The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

February 26, 2013

Robert E. Woodring

Star Beacon

HARTSGROVE TOWNSHIP — Robert Edgar Woodring went home to be with his Lord on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. He was eighty years old. Formerly of Saybrook Township, Ohio, he passed away peacefully at his home in Hartsgrove Township, Ohio.

Mr. Woodring was born in Newburg, W.Va. on Jan. 31, 1933. His family moved to Orwell, Ohio. He was president of his senior class and was graduated from Orwell High School in 1950. He held a degree of Theology from Mount Union College, was an ordained minister, and served several small United Methodist churches throughout northeastern Ohio before being assigned as minister of the South Harpersfield United Methodist Church. 

Mr. Woodring was also known for being a successful businessman. He owned and operated several tire companies located in Ashtabula and Lake counties- the oldest being Super Tread Tire Company of Conneaut, Ohio, which he owned for over forty-eight years. He served on the Saybrook Township Zoning Board, the Conneaut Housing Authority, the Conneaut Chamber of Commerce, and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

A lifelong advocate of environmental protection, Mr. Woodring served as chairman of the Ashtabula County Grand Scenic River Committee, the Northeast Ohio Water Development Advisory Council, and the Lake Erie Shore Erosion Committee. He was well-known locally as the man who stopped his lakefront property from eroding into Lake Erie by sinking a 1,000-ton Army surplus barge in his backyard.

Mr. Woodring was Past Worshipful Master of the Harbor Masonic Lodge 558. He was recently commended for being the oldest active member of the Rising Sun F & A M of Ashtabula.

After high school, Mr. Woodring sailed on the Great Lakes for the Cleveland Cliffs Shipping Lines before volunteering to serve in the U.S. Army. He served 18 months in Korea with the 55th M. P. Company. After returning to civilian life, he served with the 83rd Infantry Division, Army Reserve in Orwell from 1955 to 1962. He attended the U.S. Army Ranger School in 1958 and graduated from Infantry Officers Candidate School at Ft. Benning, Ga., in 1960. Mr. Woodring went on to serve in the  37th Infantry Division of the Ohio National Guard. His outstanding military achievements include: he graduated 2nd in his class at 8th Army Ordnance School in Korea; he was the first honor graduate in history from the Ft. Benning Army Ranger School; he graduated 10th out of a class of 189 in O.C.S.; he was chosen “Top Soldier” of the Division of over 9,000 active-duty paratroopers and Marines at Camp Hill, Va.; and he held every enlisted rank of the U.S. Army from Pvt.E-2 to Master Sergeant.           

He was preceded in death by his parents, Alfred and Ruth (Priddy) Woodring; and his wife of fifty-three years, Mary (McCoy) Woodring.

He is survived by his wife of five years, Mary (Whitten) Woodring; his sisters, Patsy and Donna Woodring, both of Vancleve, Ky.; his son, David (Laura) Woodring of Victoria, Texas; his daughters, Kathryn (Hugh) Ingram of Conneaut, Ohio and Janet Kunes of Saybrook Township; his step-son, John Kennedy and step-daughter, Cheryl (Chris) Hammon, both of Hartsgrove Township; eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.  

Funeral Services officiated by Shirley Rogers will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 28th, at PAINE-GUERRIERO FUNERAL HOME, 140 E. Main St., Orwell, Ohio 44076. Calling Hours will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 27th, at the Funeral Home. Burial will take place at Saybrook Township Cemetery with U.S. Military Honors.

Friends and relatives are also invited to a Celebration of Life, which will be held at the Ashtabula Elk’s Club, 3115 Lake Road, Ashtabula, Ohio on Saturday, March 2nd at 2 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Orwell American Legion Post #719, 215 N. Maple St., Orwell, Ohio 44076. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

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