Deaconess Frances M. Woodard


Deaconess Frances Woodard, age 91 received her divine healing on Thursday, July 30, 2020 as she answered the call of the Lord at approximately 7:30 am. She was a former resident at Care Core @ Westmoreland where she completed her final ministry work with victorious testimonies too numerous to mention.

Frances was born and raised in Chillicothe, Ohio on January 14, 1929 by her parents, Deacon Charles Hitchens, and Deaconess Dorothy Hitchens Harris. She was the oldest daughter who became the backbone of her family upon her father’s passing at a very young age.

She was a graduate of Chillicothe High School and later went on to work at Jesse’s Diner, the Chillicothe County Club, Rubbermaid Industries and Ponderosa Steakhouse, where she fulfilled her ministry in providing encouragement, comfort and wisdom to countless co-workers and customers.
Frances was united in marriage to the late Gerald H. Woodard for over forty-nine years. Born to this union include sons: Donald (Kevin) Woodard, Gregory Alan Woodard, and daughter, April Dawn Prophett, all of whom survive.

Deaconess Frances was an active member of First Baptist Church where she served in various ministries including Deaconess, Missionary, Secret Sisters Prayer, Drama & Music Ministries. She loved her church and had a special affinity for youth. She was instrumental in developing young lives in the “CHERUB” choir for over forty years. Deaconess Frances received accolades from the Eastern Union Missionary Baptist Association as “Woman of the Year” and “Trailblazer of the Year”. Most recently, she was honored as a “FBC Transformer” for her hard work and dedication to the Lord.

“IF I CAN HELP SOMEBODY ALONG THE WAY, THEN MY LIVING SHALL NOT BE IN VAIN” was Frances’ mantra in life. She dearly loved her family and friends and never met a stranger. She was an anointed ATMOSPHERE CHANGER who always sought to uplift others, no matter their lot in life. She was a “GIVER” who gave tirelessly to her family, church, and community.

Deaconess Frances Woodard is survived by her children; D. Kevin, Greg (Kristin), April Dawn, Adrian Fletcher, step-son and Beloved Sister, Sonya Powell. Grandchildren: Mya, Justin, Ryan, Wesley, Marcus, Trey and Erica. Great-grandchildren: Faith, Judah, McKenna, and Isla. Carla, former daughter-in-law, Gerald, former son-in-law , several nieces, nephews, cousins and special friends. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, parents, Brothers: Charles, Bobby, Carl Ed; Sisters: Mardy, Patricia and Judy, (affectionately known as “The Piggy Sisters”.)

In her final days she left this testimony, She loved and trusted the Lord wholeheartedly, She was abiding in the “Secret Place of the Most High God”-Psalm 91, Heaven is “REAL”, that she was “READY” to meet her Lord and Savior face to face and that “IT IS WELL WITH HER SOUL”. She will be greatly missed by all who are left to cherish her memory.

Homegoing Arrangements for Deaconess Frances Woodard are as follows:
Walk-Through Viewing will begin at First Baptist Church, 65 W. 4th Street starting at 10:00 am until 11:30 am with staggered visitation of up to 10 people at a time. It is mandatory that all visitors wear appropriate face coverings and maintain proper social distancing according to current public health guidelines.

Graveside Service 12:00 noon, Saturday August 8, 2020 at Greenlawn Cemetery.

Online Obituary Donation in memory of Deaconess Frances M. Woodard

Condolence Messages

  1. Jacqueline S.Beatty-Hobbs

    So sorry for your loss. Sending prayers, condolences and sympathy to you and your families.

