A photo of David Woodward

David Woodward

March 25, 1933 - April 21, 2019

David Woodward, age 86, of Middletown DE, passed away peacefully on Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019, surrounded by his family. 

A native Delawarean, Dave grew up on the family dairy farm near Prices Corner, graduating from Conrad High School and the University of Delaware earning a degree in animal science.  He was the first in the family to earn a college degree.  Dave loved baseball and pitched for both Conrad and University of Delaware teams, winning several titles.  He tried out for the Philadelphia Phillies and Philadelphia Athletics clubs, signing a contract with the Provential League in Burlington, Vermont and Marion, Virginia.

Dave served two years in the U.S. Army, eventually finding himself stationed at Ft. McPherson near Atlanta, GA where he continued to pitch for the 3rd Army Baseball Team.  It was at a dance one night at the Fabulous Fox Theater in Atlanta that he met the love of his life and his soon to be wife, Nancy.  They were married for 62 years.

After the farm operation was moved to Middletown, Dave continued farming with his brother Ray and father Horace.  He also served as ASCS director for New Castle County for three years. In January 1971, Dave started his career with Cooperative Extension at the University of Delaware in Kent County.   His love for Delaware Agriculture and the people he served and worked with throughout the years lead to him to being named State Program Leader for Agriculture and Natural Resources in 1984, a position he would hold until his retirement in 1996.

In addition to his love for people, Dave loved travel, all sports, a bad joke, a good story and was an avid golfer, a passion he shared with wife Nancy.  His misguided and illogical love of the Philadelphia Eagles, Boston Red Sox and most troubling of all, Duke Blue Devils Basketball led to many, many animated discussions with friends and family.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy Woodward; brother, Ray (Nancy) of Middletown; son, Mitch Woodward (Laurie) of NC; daughter, Holly Thatcher (Bobby) of Middletown; 4 grandchildren, Erin Danford (Phil) of NC, Zach Woodward of Colorado, Ethan Woodward of NC and Jenna Thatcher of Middletown; twin great grandchildren, Ainsley and Jackson Danford of NC; as well as many nieces and nephews that he enjoyed spending time with.  Dave was preceded in death by his parents, Horace and Ruby Woodward.

A visitation for family and friends will be held from 10 am until 11 am on Friday, May 3, 2019, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 275 East Main Street, Middletown, DE, where a memorial service will begin at 11 am.  Interment will be held privately.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to: University of Delaware Baseball Program, IMO David Woodward, Gifts and Records, 83 E. Main Street, 3rd Floor, Newark DE  19716.

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19 Condolences for David Woodward

  • To Nancy, Mitch and Holly and the rest of the Woodward Family, I was so sorry to hear the news that Dave had passed but at the same time I could not help but think of all the fond memories I had of him. He was without a doubt, one of the best supervisors that I ever had and I owe a lot of what I have been able to accomplish in my life to the lessons of public service that Dave taught me. Know that at this difficult time, you are all in my thoughts and prayers. God must have needed a “REAL” county agent in Heaven when he called Dave home. Rich

  • He was, without a doubt, one of the good guys, in so many ways, We are all fortunate to have had him.

  • Dear Nancy and family of Dave: I am very saddened with you about Dave’s pasing to the “eternal hunting grounds”. He was such a great friend and strong supporter of University of Delaware Extension programs, next to his fellow Ed Schabinger he was the most outstanding County Agent we had and ever will have. Thank you, Dave, also from my family members, Lizzy, Susie, Alice, Walter, who loved you from your hard work at the State Fair. R. I.P.. my sincere condolences to you Nancy from George and Lizzy Haenlein.

  • Dave was a good friend we will miss him. Our prayers and thoughts are with his family.

  • My deepest sympathies to the family.

  • So sorry to hear that David has passed, he was a wonderful cousin.

  • Dave was a great guy .. we met he and Nancy at our winter home in Englewood, Florida. His golf game was marginal; his sports teams an odd mix but he and Nancy were a great couple. I’ll miss Dave and hope Nancy comes back to Englewood next winter.

  • Will miss your friendship! Thank you for being a wonderful friend to my parents as well as to me💕 I cherish our Friday happy hours and spirited political discussions! Thanks so much for my Martin house and for welcoming back to Townsend. Love you and miss you 💔

  • The Pierson family sends our love and sympathy at this difficult time of loss. Thinking of you and your family as this new chapter starts.

