Thomas Woodard

Published 10:08 pm Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Dr. Thomas Woodard, orthodontist (lover of God, family, people, dogs and fishing), sadly, has died. He was a funny, smiling, joyful man who forgave all offenses and never held a grudge. His children considered him the greatest father in the world, and his wife saw herself as an especially blessed, cared-for wife. He was a supportive, loyal, dedicated friend. Each person Tom met thought he liked them best. Nieces and nephews all adored “Uncle Doc.” In his office, Dr. Woodard teased his patients in braces and made them laugh.

Growing up as the oldest of six boys, he was an example of leadership and responsibility. Throughout the years, his brothers continued to call him for guidance and advice. He also oversaw the care of his wife’s younger sister, Vicki, who lives in a group home, treating her with friendship and kindness. Tom was a lover of the outdoors — a man who found enjoyment fishing in the lakes, rivers and oceans (of the world or in the Tidewater area) with close friends.

He is survived by his wife, Cheryl; children, Leslie Jill Woodard, Dr. Monica Ashley Woodard and Nicholas Thomas Woodard. He also claimed as a daughter Kimberly Wrim, and had a loving goddaughter. He had five siblings, John Spruill, Joseph Spruill (deceased), Matthew Spruill, Dr. Linwood Spruiell and Dr. Michael Spruiell. He is also survived by the wives of each brother and two other sisters-in-law. He had many beloved nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, cousins, and many friends who saw him as a brother. He respected and loved all who were employed in his orthodontic practices.

Email newsletter signup

Though humble, he was a man of many accomplishments. Graduating from high school at age 16, he entered the U.S. Army in 1967 with a degree in math from Norfolk State University.

Tom served in the Special Forces during the Vietnam War era and obtained a master’s degree in physics from Old Dominion University; he then worked as a NASA physicist at Langley Air Force Base. Later, rejoining the military, he received his training in dentistry and orthodontics, retiring as a colonel in 1999. After serving more than 20 years in the Army, he went into private practice, opening a total of four Woodard Orthodontics offices in both Virginia and North Carolina. He was joined by his daughter, Dr. Monica Woodard, in 2005, who will continue to run the practices.

We will miss this beautiful man among men.

The viewing will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, at Graves Funeral Home in Norfolk.

The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, at Mount Lebanon Baptist Church, 884 Bells Mill Road, Chesapeake, VA 23322.