Obituary: Rita Maxine Woodyard

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 11:53 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Rita Maxine Woodyard, 78, of Little Hocking, Ohio, passed away on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021, peacefully with her family by her side.

She was born on January 29, 1943, in Belpre, Ohio, the daughter of the late Elza B. and Eleanor Freshour Dewees.  She graduated from Belpre High School in 1960.

Rita spent most of her adult life raising her three children, along with babysitting.  After her children were grown, she became a home health aide and worked for  Home Nursing Service and Hospice for 20 years.  In 1998, she received an award for Home Health Aide of the Year for the state of Ohio.  She was very passionate about her work and gave great care to those she served.  Rita retired in 2006.

Rita is survived by her husband of 56 years, Ward B. Woodyard.  Their journey began as a blind date  to watch fireworks at the Washington Monument.  They were married on March 26, 1965 in Alexandria, VA.  She is also survived by three children; Sandra (Charlie) Whitehair of little Hocking, OH, Brenda (Kevin) Kirkbride of Whipple, Ohio, and Brian (Jennifer) Woodyard of Belpre, Ohio.  Two grandsons; Garrett Whitehair and Dylan Kirkbride.

Family meant everything to Rita.  Her most memorable times were family get togethers, family beach vacations, and being a grandma.  She had a talent for cooking.  Homemade noodles and cutout cookies were her specialty.  Just ask her grandsons.

Rita always liked being on the go. She enjoyed “shopping trips”, flying to Las Vegas, beach vacations, Dancing with the Stars on tour,Wheel of Fortune, word searches, and a challenging game of scrabble, which she seemed to win a lot.  Her favorite pastime was crunching ice.  She became famous for knowing which ice came from what ice expert, so to speak.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Maynard and Eddie Dewees.

Sometimes people come into our lives at just the right time, with that being said, the family would like to thank Dr. Jeremy Waters, Dr. Kelli Cawley, Marietta Memorial nursing staff and hospice, and a special thank you to nurse, D.J. Lewis, for guiding us the last few weeks and providing peace, comfort, and care.  An extra special thank you to Samantha Eichmiller (MMH ultrasound tech) for being by Mom’s side each week for the last year and a half.  She cherished your weekly talks and pregnancy journey, soon you became an important part of her life.

In our family, we never say’s always See ya, Love ya”

Services will be on Saturday at 11:00 AM at the Leavitt Funeral Home, Belpre with Pastor Tony Foreman officiating.  Burial will follow in the Rockland Cemetery.  Friends may call at the funeral home on Friday from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM and one hour prior to services on Saturday.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Copyright 2021 WTAP. All rights reserved.