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James William 'Jimmy' Woodson Jr.


James William "Jimmy" Woodson, Jr., 71, passed from this life on to his heavenly reward on Tuesday morning, February 23rd under the loving care and comfort of his family. This marked the end of his courageous 6 year battle with ALS. Jimmy made the decision on the day he was diagnosed to not give in to depression, self-pity, or bitterness but rather continue to experience life to the fullest and to trust God to guide his future. Anyone who knows Jimmy can attest to the fact that he did exactly that. When life forced him to live what he professed to believe he accomplished it.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, February 28, 2021, at First Assembly of God in Shelbyville. Reverends Glenn Forsee and Mark Thrasher will officiate, with burial to follow at Willow Mount Cemetery. The family will receive visitors from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday, at the church and also one hour prior to service time on Sunday.

Jimmy was a native of Bedford County and a long-time member of First Assembly of God Church. He was the only child of James William Woodson, Sr. and Pauline Sanders Woodson. His father preceded him in death in 1995 and his mother in 2019. Jimmy is survived by his devoted family; wife, Charlene; daughter, Melody Joy Redd; son-in-law, James Eddie "Jamie" Redd, II; granddaughters, Katie Joy Daugherty and Hannah Redd, and caregiver Angie Warren.

Jimmy has devoted his entire working career to positions of leadership in education or county government, including several years that included both positions. He spent the first 25 years as an educator, first serving as a teacher and assistant principal at Harris Middle School from 1972 to 1985. From 1986 to 1998 he served as principal of East Side Elementary School. Jimmy enjoyed interaction with his students and inspired them to make learning enjoyable. He always performed for the students' Christmas programs and once even rode his unicycle.

During his years working for the school system Jimmy served for one year as president of Bedford County Education Association. He also served as County Commissioner of the 4th district from 1984 through 1990. After his tenure as County Commissioner he was appointed to the local ambulance board where he served until 1998. Jimmy was a former member of the Shelbyville Kiwanis Club and president of the club in 1984. He spent one year on the Bedford County Utility District Board.

In 1998 Jimmy was elected to the position of Bedford County Executive. Bedford County experienced progress and received several awards during his tenure as County Executive/County Mayor. He worked to promote unity between the city and county. He was especially dedicated to the human resources agencies. He served for three years as president of the Tennessee Association of Human Resource Agencies and was chairman of our South Central District. When Jimmy was re-elected in 2002 the name of his office was changed to County Mayor. He was the only person to be both Bedford County Executive and Bedford County Mayor. In 2006 Jimmy did not run for re-election but decided to run for County Commissioner from the 4th district again. He served in that position for twelve years.

A few months after Jimmy's retirement from his full-time position as County Mayor he was ready for a new challenge. He went back to work for the school system, this time as a school bus driver. It was a job that he really loved. He continued in that position until the diagnosis of ALS forced him to retire at the end of the 2015 school year.

Jimmy made every effort to rise above his disability. He had to give up riding the motorcycles that he loved in the spring of 2016. He had always enjoyed going to baseball games and baseball soon became a very important part of his life. In 2019 he attended over 60 baseball games in Tennessee and surrounding states. He enjoyed taking several vacations each year and spending quality time with his family and friends. He served as a Bedford County Planning Commission member until his death. Jimmy was also a loyal supporter of the Bedford County Fair. The Fair Board dedicated the 2018 Fair Catalog to him.

Jimmy was an inspiration to many people during his final years. He continued to keep a positive attitude, find humor wherever he could and to serve for as long as he was able to do so. He will be greatly missed by his friends and family.

Doak-Howell Funeral Home is serving the family.