When World War II broke out, that youthful energy became focused on entering the service. He left high school, secured his place as the fiancé of his one and only love, Virginia E. Bailey, and in 1942 joined the Navy. He served aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Langley in the South Pacific. As with so many World War II veterans, his life was shaped by the tragic experiences of the war.

 

After three years of active duty -- and many love letters later -- his attention was then focused on marrying "his Jini." They married June 17, 1945, and had their honeymoon traveling cross-country to California to his last duty station. They loved each other for the next 67 and a half years.

 

Their civilian life together started in Rye, N.H., where with pride he built the first of two homes for his family. In Rye, he started his life in service to his Lord. He was a lay preacher, Sunday school superintendent and teacher at the Bethany Congregational Church. His focus to serve led him to interview for the position of minister of the Second Congregational Church in Warren in 1960.

 

In 1961 he moved his family to Warren, where he served as minister for 21 years. His love for that church, and the people who placed their faith in a young man with only a GED as starting credentials, lasted until his passing. After securing this position, he completed his education through the University of Maine and Bangor Theological Seminary. He served as trustee of Maine Congregational Christian Council and the Ministerial Committee of the National Association of Congregational Churches.

 

He was a Past Grand Masonic Chaplain of Maine, Past Worthy Grand Patron of Maine Order of the Eastern Star, and a Life Member and Worthy Patron of Ivy Chapter, OES. Many also remember him as their teacher and bus driver.

 

Upon retirement, he and Jini moved to their second home, "built with my own hands," in Union, to enjoy life on the pond.

 

His pride in serving his country lasted throughout his life. He wore his World War II hat proudly, was a life member of Disabled American Veterans and sang the praises of his routine and crisis care at the Veterans hospital. He was laid to rest beside his sweetheart, Jini, at the Mount Vernon Veterans Cemetery in Augusta.

Rest in Peace dear friend

Wesley Gordon Woodman passed away peacefully after a brief decline in his health at Togus Veteran's Hospital Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. His beloved children were at his side, with the most caring medical staff at his service.

 

Born March 21, 1925, in Portsmouth, N.H., he was the son of Earl and Pearl (Richards) Woodman. Wesley was born with a decisive mindset that would stay with him through his life. According to stories from his mom, he was focused on raising mischief when he was young.

Reverend Wesley G. Woodman

March 21, 1925 - February 11, 2016