Council honors retired town clerk

By NICOLE SMITH, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 5/17/17

OAKMAN — Recently retired Oakman town clerk DeAnna Woods was honored at Monday night’s town council meeting for her 35 years of service to the community.

Woods retired from her position as town clerk for Oakman earlier …

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Council honors retired town clerk

Posted

OAKMAN — Recently retired Oakman town clerk DeAnna Woods was honored at Monday night’s town council meeting for her 35 years of service to the community.

Woods retired from her position as town clerk for Oakman earlier this year due to health reasons, and former mayors, community members and friends joined at the Oakman Community Center Monday to share their stories about Woods and the impact she had over three decades. Woods was unable to attend the meeting, but her daughter, Debra Windham, listened as people shared stories of working with her mother.

Oakman Church of God Pastor and former Mayor Kenneth Wiggins spoke highly of Woods and her dedication to the town.

“It was a pleasure of mine to be able to work with Ms. DeAnna. I’ve always known her since I was back here in ‘72. I visited with DeAnna last week and talked with her for a while,” Wiggins said. “I always enjoyed being with DeAnna. She did a lot of good things for this town and for each mayor, and she sure helped me a lot when I was serving here.”

Former Mayor Dennis Welch said he has known Woods for years.

“I grew up with DeAnna. ... My dad hired DeAnna,” Welch said tearfully. “She took so much for so many years, and people don’t realize what she did and what she continued to do.”

Oakman senior center manager Evelyn Garrett said she has known Woods for six years.

“If anyone loves Oakman, DeAnna loves Oakman,” Garrett said.

“She’s basically like my Oakman mom,” Oakman Police Chief McKinsley Marbury said. “It’s an honor to stand here and be part of this ceremony to recognize her. ... I ask that we all continue to pray for her and for her family.”

Gail Busby with the Alabama Association of Municipal Clerks and Administrators said she and Woods both served District 11 and are close friends.

“She was a wonderful friend to me, and I just want to thank you all for honoring her,” she said.

Busby presented a resolution to honor Woods that read, in part, “During these years, she has made a significant difference with her contributions to her town and to the many, many lives that she has touched. ... [It] has established her as a truly dedicated public servant. She was courteous and considerate of the welfare of all, performed the duties for office faithfully and efficiently and served as a wealth of information for employees, local government officials, citizens and fellow clerks.”

Oakman Town Council member Marion Constant also shared a few words to honor the former clerk, who she worked with for eight years.

“I just had a wonderful time with her. She was special. ... Keep her uplifted in your prayers,” Constant said.

Oakman Mayor Cory Franks presented a plaque to Woods’ daughter from himself and the former mayors of Oakman to honor Woods’ service, and the Oakman Fire Department purchased a large flower arrangement to be delivered to Woods.

“Tonight I’m just glad that we were able to honor her and recognize all the things that she has done for the town of Oakman,” Franks said. “As long as I hold this position, I’m going to continue to do the things that are best for this community, as Ms. DeAnna would do.”

Wiggins concluded the honorary ceremony with a moment of prayer.

“We thank you, Lord, that she’s lived and moved to a time of retirement. Lord, we know that she’s having a little complication from sickness, but we know that you’re a mighty God and that you’re able to touch her and raise her up. ... We love her, we love this town and we love its people,” he said.

Wiggins also prayed for Oakman’s new town clerk, Lisa Lockhart.