Frank J. Woods, a former Las Animas resident and business owner, passed away peacefully in his home in Denver on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, at the age of 95.
Frank was born on Feb. 29, 1924, to Louise Henrietta (Schroeder) Woods and Frank Emerson Woods in Emporia, Kansas. He moved with his parents and older brother Donald Emerson Woods and his twin brother Phillip John (Jack) Woods to Las Animas in 1928, where his father opened Woods Fair Store, which was later renamed Ben Franklin Store. Frank J. took over owning and managing this business in 1956 and operated it until the last part of 1977.
Frank attended schools in Las Animas and graduated from Bent County High School in 1942, where he was a gymnast and participated in the orchestra and band, playing the alto saxophone. He was active in the Presbyterian Church in Las Animas and enjoyed singing in the choir and in the men’s quartet.
During World War II Frank served as a pilot in the United States Air Force. He maintained a lifelong love of flying and owned several small planes with his brother Jack over his lifetime. One of his proudest achievements was building and flying his own airplane, an RV-6.
In 1947 Frank married Ida Ruth Lopkoff of Denver, and together they raised three children in Las Animas. He later married Sherry Banks of Las Animas and moved to Denver where his son Jay Ryan was born.
Frank was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, and his beloved sons, Frank Eric Woods and Kenneth LeRoy Woods. He is survived by his daughter Karen (Mike) McDivitt of Colorado Springs, his wife Sherry and son Jay of Denver, and his daughter-in-law Sherri (Ken) Woods of Colorado Springs. He is also survived by four grandchildren: David McDivitt, Lisa (Stan) McDivitt Bush, Rebecca (Mike) Hartman, and Katherine (Eddie) Miller; seven great-grandchildren: Alex Miller, Kiersten Hartman, Shannon Hartman, Nicolette McDivitt, Luke McDivitt, Campbell Bush, Everett Bush; and his nieces and nephews. One of his special nieces, Jacque (Ken) Thaxton, is a current resident of Las Animas.