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.