Funeral service for Verna Irene Peek Woods, age 92, formerly of Decatur, will be Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 2:00 p.m. at Shelton Funeral Home Chapel with Mark Posey officiating. The family will receive friends for two hours prior to service at the funeral home. Entombment will be in Roselawn Mausoleum.
Mrs. Woods passed away peacefully with her sons close by on Monday, September 20, 2021, at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, FL from natural causes. She was predeceased by her husbands, Willard Lott and, later, William Woods, and four brothers, sisters-in-law, and other family. "Irene" is survived by her three sons, Gary Willard Lott, Michael Blake Lott, and William Kevin Woods, along with their 11 children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and a few great-great-grandchildren, as well as innumerable family, friends, and her beloved Church of Christ family.
Her grandfather was a Church of Christ preacher and Irene was a lifelong member of the Church of Christ. In past years was a dedicated member of the Austinville Church of Christ in Decatur, AL, and the North Terrace Church of Christ in Lutz, FL. Irene was born very early only weighing 2.5 lbs. at birth. Not officially being named Verna Irene Peek until 10 days after her birth. "Ms. Irene," as many called her, was born in Elkmont, AL, so tiny she fit in a small shoebox. To make ends meet she and her family worked growing, sharecropping, and picking cotton on farms. Growing up was hard work, but her love of God, family, books, and bluegrass made it a treasure.
She was the only girl among her family. Brothers Marvin, Oliver, Lawrence, and Horace were all loving, protective, and large. She was a lady through and through.
Active in the 4H club and sold seeds for Lancaster Commercial Seeds, winning many awards. Attending East Limestone High School for two years, and then transferred to Elkmont High for her last two years. She was class President of her 11th grade class and graduated from Elkmont High School in 1949.
She learned hand embroidery, appliqué techniques, loved crafts and quilting.
Irene married Willard Lee Lott on April 6, 1950. They moved to Detroit, MI, their son Gary Willard Lott was born February 6, 1951, and a second son, Michael Blake "Mike" Lott was born on April 27, 1953.
Willard passed away on September 19, 1953, aged 25. Irene was 24. Moving herself and her two sons back to Alabama sharing a house with her mother, Willie Peek.
Irene met and married William Henry Woods on January 3, 1956. Her third son, William Kevin Woods, was born on December 13, 1956, in Owensboro, KY.
Irene was also a diligent provider and served as a waitress at a dozen well-known restaurants, several for more than 10 years each, many of those places are long gone now. She loved her job and was great at it including her beloved Chick-fil-A. After retiring, she continued to work as a foster grandma in the Alabama schools for many years sharing her love of books and reading to countless children and donating her time and talent to her adored Church of Christ her whole life.
While it's impossible to list all the passions and talent Irene had in all her 92 years on this earth probably her most notable quality was that she never met a stranger, only a friend she hadn't spoken to yet. Her gift of gab was infectious and beyond joyful for everyone who had the pleasure of meeting her. For all of us she leaves behind, remember her dearly when you send a postcard, befriend a stranger, uncover a beautiful thrift item, feel the warmth of God's word, read an old book, hear bluegrass, or learn something new, no matter your age.
Pallbearers will be family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests memorial donations be made to Ronald McDonald House, 1700 4th Avenue, S., Birmingham, AL 35233.
To send flowers to Verna Irene (Peek) Woods' family, please visit our floral store.