Richard J. “Dick” Woods, Sr., a great guy, and a great lawyer, died peacefully in the company of his loved ones on September 24, 2023, in Phoenix. Born on October 5, 1939, to Don and Helen Woods in Rochester, New York, Dick moved with his family to Phoenix in 1953. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Don Woods, his sister Lynn Taber, and his son John. He is survived by Sharon his wife of 56 years, daughter Lisa (Spencer) Kamps, sons Jimmy and Doug, and grandchildren Charlie, Annie, Maggie and Samantha Kamps. He is also survived by brothers, Terry (Linda) and Tom (Debbie) Woods.
Dick attended St. Mary’s High School, where he was an outstanding student and competed in basketball and baseball, graduating in 1957. He attended St. Mary’s College in California, where he played baseball for four years and was the Student Body President, graduating in 1961. He next attended the University of Arizona Law School, graduating and being admitted to the State Bar of Arizona in 1964. Tucson is where he met the love of his life, Sharon Fielder. They were married in 1967, the beginning of a 56-year partnership.
Known as “Woody” to most of his friends and co-workers, Dick practiced law his entire career with the same core group of great lawyers in the O’Connor, Cavanagh and The Cavanagh Law firms, retiring a few years back with more than fifty years of service to the Bar. He was a distinguished trial lawyer, rated in the highest categories by Martindale-Hubbell, Southwest Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America.
Woody served his country honorably during the Vietnam War. After law school, he postponed the start of his career to accept a commission as a Reserve of the Air Force second lieutenant, and went to James Connelly AFB, Texas for Undergraduate Navigator Training. Earning his wings in 1965, Woody served as a line navigator in the 197th Military Airlift Squadron, Air National Guard of Arizona, flying numerous transport missions in and out of Vietnam in the late 1960’s He amassed over 2,000 flying hours and was awarded the Vietnam Service Medal before being honorably discharged as a Captain in 1971.
Dick was loving husband, father, and grandfather. He had many friends but no enemies, and he was simply the perfect brother. A dedicated Catholic Christian, he served as a lector at St. Francis Xavier in Phoenix, where he was a parishioner for 67 years. He was also an active member of the Serra Club of Phoenix for four decades, supporting vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
Visitation will be held from 6PM – 8PM with rosary to be recited at 7PM on Thursday, October 5, 2023 at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Road in Phoenix. Mass will be celebrated on Friday, October 6, 2023 at 2PM at Brophy Chapel, 4701 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix. Burial to follow at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Serra Club of Phoenix at: