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Mr. Woodrow Edward “Woody” Hilboldt, Jr.


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Posted by: Gary Matthew
Date: May 03 2024 9:20 AM

Mr. Woodrow Edward “Woody” Hilboldt, Jr., died peacefully at his home surrounded by his family Wednesday, May 1, 2024. He was 74 years old.



   Funeral services for Woody will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11, 2024, at First United Methodist Church of Ozark. Reverend Dr. Jason Thrower, Reverend Melanie Sebastian Stafford, and Reverend Dr. Billy D. Gaither will officiate with Holman Funeral Home of Ozark directing.


   The family will receive friends in the church sanctuary from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 10, 2024. Flowers will be accepted.


   Known to many as Mr. Woody, he was a lifelong resident of Broad Street and Ozark. As a child he was an ace with a slingshot and cap gun, and always had a tag-along dog. Dedicated to his community, he achieved the high honor of becoming an Eagle Scout as a teenager. He attended Carroll High School where he played trumpet in the band. He graduated from Marion Military Institute in 1968. While there, he enjoyed playing baseball, going on hitchhiking adventures, and pulling pranks with fellow cadets. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Troy State University and put it to good use helping his father operate Hilboldt’s Men’s Shop, a clothing store that was a fixture downtown on The Square for more than 40 years. Woody played a part in the big events, rites of passage and celebrations in the lives of countless families throughout the city and county, making them look their best for graduations, proms, weddings, funerals, and all other occasions of note. His own fashion sense was eclectic and unique. He loved a monogram, a seersucker suit, T-shirts with a front pocket, the color khaki, and well-worn Stan Smiths. Woody went on to work as a salesman for M.O. Carroll, a multi-state wholesale grocery company founded by his grandfather’s brothers just before the turn of the twentieth century. He traveled more than 300,000 miles in his favorite little red work truck, always with a pocket full of candy and the news of the day. His work ethic and high standards of service made him a favorite on all his routes, both of coworkers and customers.


   In a final career shift, he became a funeral director licensed by the state of Alabama and was elected as Dale County Coroner, an office he held for sixteen years. He was proud to carry that badge and to work with law officers, emergency personnel, nursing home staff, caregivers, Hospice, and others dedicated, like him, to service. Woody was a source of comfort for families across The Wiregrass and beyond during the most difficult times of their lives. No detail was too great or too small for him to attend. He was committed to others.


   A lifelong member of First United Methodist Church of Ozark, he ushered, sat on various committees, and was on the Administrative Board. He served as a Board Member of Westview Cemetery and as a Jaycee. He was President of Emma P. Flowers Elementary School Parent Teacher Association and was an integral part of the Chamber of Commerce, engaging in a myriad of projects committed to a thriving downtown. For years, he helped organize the annual Ed Hilboldt memorial golf tournament that raised funds for the American Cancer Society. Original, funny, and beloved, doubling people over with laughter was his main hobby. He made even the mundane amusing in his re-telling. A symbol of his whimsical nature was his main ride, a bright yellow 1974 Volkswagen Beetle. Well-respected by young and old alike, his circles of friends were diverse. He could play golf, pool, tennis, racquetball, poker, bocce ball, horseshoes, and Go-Fish. He reveled in sharing a good recipe, listening to Motown classics, having his 10 a.m. Dr. Pepper with Lance cheese crackers, and collecting and wearing unusual socks. Woody’s family delighted him.


   He loved his wife, Norma, and supported her in all endeavors for over five decades. Ignoring traditional divisions of household duties, they were true partners. As they raised two daughters, he modeled the importance of common sense, levity, and choosing to do the right thing for the right reasons. He was as devoted to his girls, as they were to him. His sons-in-law became his close friends, bonding over their shared love of raucous times and the Hilboldt women.


   Woody was preceded in death by his parents, Woodrow Edward Hilboldt, Sr., and Martha Carroll Hilboldt.


   He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Norma Woodham Hilboldt, and his two daughters, Brandela Hilboldt Allport (Richard), and Holly Hilboldt Swain (Drew), all of Ozark. He is also survived by his sister, Carroll Hilboldt Skinner, brother, John Carroll Hilboldt (Susan), nephew, Walter Stuart Skinner, as well as numerous cousins and a boatload of friends.


Family First Funeral Home

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