  • Nancy and Family,
    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of my cousin David. What a great man. I learned a lot about him from the video that I knew nothing about. I will keep your whole family in my prayers. It is very hard loosing your loved ones but the memories always keep them close to you.
    Love, Sylvia and Robbie

  • Dear Nancy,

    I was so sorry to read about the passing of your husband, Dave. I just lost my husband, Norman, on April 26 and knew it was important to offer my condolences during this difficult time. The last time we saw each other you were beautifully pregnant at my bridal shower back in 1963. I sincerely hope we can catch up soon because obviously it’s been much too long. I always considered you one of my dearest friends and nothing would please me more if we could meet, reminisce and share stories of our families. My deepest sympathies,
    Judy

  • My sincerest condolences to Dave’s dearest wife, Nancy; son, Mitch & daughter, Holly for their recent loss. I worked for Dave at the Extension Office in Dover. He was such a great boss, & such a good person. Loved his precious Nancy & so proud of his children. They always threw great fun parties, excellent food, good laughs & Nancy’s delicious caramel brownies. God bless Dave

  • Felix and I are so sorry to hear of Dave’s passing. He was always so pleasant to converse with whenever we saw each other at the postoffice
    or other places in Middletown. Know that we send our thoughts and prayers at this time of loss.

    Sincerely,
    Karen and Felix

  • Nancy and family

    Linda and I wish to send our condolences to you and the family! Dave was a good golfing buddy in our Wild Quail 8am group. I am sure he will be solely missed by the family and all of his friends. A great guy who was always supportive and never had a bad word for anyone. Be safe and enjoy life until the time comes when you will join him in heaven!

  • Nancy, We were so sorry to hear about Dave’s passing. We have so many memories of the two of you
    on our golf trips and how much we enjoyed your company. It was so informative reading his obituary and finding out all the things we did not know about him. There was never enough time to get to know all of our golf acquaintances. It was a pleasure meeting the two of you. Please accept our sincere condolences. Edward &
    Alice Daino.

  • Dave was my extension agent in 4-H. He was a wonderful man full of kindness and caring. With deepest sympathy. Lynn Perrine

  • May 1, 2019
    To Nancy and the Woodward clan,
    As a child, while staying on the farm, I learned what it felt like to catch a ball thrown by a pro… “ouch” is the word! And I learned a little about some of the many uses of an electric fence that have nothing to do with managing livestock. For example, I remember a car being “empowered” to give the first person to the door a “shocking experience.” And I seem to remember a car battery being wired to an old style bed spring that I was supposed to be sleeping on… the intermitent electrically produced vibrations of the bed coupled with some carefully timed haunted house stories and a few creaking sound effects made for a pretty convincing “visitation” to a 10 year old.

    But I also learned a lot about hard work and doing a job right. I learned about having respect and love for the land. I learned about having respect and love for the animals under their care. I learned about having respect and love for each other. And I learned all these things while getting squirted between the eyes with udderly fresh milk!

    Of all my relatives, there are none that I have greater respect for than David and Nancy Woodward and the entire Woodward clan. That respect has only grown as the years have passed. In my experience, hard working people with common sense and a great sense of humor are increasingly in short supply and the Woodward family has always overflowed with all of those traits.

    To Nancy and Holly and Mitch and Ray and Nancy and every family member… I am so very sorry for your loss today. And I am so very sorry I can’t be there with you.

    You are so fortunate to have had him for so long.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you.
    May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you.
    May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you the peace that comes from knowing with certainty that you will see him again.

    Love,
    Ken Pierce

  • To Nancy, Mitch, Holly, Ray and Nancy and all of the family, we are thinking of you these hard days. We wish you less pain each day and pray you will soon the ability to remember Dave without the hurt of his loss but only joy in the memories.
    We were fortunate to have known him, proud he is my cousin, and I am pretty sure he is shaking it up in heaven with some stories.
    Praying for your peace–Janet

  • To the Woodward family,
    If life were like a candle, some come into this world and are snuffed out quickly, but some like Dave get to shine bright for 86 years. In that time he gets to be a wonderful son and brother, find a beautiful and loving wife in Nancy and be the best father Mitch and Holly could ask for. If you think that his light has gone dim just look within. He has left all of you with enough great memories to light the darkest night. It has been a pleasure to grow up with him and the whole family in my life and he will be deeply missed. Chris