Lt. Col. Gaylen A. Woods

Gaylen A. Woods, 95, born March 27, 1918, went to be with our Lord on May 1, 2013. Gaylen was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Julia Woods of Waverly, Ill.; his step-mom, Maggie B. M. Woods of Springfield, Ill.; and his first wife, Ruth T. Woods of Portland, Fla.

Gaylen retired to the Fort Walton Beach area in 1960 after 26 years of service, first with the Army Air Corps and later with the U.S. Air Forc with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. After his retirement, he worked with a Fort Walton Beach construction company and later with, Bankers Life and Causality Co., in and around the local area and as the district manager of the Atlanta, Ga., area. He retired from Bankers Life and Causality in the mid 1980's after more than 20 years with the company.

Gaylen enjoyed flying with his friends, George "Mac" and Lucy McCutchen, scuba diving, water skiing, fishing, eating out and motorcycling. He was a founding member of the original Eglin Air Force Base Motorcycle Club and the current Sanddollar Motorcycle Club of Fort Walton Beach. Gaylen taught numerous safety classes and supervised many of the motorcycle training days at the Sanddollar Motor Cycle Club.

He is survived by his wife of 15 years, Carol Woods of Panama City, Fla.; daughter, Sharon Gay and her husband, Glenn Goodlove, of San Diego, Calif.; sons, Michael and his wife, Reita Woods, of Crestview, Fla., and Robert and his wife, Sharon Woods, of Fort Walton Beach; four step-sons, Michael and his wife, Zobeyda Smith, of Sarasota, Fla., Kevin and his wife, Cindy Smith, of Abbeville, Ala., Jeffery Smith of Tallahassee, and Jeffrey Wayne Smith-King and his wife, Morgan Smith-King, of Destin, Fla.; and many nephews, nieces, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

There will be a memorial service to celebrate his life, followed by a reception, at 2 p.m. May 20 at Cinco Baptist Church, 26 Yacht Club Drive In Fort Walton Beach.