HONORING THE 90TH BIRTHDAY OF PAUL WOODS
(Extensions of Remarks - February 14, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E157-E158]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                HONORING THE 90TH BIRTHDAY OF PAUL WOODS

                                 ______
                                 

                           HON. BRIAN HIGGINS

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, February 14, 2013

  Mr. HIGGINS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the extraordinary 
life and service of Paul Woods as he prepares to celebrate his 90th 
birthday on February 20th, 2013.
   Paul Woods was born in Basemore, Alabama, to Nora Fiels Woods and 
Anderson Sherman Woods. From an early age, the foundation of Paul's 
life was his family. Paul's family included six brothers and sisters in 
addition to seven half-brothers and sisters through his father. Sadly, 
Anderson Woods passed away when Paul was seven years old. Surviving 
relatives split up the seven children in order to care for them, 
leaving Paul to be raised by his wealthy Uncle Henry.
   In 1941, at age 17, Paul enlisted in the United States Army. He was 
immediately deployed to the Philippines to fight in World War II. 
Despite the Army's imposed racial segregation, Paul cared for his 
fellow soldiers like family, believing ``a bullet knows no race, rank, 
or status. We were all brothers on the battlefield.''
   Paul took great pride in his service, and often told his children of 
landing on the Philippine shoreline in LST990 boats. Paul earned three 
Bronze Stars in the Philippines for his actions in combat. After his 
tour of duty, Paul served in the Military Occupation Specialties, 
delivering ammunition across the continent of Australia. In 1945 he was 
granted an honorable discharge.
   After returning home to Birmingham, Alabama, Paul met Mary T. Lucas, 
the love of his life. In 1953, the couple moved to Buffalo, and would 
reside in Western New York for the rest of their 59 year marriage. Paul 
began a 31 year career at Bethlehem Steel in July 1954, often working 
16 hour days and nine shifts a week to support his family. In 1966, the 
Woods family moved to Angola, New York, but Paul continued to commute 
to Bethlehem Steel until the plant closed.
   Paul and Mary's family expanded to fourteen children over the course 
of their 59 year marriage. A true patriarch, Paul's greatest joy came 
from building his beautiful, thriving family. Paul believed in 
education as a tool to foster love and acceptance, and raised his 
children to value the same. All fourteen children attended college, and 
five followed their father's footsteps in the armed forces. As Paul's 
children had children of their own, Paul helped

[[Page E158]]

raise his nineteen grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren, often 
commuting from Angola to Buffalo to pay them a visit.
   In addition to their biological family, Paul and Mary opened their 
door and hearts to countless foster children. As licensed foster care 
providers for Randolph Child and Adolescent Services, Paul and Mary 
were honored as ``Foster Parents of the Year'' in 1997.
   Mr. Speaker, I thank you for allowing me a few moments to recognize 
Paul Woods. I am inspired by his boundless capacity for love and 
devotion to his family, and I am proud to celebrate his life here 
today. I am proud to celebrate his 90th birthday here today, and I wish 
him good fortune for many years to come.

                          ____________________