DARIEN, Conn. — Robert Evans Woods, a much respected longtime resident of Darien who was once featured on the cover of Time magazine as an exemplary West Point cadet, died May 30. He was 96.
Woods was born Aug. 1, 1920, in Corning, N.Y., to Arthur and Eleanora Woods.
He attended Bucknell before transferring to the U.S. Naval Academy, and then moved on to West Point. He was chosen to command the Corps of Cadets as first captain during his final year, and appeared on the cover of Time magazine as such in June 1945.
Woods was cited as "a man who was able to command, willing to obey, eager to serve, quick to learn, honest, strong, and able." An all-around athlete who participated in football, track, baseball, wrestling, fencing and boxing, he is in the West Point Athletic Hall of Fame as the only man to have been on the starting team for both Annapolis and West Point in the Army-Navy game.
He married Geraldine Harrington the day after he graduated from West Point; and their wedding was featured in national newsreels.
Woods served under Gen. Douglas MacArthur in the Allied occupation of Japan at the end of World War II. After nine years in the military, he entered the corporate world with Schaefer Brewing Co. Over his 40-year business career, he also worked as an executive at Continental Can Co. and Doubleday & Co.
Woods was as gifted musically as he was athletically, and began playing the trumpet at age 13 with jazz bands in local bars and dance halls. He was a pioneer of Sunday Jazz at the Tokeneke Club, continuing to play and lead bands until he was 94.
He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Geraldine, three sons and their wives, Bob Jr. and Mary, Jerry and Kate, and Chris and Debbie; and seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Darien on June 29 at 1 p.m., followed by a reception at the Tokeneke Club in Darien.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the charity of one's choice.
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