Sam’s First Day in Heaven – An Obituary for Samuel A. Woods

Upon being welcomed into heaven with open arms on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021, Samuel Adam Woods was overheard telling St. Peter, “I’m crazy, but I ain’t stupid,” the punchline to an age-old story shared within the Bodie and Jo Woods home in Ruston, LA.

After checking in to his new home, Sam was caught smiling from ear to ear when he came around the corner to see a wall full of guitars and an endless library of books, a fitting addition considering Sam loved reading, learning, and discovering since early in his childhood. Speaking of childhood, you would get a kick out of his sister, Jill, who would later go on to marry Steve Goates. Together, they welcomed Grant, Gregory, and Grayden and would make their home in Tyler, Texas.

Shifting gears, Sam was caught telling the angels all about the origins of the furniture in his room and insisted that if they did not buy the floor model, then they paid too much. This was his way of life. After all, he did grow up in Bodie’s Furniture, the furniture store that his parents successfully owned for 46 years. This knowledge, of course, grew to be a part of Sam’s DNA. He set his sights high when he left the family business. He ignited his career when he franchised a Mattress Firm in Indianapolis, IN with his high school sweetheart and wife Elizabeth Anne Blakeney Woods, the daughter of Jay Gordon Sr. and Evelyn Blakeney, who are also the parents of twins Jay Gordon Jr., who would later marry Lane, and their daughter, Mary Catherine, who married Alejandro Ogata. After he sold his franchise, Sam climbed the ranks of “MFRM” and helped build what would become one of the world’s largest mattress retailers. That journey took Sam all over the world and he built something even bigger than the business: a network of friendships that would rival any other. After almost two decades working for the mattress retailer, Sam found himself working at Vua Nệm, where he used his previous experience in the mattress field to create one of the largest mattress retailers in Vietnam (sound familiar?). Finally, Sam entered an industry that he was completely new to: motorcycle parts along with related clothing and accessories. Comoto Holdings, based in California and Philadelphia, allowed Sam to reconnect to his childhood where he spent his time riding dirt bikes with his friends.

Satisfied with the quality of his new quarters, Sam was ready to explore the streets of gold he had heard about his entire life. He set out on his dream motorcycle, a KTM adventure bike, and quickly found himself running into a few notable figures in Heaven. Surrounded by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, he was quick to compliment them on their storytelling in the Bible, but they were caught off guard when he started to review their conversion numbers and discussed his strategy to get more people into heaven.

Continuing on with his first day in Heaven, Sam met for dinner with some of his buddies, including Steve Burdge, a former colleague and friend, and they had a great time catching up. Sam was elated to learn that a few of his favorites – Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendricks, Janis Joplin, and Tom Petty – would be playing a concert that evening. To no one’s surprise, Sam was busted backstage playing a guitar with the musicians and proudly telling them about his son, Harrison Elijah Woods, and his band, the Electric Sundaes. Sam didn’t take no for an answer when he explained why they must agree to let Eli’s band open for them one day.

On stage, the musicians were met with a thunderous applause when they shared about all of the folks that were to gather at Temple Baptist Church on Saturday, December 11, 2021 at 11:00 am to commemorate Sam’s life. Immediately following, that same group was to meet at Squire Creek Country Club for a Celebration of Life for Sam.

Completing Sam’s first day in Heaven, he crawled into his big new bed, grabbed the photo of Liz, Eli, Woody, and Thurber (their two miniature dachshunds) from his nightstand, looked at it with a smile, and whispered, “I love you, sweet love. I love you, son.” He softly heard, “I love you, sweet dove. I love you, dad.” Then quickly, and frankly quite loudly, drifted into his first “Papa Bear” hibernation of eternity.

~~SERVICES~~

Visitation/Viewing:
Temple Baptist Church
Friday, December 10th, 2021 from 5-7pm
1515 South Service Road W. 
Ruston, LA 71270

FUNERAL – All options below are the same service with different viewing options.
Live Service:
Temple Baptist Church
Saturday, December 11th, 2021 at 11am
1515 South Service Road W. 
Ruston, LA 71270

Virtual Stream in Houston (for those who cannot travel to Ruston but who would still like to be in community during the service):
Ecclesia Houston
Saturday, December 11th, 2021 at 11am; doors open at 10:30am
1100 Elder St. 
Houston, TX 77007

Virtual Stream (available anywhere):
Saturday, December 11th, 2021 at 11am; please join at least 10 minutes in advance

Visit temple.life for streaming options or temple.online.church for the direct stream

Celebration of Life: 
Squire Creek Country Club
Saturday, December 11th, 2021 immediately following the funeral until 3:30pm
289 Squire Creek Pkwy
Choudrant, LA 71227

**For those attending services in Ruston, LA, please secure hotel accommodations either in Ruston, LA or West Monroe, LA (nearby). There are also a variety of homes available on VRBO or Airbnb by searching in their respective apps. Closest airports are MLU (Monroe) and SHV (Shreveport).

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.kilpatrickfuneralhomes.com

Kilpatrick Funeral Home
Ruston


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