Allegan County News & Union Enterprise

Obituary: Dorla Jean Woodward

Dorla Jean Woodward – AGE 91 – Otsego, MI Watson Township

On December 24, 2021, at the home of her beloved daughter, Glenda, Dorla Jean Woodward passed

peacefully from this world. On January 24, 1930, the world welcomed Dorla Jean Larson to life. She was

born to Emil and Lilly (Nelson) Larson, little sister to Dale, in Mancelona, MI. Unfortunately, Lilly, Dorla’s

mom, passed away when Dorla was a toddler. Father Emil had sisters and sisters-in-law in Kansas and

Nebraska who Dorla lived with for a period of time in her youth. Young Dorla learned farm life and how

to take care of family. She was also lucky enough to spend time in her beloved Mancelona. Dorla

enjoyed being a kid, sledding, skating, and following her brother everywhere. When she was a teenager,

the family moved to Otsego, MI. Jean, as she would be called, made a life in Otsego but would always

call Mancelona home. In Otsego, Dorla would meet and start a family with Rex D. Woodward

(deceased). Rex brought to the family three children from a previous marriage, Sue (Ken) Keene, Patti

(Tom) Rolfe and Mike (Nancy) Wood-ward. Rex would adopt Jean’s daughter, Toni. The Woodward clan

would later welcome Robin R. Woodward and the baby, Glenda (Dick) Guerrant. Jean was a true woman

of the greatest generation. She could do anything she set her mind to do. The family would foster babies

awaiting adoption. Jean went to beauty school and worked in downtown Kalamazoo as a hairdresser for

years. She would also work as a cook at the local hospital. Rex and Jean would eventually move to the

farm in Watson Township. Jean was an excellent cook, seamstress, bowler, horseshoe enthusiast and

horse- woman. She especially loved gardening. Jean was a self-taught master gardener who could grow

anything anywhere! Flowers were her passion. As the children grew, the grandchildren would arrive.

Jean’s other passion was being a grandma. There were always children at the farm. Jean always had

something up her sleeve for the grandkids to do from tomato fights to Easter egg hunts. She and Rex

became a part of the Martins Lions Club, mowing local cemetery grounds, working the weekly bingo

night and hosting many, many pool parties. Jean made the farm a magical place for everyone. She

naturally knew how to make everyone feel loved, accepted, and special. She was the epitome of a pillar

of a family: loving, strong, wise, and fun. The grandchildren would play-fully bicker about who was her

favorite. She would always smile and say they all were. As time went by, the great-grandchildren started

to arrive. At the end of the last century, Rex would be called home. The new millennium would bring

about a new love, Jack Witt. They would spend 21 years together building memories and laughter. Jean

would come to love and be loved by Jack’s children. She would become grandma and & Papa Jean to

Jack’s grandchildren. Jean and Jack had lovely twilight years together. They enjoyed eating breakfast

out, going on day trips or tinkering at home – Jack in the garage and Jane in her beautiful, peaceful

flower gardens. Jean Woodward will forever be missed by her loving family. She was mom and grandma

to all. She taught all how to love and respect all creatures, great and small. She loved all her children

whether biological or bonus. Jean was one of a kind. She leaves a legacy of love, kindness, wisdom, and

lots and lots of grandchildren and flowers. Preceding her in death is Rex (husband), Toni (daughter),

Robin (son), Sue (daughter), Mike (son), Dale Larson (brother) and Ron Larson (nephew). Mourning her

passing are her chil-dren: Patti (Tom) Rolfe, Nancy Holmes, and Glenda (Dick) Guerrant. Bonus children:

Leann Ciecilski, Damon (Lynn) Witt, Alex (Liz) Witt, Marcella (Cliff) Jenkins. Adoring grandchildren:

Wendy (Mike) Chamberlin, John (Jeannie) Handelsman, Anne (Tom) Alyward, Aimee (Dean) Kolstead,

John Thomasma, Cheryl (Jeff) Mocslein, Karen (Al) Bowling, Kimmy Keene, Tami (Bob) Curry, Jay

Woodward, Jeff Holmes, Traci (Rick) Walker, Laura Guerrant, Lisa Alli, Pete (Suzanne) Augusine, John

(Lisa) Augustine, Nikki Woodward, Michele Woodward, Emily Guer-rant, Rich (Sara) Guerrant, Mike

(Rinda) Guerrant, Lori Larson and Roger Larson. Bonus grandchildren: Aimee (Brad) Harrington, Dillon

Witt, Alicia (Mark) Lee, Kendra (Justin) Gregory, Zena Enos, Trinity Enos, Aven Witt and Addison Witt.

Great-grandchildren a-plenty! Great-great-grandchildren the number is growing daily! Contributions

may be made to Wings of Hope Hospice. Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, January 23, 2022, at

Emerald Park, 318 Cross Oaks Dr., Plainwell, MI from 2-5pm

Leave a Reply