New Orleans. He worked hard to constantly grow the business and would often have his wife and children stocking shelves, tagging items with prices, cleaning and helping customers. Woods Food Store became a thriving business that O'Neil became extremely proud of. With his wife and family by his side, he helped many people in need and supported various local organizations. He would often tell his children "You can have anything you want in life if you're willing to work for it." He would also say, "If you get up and work hard every day, you are supposed to live in comfort."
O'Neil Woods was preceded in death by his loving wife Bessie Franklin Woods, parents Alexander and Eola Woods, his sister Ethel Woods Harris, his brother Alexander Woods Jr., and his granddaughter Mariah Woods.
He is survived by his children Elton H. Woods, Shelia (Brian) Jett, Mark (Alishia) Woods, and Patrice (Troy) Joseph, Sisters Juanita Woods Elliot and Edna Woods Francois, Sisters in law Myrtle Hamilton and Vera Adams, Brother in law Leo Hamilton, Grandchildren Alicia (Chris) Holley, Michael Jett, Mark Woods, Jr, Janay Octave and Kiara Joseph, Great Grandchildren Lauren Holley, Braylin Holley and Korbyn Jett, and a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
There will be a private Funeral Service at New Zion Baptist Church on Friday, September 11, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. Visitation begins at 9:00 a.m., Dr. C.S. Gordon Jr, Pastor. Interment: St. Louis Cemetery #3. Due to state guidelines regarding Covid-19, there will be no repast; everyone in attendance must wear a mask and practice social distancing. Arrangements by D.W. Rhodes Funeral Home, 3933 Washington Avenue.