William Arnett "Woody" Reynolds, Jr., age 74, was born on June 20, 1944 in Pensacola, Florida to the union of William A. Reynolds, Sr. and Verna E. Reynolds. Verna later married Eugene Chilton, Sr. and they moved their family to Springfield. He departed this life on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at Southbrook Care Center in Springfield, Ohio after a brief illness.
Woody was educated in the Springfield City School system. In 1961, he entered the United States Navy at Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Florida. He served his country and was honorably discharged in 1967. Woody's family lived in Springfield for a few years before moving to Waterbury, Connecticut, where he was employed as an aircraft mechanic for several years at Pratt and Whitney Manufacturing. He was a member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Springfield.
"The Good Wood," as he was affectionately called by family and close friends, was the ultimate jazz enthusiast and enjoyed the improvisational sounds of Miles Davis, John Coltrane and pianist Thelonious Monk. He also enjoyed his own singing voice by entertaining anyone who would listen.
In truth, Woody had illnesses, but he also had gifts—charm, wit and humor. He walked all around the city and never met a stranger.
Woody leaves a large family to carry on his memory including his sons: Johnny Johnson; Victor, Michael and Christopher (Laurie) Reynolds all of Waterbury, Connecticut; his daughters, Verna Ortiz and Nina Reynolds of Pensacola, Florida; Dawn (Donald) Wright of Torrington, Connecticut; and the mother of his children, Madeline Burnette of North Carolina; 21 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Also left to cherish his memory are his brothers: Elisha Reynolds, Eugene (Patricia) Chilton, Jr., Caesar (Pamela) Chilton of Springfield, Ohio; Michael (Janice) Chilton of Houston, Texas; George (Josie) Staples, Jr. of Brooklyn, New York; his sisters, Gloria (Brent) Daniels and Jean Chilton of Springfield, Ohio; and a host of loving nieces, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; stepmother, Marcelene Chilton; his daughter, Shirley (Shelley) Reynolds of Waterbury, Connecticut; and eldest sister, Gail L. Reynolds.
Visitation will be held at 12:00 p.m. until the time of service on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 1171 South Yellow Springs Street, Springfield, Ohio 45506 with funeral service beginning at 1:00 p.m. Interment will take place Monday, May 20, 2019 at 1:45 p.m. in Dayton National Cemetery with Military Honors. Arrangements entrusted to the care of the Jerry W. Kinley Funeral Home.