Woodbury County

Merle Arthur Woods




Our Neighbors in the Service

Sloan, Iowa—Merle A. Woods son of Mr. and Mrs. FA. Woods here, has completed radio training at Northwestern university and has been transferred to San Diego, Cal. Woods, a seaman third class, spent a three-day leave here.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, July 5, 1943



Merle Arthur Woods was born on February 13, 1922 to Cecelia Olson and Flaviel A. Woods in Sloan, Iowa.  Merle was the youngest of eight Woods children who received 13 years of schooling in the Sloan Consolidated School.  He was quite active in sports, especially basketball.

After graduating in 1940, Merle helped his father on the family farm until he joined the Navy on December 14, 1942.  He received his training as a Radioman Second Class in the U. S. Naval Training School, Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and in Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, California.

Merle spent many months overseas during World War II, traveling to:  Kiska, Adak and Kodiak, Alaska; Pearl Harbor; Tarawa, Gilbert Islands; Marshal Islands; Guadalcanal; Mariana Islands; and Philippines.  At the end of the war, his ship went into Sasebo, Japan where many American prisoners were picked up to be brought back to San Francisco.

Merle received the Asiatic Pacific Campaign (1941-1945) medal and the World War II, the American Campaign, Liberty Medal for the Liberation of the Philippines and the Occupation Service U.S. Navy for service.

After receiving an honorable discharge in Minneapolis, Minnesota on January 27, 1946, he returned to Sloan to help on the family farm for a short time.

Merle and Ruth Solleder were married on June 1, 1947, in the First Central Congregational Church in Omaha, Nebraska.  They spent most of their 65 years of marriage in Sloan, except for two years when they resided in Montebello and Long Beach, California and one year in Urbandale, Iowa.
Mr. Woods built, owned and operated a Motel, Mobile Home Park, Laundromat, a Restaurant and Lounge, all in Sloan, until his retirement.

He passed away at 90 years of age on October 23, 2012.  He is survived by his wife, Ruth.

Bio submitted by Ruth Woods