James (Jim) Emory Woods


James (Jim) Emory Woods, 83, of Carthage, MO, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, March 14, 2024, surrounded by family.

Jim was born on June 18, 1940, in Shattuck, OK, to Acy and Alsie Woods. He was the third of five children. His father was a school administrator, his mother a teacher, and for a few years, in their spare time, the family also operated a dairy farm and made home deliveries of milk and cream to neighbors.

After graduation from Arnett High School, Jim attended Northwestern College in Alva, OK, where he met Arlene Towle. They were married on July 16, 1960, and graduated two years later. After college they moved to Buhler, KS, to teach at Buhler Grade School.


Upon completing his master’s and specialist degrees Jim served as an assistant principal and then principal in Hutchinson, KS, at both Central Junior High and Sherman Junior High. During these years he impacted the lives of many students – some through the application of “the board of knowledge to the seat of learning.” Jim and Arlene enjoyed their retirement years traveling, working on projects around the house, being snowbirds in Arizona for several winters, and visiting family and friends.

Family was always important to Jim, and he made certain that his children were able to enjoy Woods family holiday gatherings and reunions with his parents, siblings, and cousins. He enjoyed playing cards, hunting quail and pheasant, playing ping-pong, and watching sports (pick one, it really doesn’t matter which, though KU basketball was probably his favorite!). With the arrival of grandchildren, he and Arlene worked to stay engaged in their lives by attending school programs, dance recitals, and sporting events as well as through regular phone calls.

Jim was a member of Hutchinson Bethany Church of the Nazarene. He served many years teaching Sunday School and volunteering in various areas. Jim enjoyed men’s Bible study groups and had the gift of encouragement, particularly to pastors. One of Jim’s favorite roles was coordinating the church’s sacking of treats every December and handing them out after the Christmas service.

Jim served the community in a variety of ways. He thoroughly enjoyed his “Barney Fife” role of county volunteer sheriff patrol, and he spent a number of his retirement years working at the Kansas State Fair, teaching Algebra at Hutchinson Community College in the evening, and serving on the board of directors of the Hutchinson Credit Union.

In 2019, Jim and Arlene made the difficult decision to leave the Hutchinson area where they had lived since 1963 and moved to Carthage, MO, where they became a part of the Carthage Nazarene church family.

He is survived by his wife Arlene, two sons, Kale Woods and wife Brenda of Platte City, MO; Stacy Woods and wife Nancy of St. Charles, MO, and a daughter, Kara Ledford and husband Dustin of Carthage, MO. Nine grandchildren, Casey Woods (Melanie), Kori Phillips (Matthew), Becky Herrema (Jordan), Riley Ledford, Kati Louthan (Connor), Kelsey Moller (Garrett), Kaley Schaefer (Simon), Kelli Kenady (Colten), and Reed Ledford. They also have eight great-grandchildren.

Jim is also survived by sisters Yvonna McDonald and Anita Stahlman (Clinton), and his brother Jack Woods (Susie).

He was preceded in death by his parents, an infant son Monte Woods, and a brother Darrell Fred Woods.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to either World Missions in care of Carthage Nazarene Church, or to Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU), www.cru.org.

Two services will be held to celebrate Jim’s life. An interment service will be held at Hutchinson Fairlawn Cemetery on Thursday, March 21, 1:00 PM. A time of visitation and a memorial service will be held at Carthage Church of the Nazarene on Friday, March 22 (10:00 AM Visitation, 11:00 AM Celebration of Life service).