  2. Michael Johnson

    Mrs. Francis as I’d call her and she called me Mr. Mike was more than a Co-worker she became my friend. I met her for the Fist time like my 2nd week working @ Ponderosa and the rest was history. FRANCIS WOODARD when God made that lady he broke the mold. Being Maintnance Man working another job and college being at work @ 6am was tough for me. Many days she would call me to make sure i was awake so I wouldn’t be late . she also jumped my hind end wjen sje found out I walked to Ponderosa because my car was not working right and drove me to work a few times after that.
    We would talk she would sneak me Cookies and Brownies fresh from the Oven and show me the Hiding place of OUR stash lol. She made me laugh so had we would cry. But The Day we were talking music and that day She sang to me my FAVORITE SPIRITUAL . HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW. No one will ever sing it like my friend Mrs. Francis . I cherish the many days we just sang our songs of Jesus in the back of Ponderosa . Many Times Ray would come back and and threaten to send me home for Singing and She Being her with the sharpest tongue would say RAY STEVENS YOU KNOW GOOD AND WELL YOU AINT GONNA SEND HIM HOME CAUSE THAT WOULD MEAN HAVE TO DO HIS JOB AND MY JOB IS PREP COOK NOT MANAGER AND IM NOT DOING HIS JOB EITHER . She taught me many things in life mainly laugh treat people keep to your word and the day you decide to quit learnjng something new daily then you may as well give up. But in 1999 what I’ll never forget she put her word and neck out for me as a singer and artist. No place at that time wanted to open the doors for me as a singer to come sing because of I have the speech impediment . My friend Francis she told me I have a place for you to sing all you have to do is show up and we will let you know when it’s your time . I got there and sang that night she introduced me as Her Best friend from work. Francis knew my passion and love to just go sing when I couldnt get a door open or help knowing where to turn Mrs.Francis used the power she had and opened the door enough so I was able to go in. That was the most diffrent service ive been till that moment I was the only white person there inside of First Baptist Church that evening and with Mrs. Francis I was at home with family . I heard many great singers who sang my personal way of singing but the singers who cought my ear was Francis and Her Daughter April and Son D Kevin Woodard and her Love of her life Gerald Woodard he sounded better than Sanatra and Tony Bennet . She taught me Go where God has and he will open the door where he wants. And I thank God she thought enough of me as a friend to open a door and take a chance on me when no one else at that would even attempt. She taught me get your job done but have fun and when you have kids love them but its better wjen you become a grandparent and you can give them back and remind the parents of what they did and always try to better yourself.But most of all I’m thankful that she taught me how to be a friend to people and she showed she believed in her friend . My prayers and love goes out to the Woodard Family I know shes already found Gerald and having the time of her life . But I know they are already missing her already.
    Save me a seat in the Choir of Heaven my friend . See you later my Friend Have a time in heaven.

  3. Gretchen Austin

    April, I am so sorry for your loss. You’re in my prayers

  4. Kevin, Greg and April and all the family, what a lovely obituary. Your mom was truly a beautiful woman and a faithful follower of Christ. She was always a sweet, loving and kind person. May she rest in peace. You’re in my prayers for God’s comfort during this difficult time.

  5. My deepest condolences to the entire family of God she left behind. She is at peace with our Lord. Sincerely, Kelly Murphy

  6. Aunt Frances had such a beautiful spirit and was one of the most open hearted people I know. I was proud to be her niece and miss the time I had with her on a regular basis. I will miss her but Heaven has added another angel.

  7. Sending condolences, love and prayers to the family. May God’s grace and comfort be with you.

  8. Heaven has gained another loving Angel to spread more joy and praise. So sorry for your heart ache, but knowing she is in the best care now will give you peace. Sending our love and prayers to April, Greg , Kevin and Family.
    Jeff and Janette Lynch

  9. Wayne Anthony Hitchens

    May love of Christ bring you comfort during these difficult time. Family was very important to her daily. She was a endearing family member and will be missed. I will always remember cousin Francis as my wonderful Cub Scout leader in my youth. Her commitment to her faith. Kevin, April and Greg you are loved and kept in prayer. Much love

  10. Francis Woodard is one of the greatest Friends I ever had. So appreciated and loved beyond the moon. Say Hi to my Dad for me. I have several great heroes in my life, but I know for sure I have a few watching over me. Thank you Ms.Francis for being a great inspiration to me and my family.

  11. Don’t really know where to start. Mrs. Woodard or “Nanan” as she let me call her ( she really was like a bonus grandma) was always a pillar growing up at FBC. From the Christmas programs to the Cherubs she definitely left a wonderful legacy. April, Greg, and Kevin you all are like family and I’m so sorry for your loss.

