John B. Woods III

April 4, 2012  

John B. Woods III, 76, died Monday, April 2, at Lewis County General Hospital surrounded by family. 

He was born in New York City on March 26, 1936, in New York City, the son of the John and Edelmira Lopez Woods. At 16 years of age he graduated from Boy's High in Brooklyn, NY, entering Brooklyn College. He earned a B.S. from Columbia University, an M.A. from New York University, attended the Maxwell Institute at Syracuse University, and completed many and various professional courses.

A self-starter, Mr. Woods taught himself to ride horses; trained, entered and finished the U.S. Marine Corps Marathon; was an amateur actor and produced community plays. He played tennis, golf and some polo. He spoke fluent French and Spanish.

Mr. Woods joined the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in 1967. He served 25 years in Vietnam, Laos, Cameroon, Washington, D.C., Chad and Fiji. He was the USAID Mission Director in Chad and Regional Director in the South Pacific. Commissioned twice by President Ronald Reagan, he also received the Vietnam Service Medal and several USAID mission awards, and was honored with the Republique Nationale du Tchad Ordre Nationale. Following his retirement as a Senior Foreign Service Officer, Mr. Woods spent time as a private consultant in West Africa.

He retired to his home on Tug Hill in 1992, where he began a small farm. His favorite animals were his horse, Hercules, St. Bernard dog, Bailiff, and cat, Jupiter.
Mr. Woods believed in his community. He was the Harrisburg Town Justice for 18 years, and appointed Town Justice for Montague and Pinckney from 2008 until 2011. In November 2011, the Honorable John B. Woods was elected Town Justice of HMP (Harrisburg, Montague and Pinckney) Town Court - the first combined town court in New York State. He was proud to have been a judge.

He was a member of the New York State Magistrates Association, the Lewis County Magistrates and Court Clerks Association, and the Lewis County General Hospital Board of Directors, serving as its president from 2000 to 2002 and again from 2007 to 2008. He was most recently Chair of the Lewis County General Hospital Foundation. Mr. Woods was an elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Lowville, serving on several committees over the years. He was the moderator for a series of foreign affairs discussions for the Lewis County Historical Society. He was a member of the Foreign Service Association and had been a member of Rotary International in Chad and Fiji.

Married to Elizabeth Ann (Betty) VanDuyn on April 21, 1962 at Riverside Church in New York City, he leaves behind his wife of 50 years and three children, Victoria Woods Csicsmann of Chantilly, VA, John R. of Wahiawa, HI and Anne Maschino, of Fairfax, VA and their spouses, Carlos, Leslie and Karl; and his six grandchildren, John R., II, and Melanie Woods; Natasha and Nicholas Csicsmann; and Hannah and Ryan Maschino. Also surviving are his sister, Irene Catanzaro of Brooklyn, NY, nephew Mitchell Catanzaro of Leesburg, VA, and niece, Linda Catanzaro of Brooklyn, NY, and many other relatives and friends.

A funeral service will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 10, at the First Presbyterian Church with Rev. Herb Swanson, Pastor officiating. Private Burial will be in Old Glendale Cemetery. Friends may call 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 9, at Sundquist Funeral Home.

Mr. Woods will be remembered for his love and pride of his family, community and country. Memorials in John B. Woods's name may be made to: Lewis County Hospital Foundation, 7785 N. State Street, Lowville, NY 13367; Doctors Without Borders USA, P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5030, http://www. ; or American Lung Association in New York, Albany, 155 Washington Ave. Suite 210, Albany, NY 12210,

Condolences may be made on the online guest book at

Information provided by Sundquist Funeral Home of Lowville and Newzjunky, Watertown, N.Y.