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James Richard Woods, Sr.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – James Richard Woods, Sr., 92, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021.

A celebration of life will take place in Sioux City later this year. His ashes will be interred at the site of his son’s burial in Sioux City

Jim was born on Oct. 8, 1928, in Sioux City, Iowa. After graduating from East High and then Morningside College in 1950 Jim became a driver salesman for continental baking. For over 30 years he would rise before the sun so he could drive his Wonder Bread route. After work he would come home and spend the days remaining hours doing what he loved, coaching Sioux City kids.

There would be the baseball boys of summer and basketball young men in winter that Jim Woods could coach. He would take little league teams to state tournaments and young men out of high school to winning games over college basketball junior varsity teams. His sponsors were his church, his fraternal lodge and his dad’s trucking company, Woods Transfer. Some contests would last late into the evening, but he would rise in the next morning’s darkness to begin another day. Some would say he burned the candle at both ends.

Jim and his wife, Marie (Bitsos), produced five children, Linda (Leslie Zahnow), James (Vickie), Craig (Debbie), Rodney (Patty), and Clayton (Pam). His oldest Linda married Dave Lee who would become a football coach with a career that ultimately took him to Mission, Texas, and the Mission Eagles.

When he retired from Wonder Bread, this was his opportunity to immerse himself in the football activities of his son-in-law, so he moved to Texas. He was a substitute teacher for physical education at Bryan Elementary, delivered supplies to Mission schools, and his wife Marie worked in many cafeterias in the Mission school district. He also coached his grandchildren in different sports.

Jim’s football involvement took a bad turn when Dave Lee died at age 39. Years passed and Jim and Marie eventually move to Arizona to join other family member where he ultimately died in Chandler.

Jim is survived by his loyal companion, Virginia Hanna; brother, Dave; legally separated wife, Marie; children, Linda Lee (Leslie Zahnow), James (Vickie) and Craig (Debbie); daughters-in- law, Patty Woods and Pam Cisney; grandchildren, Molly (Jake) Taylor, Tom (Kristie) Lee, Magdalene (Armando) Rodriguez, Chad (Lori) Woods, Nicole Woods, Casey (Crystal) Woods, Shannon Riser, Jory (Yvonne) Woods, Chris Gosnell, Casey Gosnell and Brandon Woods; and 28 great-grandchildren and 28 nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his youngest sons, Rodney and Clayton; parents, Walter and Ida Woods; son-in-law, David Lee; and sister-in-law, Nancy Woods.

Memorial donations may be made to the Mission Boys & Girls Club.

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