Community remembers legacy of Woody’s Service Center owner, Wiley Woody

Published 9:15 am Saturday, June 11, 2022

By Olivia Johnson

Since closing its doors in May 2021, Woody’s Service Center has remained in the hearts and minds of LaGrange residents. Even after the store was torn down and replaced by a fast food restaurant, few have forgotten the legacy of what was there before and the man who started it all.

Wiley Woody, the man and icon behind Woody’s Service Center, passed away on Tuesday. He leaves behind a legacy of kindness, warmth, generosity and the value of hard work.

“He was the most kind, fun-loving, witty man you’d ever meet,” said his son, Greg. “I was honored to be able to work with him. Most guys don’t have the opportunity to be that close with their dad as much as I had.”

Mr. Woody was a man of great Christian belief and always left the door open for those in need. His character and strong values encouraged people to seek his help and council.

“He was a Christian man and was welcoming to all people no matter their race, religion, or anything. Everybody was special,” Greg said.

“He had a desire to serve and help people,” said Wiley’s wife, Myrna. “A stranger could come into town and the first thing he would do was welcome them tell him about his church, First Baptist Church.”

His influence and ideals on hard work and integrity spans over three generations. “He instilled the value of hard work in me from a young age. I remember going up to the station on weekends or the summertime and walking around with a shovel and a trash can picking up leaves off the curb,” said Chase, his grandson.

After opening in 1970, Woody’s was the last full-service station in Troup County. The full service portion remained open until 2019, and the business remained open until 2021.

To those who knew him best Mr. Woody was a warm, fun-loving, and generous man. He always did everything he could to help a person in need. As his daughter-in-law, Donna says, “he always cracked a joke and tried to make you smile.”

“He was a jokester. He loved fun and was so kind,” Myrna said. “He loved children while he was at the station. Every time a car would pull in with their regular customers those children knew they were going to get candy or bubble gum from Mr. Woody.”

Even up to his last days, Mr. Woody continued to be beacon of hope and light to the community.

“He said, I’ve never knew a day I was not loved,”  Myrna said. “My answer back to him was and you never will.”

His impact on LaGrange continues to be felt even after his passing.

“He would support this community and do anything for anybody within his power. Everybody in this community loved my dad,” said Woody’s daughter, Dianne.