October 11, 1924 - November 17, 2020
Johanna Woodard went home to Heaven on Tuesday, November 17 in Cincinnati, Ohio. She died of complications from COVID-19. She was 96 years old.
Born October 11, 1924 in Madison, New Jersey to Caesar and Lucy Romano, Johanna's first language was Italian. She graduated from Madison High School and Drake Secretarial School in 1942.
Johanna grew up in a musical home. She began playing French horn in high school, and played in an All-State Ensemble directed by Leopold Stokowski. However, her greatest musical passion was singing. Blessed with a beautiful lyric soprano voice, she sang for church services, bar mitzvahs, and even union meetings. While singing for a friend's wedding, she met her future husband, Leon "Woody" Woodard. Johanna and Woody were married in 1948. Their mutual devotion lasted another 58 years.
Johanna followed Woody's career to Baltimore, Maryland, where she was a secretary to a General at the U.S. Army Chemical Center in Edgewood. She sang with the Baltimore Civic Opera, and for various churches, retiring following the arrival of her children. After becoming a mother, she relentlessly and passionately advocated on their behalf. She volunteered in many capacities, especially encouraging educational rights for deaf children. In 1966 they moved to Silver Spring, Maryland. She was a caring wife and mother, faithful caregiver to Woody, and dear neighbor to many.
Following Woody's death in 2007, Johanna moved to Cincinnati. With her outgoing personality, she made new friends easily. She was an active member of Faith Presbyterian Church for several years, singing in the choir and becoming a vital part of the church community. Eventually, dementia brought her to SEM Haven in Milford for long-term care. Her years at SEM were among the happiest of her life, as she adored the staff and residents, and "never had to cook!" She attended every activity, especially Chapel services and Bible Study. Every holiday, she sang "God Bless America" for their assemblies. She once sang it to open a Milford City Council meeting.
Johanna was preceded in death by her parents, sisters Mary Alvey, Aida Jones, Erma Romano, and a stillborn sister, and brother Caesar Romano. She is survived by her children, Nadine Woodard Huffman (Mark) of Cincinnati, Jeffrey Woodard (Maureen) of Laurel, Maryland, Donald Woodard, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. She's remembered lovingly by nieces and nephews, and friends of all ages, from coast to coast.
No services will be held at this time. Inurnment will be at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, with Woody, at a future date.
Johanna's love of music, people, and the Lord Jesus defined her life. Her family requests that memorial donations be made to the SEM Haven Piano Fund, towards the purchase of a new piano. If you would like to contribute, please donate at www.semhaven.org, or send a check to SEM Haven, 225 Cleveland Avenue, Milford, OH 45150, designated to the Piano Fund.
Please help us collect memories, and her unforgettable sayings, by leaving a message of condolence.
Her family thanks the staff of SEM Haven for all their tender love and care. She loved you so much.
"This is my story, this is my song - Praising my Savior, all the day long!"