Charles Woods Obituary

Charles J. Woods
Charles J. Woods

September 4, 1930 - July 7, 2018
Born in Des Moines, Iowa
Resided in Urbandale, Iowa
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Charles J. Woods (“Charlie”, “CJ”) 87, died July 7, 2018 at Mercy Hospital surrounded by loved ones after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Charles was born September 4, 1930 in Des Moines, Iowa to Leroy & Lillian (Burns) Woods, the 6th of their 8 children.

Charles is survived by his wife of 70 years, Verla, the love of his life; children Sherri (Charles) Saul, Charles P. Woods, and Sheila (Ray) Olson; grandchildren Kimberlae (David Opdyke) Saul, Keary Saul, Michael (Ryann Grove) Saul, Matthew (Kristi) Woods, Brian (Kyle Marie) Woods, Amy (Marc) DuBois, Danielle (Dan) Panzer, Tyler Betts, and Courtney Betts; great-grandchildren Eric Scott Woods, Quinn Opdyke, Zoe Opdyke, Ethan Woods, Noah Woods, Marc DuBois, Jr., and Ava DuBois; step-great-grandchildren Stephanie Fritch, Cooper Fritch, and Carson Fritch; sister Esther Bergstrom-Merkel; brothers Virgil Woods and John Woods; sister-in-law Sandra Cozad; and many nieces and nephews.

Charles was preceded in death by his parents; daughter-in-law Janis Woods; grandson Eric Paul Woods; sister Naomi; brothers Paul, Richard, and Raymond; and many beloved friends.

He was a tireless and industrious entrepreneur. For over forty years, he supported his family as an independent carpenter, custom-cabinet maker and furniture maker. He took great pride in his craftsmanship. In his spare time, he built four houses, three of which he called home. After retiring from carpentry, he became “The Veggie Man.” He turned his lifelong hobby of gardening and his passions for both food and people into a roadside business. His loyal customers appreciated his banter and storytelling nearly as much as his tomatoes. They also knew not to zip his corn as his customers soon learned, “You zip it, you buy it.” Charles’ retirement years included driving for local car dealerships; as he really enjoyed the “long distance” assignments.

He was a beekeeper all his life. Charles loved to tell stories and was a true jokester. He loved his country music, especially Hank, Dolly, and Willie. When they were young, he and Verla were square dancers. They made life-long friends in their dance clubs. Later in life, he enjoyed playing duplicate bridge.

Family and hard work meant everything to Charles. He was at his happiest when he had a grandchild or great-grandchild in his lap or working alongside him in his workshop, in the garden, or at the veggie stand. He believed every three-year-old needed his or her own hammer and opportunities to use it.

Charles was dearly loved by his family and will be missed.

Services will be held at Westover Funeral Home on Saturday, July 14 at 10:30. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at McDivitt Grove Cemetery in Urbandale, IA.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Saint Jude’s Children Hospital, Camp Sunnyside, or a charity of your choice.






Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Saturday, July 14, 2018
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Saturday, July 14, 2018
10:30 AM
McDivitt Grove Cemetery
Meredith Drive
Urbandale, IA US 50322
Saturday, July 14, 2018


St. Jude Children's Hospital
501 St. Jude Place
Memphis, TN US 38105
Camp Sunnyside
401 NE 66th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50313