Daniel A. Woodard Jr., a beloved and long-time resident of White Plains, NY, passed away on May 16, 2023, at the age of 93. Surrounded by his loving wife and devoted daughter, he left this world with cherished memories and a legacy that will be remembered for generations to come.
Born on March 12, 1930, in Rockville Centre, NY, Daniel or Dan as he was called by most, was the son of Cleo Thomas Woodard and Daniel Woodard Sr. From an early age, he displayed remarkable talent and dedication, excelling both academically and athletically. As a student-athlete, he played baseball and football at Winston Salem State University, forging a lifelong bond with the renowned Coach Clarence ‘Big House’ Gaines.
In 1953, Dan graduated from Winston Salem State University, and he went on to earn a master's degree in educational administration from Teachers College at Columbia University. He further pursued his education and earned a professional diploma from Columbia, having completed coursework for his doctorate, a feat that earned him the affectionate nickname "Doc" among his colleagues.
Although his athletic prowess led him to be drafted by the NFL's Cleveland Browns, fate had a different path in store for Daniel. Answering the call to serve his country, he joined the U.S. Army, 7th Division Special Services during the Korean War, where he served with honor and received an Honorable Discharge.
After his military service, Dan embarked on a career in education, starting as an Elementary School Teacher while coaching football and basketball in Virginia. In 1961, he joined the White Plains Central School District (WPCSD) and became an integral part of the community. Initially teaching English and Social Studies at the Middle School, he later moved to the High School, making history as the district's first African American administrator.
While many believed Dan would remain a lifelong bachelor, love unexpectedly found him. He fell deeply in love with Elaine DeLoache, and they became inseparable partners in life for nearly 54 years. Their love was blessed with a daughter, Nicole Danielle, named after her father. Nicole was the pride and joy of Daniel's life until the arrival of his grandchildren, Zoë and Joshua, who joyously stole his heart.
After 34 years of dedicated service, Dan retired from WPCSD and while always of service to the community, he dedicated even more energy toward serving on several boards and organizations, including The Thomas Slater Center, Educage, Winston Salem State University and the College Conference of Westchester County. His commitment to his faith led him to actively contribute to St. Paul AME Church, where he served in various capacities, including the Steward Board.
One of Daniel's most cherished roles was as the Chairperson of the Board for Loucks Games, a renowned track and field invitational meet held at White Plains High School. His unwavering dedication to the event led to significant fundraising efforts, including the establishment of a new field.
Daniel was preceded in death by his sister Ruth Cason, his niece Louise Edney, his grand-nephew Todd Edney, and his grandson Donovan Woodard Brown. He is survived by his loving wife Elaine, his daughter Nicole, son-in-law Dwayne Brown, as well as his adoring grandchildren Zoë and Joshua. Additionally, he leaves behind his grand-nephew Stacey Edney and his wife Yvonne, cousin Ceil Carey, and a vast circle of friends and family who will forever cherish his memory.
Daniel Woodard will be remembered as a man of integrity, intelligence, and boundless love. His indomitable spirit, unwavering dedication to education and athletics, and his profound impact on the community will forever remain in the hearts of those who knew him.