BEACON FALLS — James William Woodward Jr. passed gently away in his sleep on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, surrounded by his caring and ever-devoted family. He was 94 years of age when he departed this world from his ancestral home, nestled on top of the historic Bronsontown section of Beacon Falls.
Mr. Woodward was born in Waterbury Hospital on April 23, 1928, to Mrs. Mildred E. Bronson and Mr. James William Woodward Sr. Immediately after the Second World War, he joined the U.S. Army and served in the Pacific, as part of the occupation of Japan. There he proudly served his country out of Gen. MacArthur’s headquarters, and eventually matriculated to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Mr. Woodward enjoyed a long and successful career in the U.S. military, and later served in the subsequent Vietnam and Korean wars.
By the time of his retirement, Mr. Woodward had earned several recognitions, including two Distinguished Flying Cross awards, still the highest honors one could achieve in the U.S. Air Force. While in the service, he received his masters’s degree in electrical engineering and subsequently pursued a law degree from the University of Baltimore.
Shortly thereafter he became a partner at a firm in Alexandria, Va.—Hinz, McBride, Saliba & Woodward. While there, he met and fell in love with his current spouse, Vera Woodward, eventually marrying her after a five-year courtship.
Upon his father’s death, the couple moved back to Beacon Falls, where he dedicated himself to genealogical research, real estate development, and the care of his family estate. He was a longtime active member of the Lions Club, and the Beacon Falls Congregational Church, and was active in community activities and politics.
From his mother’s side, Mr. Woodward prided himself a direct descendant of John Bronson, one of the founding fathers of Hartford, aand later Farmington. He and his family partook in the original settling of Connecticut, as part of Thomas Hooker’s intimate entourage.
Other prominent forefathers of his include Isaac Bronson, one of the original 30 subscribers of Waterbury; Isaac Allerton, a notable Mayflower passenger; and another Isaac Bronson, a former surgeon in the Continental Army and co-founder of the Bank of New York, today known as BNY Mellon.
He was preceded in death by his beloved brother, Clifford Bronson Woodward; as well as three sons, Michael Henry Woodward, Paul Clifford Woodward, and John Derek Woodward Sr.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Vera; his two children, James William Woodward III and Sherry Ligarde; and seven grandchildren, Ashley Brittany and John Derek Woodward Jr., Joseph and Kristen Hughes, and Kelly, Mellissa and Kerry McConchie. Moreover, he’s additionally survived by his loving stepson and stepgranddaughter, Joseph Glenn and Leah E. Gray.
A memorial service was to be on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, at 2 p.m. at the Alderson-Ford Funeral home of Naugatuck, 201 Meadow St. A period of visitation was to be from 1 p.m. until the start of the service. Burial was to be at the convenience of the family in Pines Bridge Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Beacon Falls Congregational Church Endowment Fund, 69 Wolfe Ave., Beacon Falls, CT 06403.
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