Obituary: Otis R. Woodson, 96, of Hannibal

Otis R. Woodson
Posted: Jun. 10, 2019 6:35 pm

Otis R. Woodson, 96, of Hannibal, passed away at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 8, 2019 at Beth Haven Nursing Home in Hannibal.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 13, at the James O'Donnell Funeral Home in Hannibal. Brother Jeff Anderson will officiate. Burial will be at Grand View Burial Park in Hannibal. Full Military honors will be conducted by Emmette J. Shield American Legion Post #55.

Friends and family are invited to Otis’s Life Celebration at a visitation that will be held from 10-11 a.m. Thursday at the James O'Donnell Funeral Home.

Otis was born May 1, 1923, in Hannibal, to Jess and Mary Bishop Woodson.

He was married to Iva Leota Smith on Jan. 24, 1942 in Ilasco, she preceded him in death on April 19, 1994. Otis later married Vanda Holder on Nov. 12, 1994. She survives.

Other survivors include one daughter, Jenny Bruner (Don) of Hull, Ill.; one stepdaughter, Janet Schupback of Burlington, Iowa; and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-children and numerous nieces and nephews.

Otis was preceded in death by his parents; four sisters, Nancy Hoffman, Virginia Payton, Mateline Helfrick and Mary Kennedy; one son, Otis Wayne Woodson; one daughter, Carol Woodson Fogle; two grandsons, Earl Fogle and Jeff Fogle; and one granddaughter, Penny Durant.

Otis served his country proudly in the United States Army during World War II.

After his time in the service, Otis began a long career with the railroad. Otis first worked for the Hannibal Connecting Railroad for over 22 years. He later accepted a position with the Belt Railway Company of Chicago, Ill. from which he retired as Roadmaster after 15 years of service.

In his free time, much of Otis’s activities still involved the railroad. He loved to tell stories from his time on the railroad and recreated a large rail yard and model train layout in his basement that occupied two rooms and that he loved to show off. Vacations often involved destinations of significance in rail history, either museums or other points of interest. An avid gardener, Otis loved to keep his yard in beautiful condition. Other interests included following St. Louis Cardinals Baseball and reading World War II histories.

A devout Christian, Otis studied his Bible daily. He was a member of the Calvary Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon.

Pallbearers will be Dave Dexheimer, John Janes, Wes McGowan, Russell Oaks, Don Colborn and Ron Haye.

Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Harvester’s Sunday School Class at Calvary Baptist Church.

Memorial contributions may be made to Calvary Baptist Church.

Online condolences may be made and video tribute may be viewed at


In Case You Missed It

Millers credited for Hannibal Salvation Army success
HANNIBAL | Majors Andy and Cheryl Miller had no problem deciding where to live after retiring as area commanders of the Hannibal and Quincy Salvation Army for the past seven years.