Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Lucille Lundy Woodall, 93, independent role model who served as a beacon of optimism

Lucille Lundy Woodall
Lucille Lundy Woodall

Born Sept. 12, 1925, into a working-class row house on Ainslie Street in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York, our Lucy donned her wings and left us for heaven Monday, Jan. 21, 2019.

It was a peaceful departure with family lovingly surrounding her, and like all her trips, she had been packing and preparing for a long time! She was a feisty lady who was a go getter right up to the point of major brain surgery — driving herself to see grandkids or to bingo, modeling or just bragging on her family and friends. Her last year was a testament to her strong will to keep fighting — she wanted to see Bella graduate and Sammy’s twins born and so many other family things, but after defying the dim prognosis for much longer than expected — it was finally time to go home. Let’s tell you about this lovely lady. At 9 months of age, her parents, Louie and Anna Giarra, moved Lucy and her older brother, Nick, to 1666 West 3rd St., Brooklyn. Here, she grew up and became the delightful and giving person we all knew.

In addition to being drop-dead gorgeous in a two-piece bathing suit, and because her dad defied the era by teaching her how to drive and the value of an education, she became an independent young lady. This enabled her to land bookkeeping work in Manhattan after high school and negotiate the multiple subways for the one-way, 45-minute commute.

Over her long life, she married and buried two sailors from Arkansas. Bill Lundy, her first love, was “a tall drink of water” who she met during the war and married in 1946. She was a dutiful Navy wife following him from station to station, including the Panama Canal Zone; Boston; Norfolk; Chicago; Minneapolis; and Bath, Maine, among many postings. She held the growing family of three boys and a girl together while Bill deployed for six to seven months at a time. She worked many jobs, including waitressing, to offset the meager Navy pay. However, just when things were starting to work out well as she and Bill had great civil service jobs, a house on a wooded lot, and all their kids on their way to becoming college graduates — something Depression-era people felt was an imperative — she lost Bill. He was killed in an airliner crash returning from working on Navy ships in Charleston, South Carolina. It was Sept. 11, 1974, and her birthday card, which he had inexplicably sent before boarding the plane, arrived on her birthday the next day, Sept. 12, wishing “funny face” a happy birthday. Later in life, she would meet another retired sailor, Woody Woodall, who also hailed from Arkansas. Woody turned out to be one heck of a guy who treated Lucy to 10 great years of marriage, travel and love! She lost him after a bout with cancer.

Lucy had many highs and many lows. The lowest was losing her daughter LuAnne, ironically in another plane crash in 1982, but throughout all of her life, she remained a beacon of optimism and love to all around her. We could go on chronicling her life well lived, but it all boils down to one thing: Lucy was always there for you, whether a family member, friend or stranger. Mom, grandma, great-grandma, good friend, we will miss you so much, but always will be thinking of you!

Lucy was preceded in death by her parents, Louie and Anna Giarra; first husband, William Welborne Lundy; second husband, Marley (Woody) Woodall; daughter, Luanne Lundy Patton; stepdaughter, Marlene Woodall; and two brothers, Nicholas Giarra and William Finn.

She is survived by her children, Robert (Heather), Roger (Jane) and Rodney (Renee); grandchildren, Jennifer (Paul), William Welborne Lundy II (Ashley), Sammy (Benjamin), Bella and Max; great-grandchildren, Dayton, Hannah, Keenan and Avery; brother, Dave (Jeanette); nephews, Paul (Jeanna, who spent much loving time with Lucy in her last months); Jamie (Donna); and numerous friends, especially Pat and Bob Rathbun, Anita Dunn, Michele DeWitt, Barbara Smith, Betty and Victoria, and her cherished “angels,” Tobi and Charmaine.

Lucy was a member of the Catholic Church, The Red Hats, The ROWS, The Town N Gown, MOAA and Retired Civil Services Luncheons. She retired from the civil service in 1985 as a GS-11 and was one of the first woman computer programmers. She was a keen supporter of St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, so we’re sure she would appreciate any thoughts of her being recognized in a donation to that fine organization.

And as we say goodbye, take comfort in the gravesite inscription she selected for herself and Bill: “Just another trip.” The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 25, at Rosewood-Kellum Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at noon, Saturday, Jan. 26, at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church. Entombment will follow in Rosewood Memorial Park. A reception will follow in the Anchor Room at Atlantic Shores Retirement Community.

Share online condolences with the family at Rosewood-Kellum Funeral Home.

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