  12. My sincere condolences and prayers to the Woodard family She was a beautiful woman of God and always so sweet. I remember being in the Cherubs choir, great memories. You will be sadly missed! God bless you! RIP Francis!

  13. Tammy Thornton

    Sincere condolences to her family. She had a precious heart and loving spirit. I know she will be deeply missed by many.

  14. Nan Nan words are not enough to express how much you were loved. From day one being married to your son Kevin you treated me as if I was your daughter that you birthed. Endless great memories and Sunday dinners at 280 Elm Street. When the grandchildren came along they were your ultimate joy..You loved spoiling them as most grandparents do….. A dilly bar and a chilli dog from Dairy queen was a must during each visit. The visits to city park to feed the ducks were always the grandkids favorite. You made such great memories for all of us to cherish..Now it’s time for you to go home and rest….Rest now you deserve to…. Carla

  15. So sorry for your loss. My thoughts and many prayers are with you all. Sending big hugs for comfort . Love , Annette and Tom

  16. Charlotte Mitchell

    Kevin, I am so sorry to read of the loss of your wonderful mother. I pray that God will encircle you with love and warmth and that many pleasant memories of your mother will comfort you in the difficult days ahead.

  17. We have all lost a wonderful giving lady. In 2013 I spent weeks recuperating at Traditions. Thank the good Lord that Frances was there! I knew her from the Country Club. We had the best time together And she made each day a pleasure. Frances kept here eye on everything and kept me up to date. I shall never forget her and take comfort that she is in God’s hands and with Gerald. Blessings to you all.

  18. J. Odessa Hill

    Kevin, Greg and April, I was sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. My love and condolences to

    you all. I watched you grow up with Butch and Melanie so I feel like a member of the family.

    Your mom enjoyed singing and I loved her beautiful voice .God bless and keep you ever close

    to Him. Mrs. Odessa Williams-Hill

  19. James E. Thomas Jr. & Family; James "Big Dude" Thomas Sr.

    My deepest condolences and sympathy to the Family of Deaconess Francis Woodard. There is a long list of people who have been impacted by Sis. Woodard’s generosity of God’s Love, besides her own immediate family. Her own walk with Christ exemplifies how we should have that same personal relationship with the Father. I’m fortunate enough to have known her as a member of the Hitchens Family and as well as a member First Baptist Church as a child, youth, and young adult I too can recall her coordination of special events at FBC from Christmas and Easter (Resurrection Sunday) Programs, to working with my mother on Church Anniversaries and Missionary Sundays. It was always nice to see her out and about town, you knew that you had one of those Special West-End Moms who would look out for you. Kevin, April, Greg, and Family may the Lord embrace you all with His grace and mercy.

  20. Katherine McCoy

    I am so sorry for your loss, April. You and your family will be in my prayers.

  21. Melvena J. Newborn (Woodard)

    To April, Kevin, and Greg,

    I love you all. I’m sorry for the loss of your mom, Aunt Fran. May you continue to hold on to all of the beautiful memories you have on her life. The obituary was an amazing tribute to her life and to her work for the Lord. She is with our Heavenly Father. God bless you and keep you…she will be missed. ❤️ Mellie

  22. Janet Sheppard

    Sis April and Family, We are so sorry to hear about the loss of your dear Mother. She was always so kind and welcoming to me and my family when we came to First Baptist. We will miss her smiling face. Please know that we are praying for you and your family at this time. With love and prayers, Rev. Janet & Deacon Victor Sheppard & Family

  23. Tina Turner Jones

    Another angel has earned her wings. Job well done Ms. Frances. To her children and family prayers going up. Your memories of this amazing mother, grandmother, aunt, cousins and friend will warm your heart and hopefully make losing her a little easy to deal with and always bring a smile to your face and warm your heart.

  24. Heaven has truly gained an angel! Ms Francis a beautiful lady inside and out! She always wore a smile and gave me an encouraging word-she will truly be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the family! RIH Ms Francis!

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