By Sue Moore
Frank Woodhams turned 100 on November 2 with family coming to Vicksburg from the far reaches of the country for a luncheon in his honor. His son, Terry Woodhams, of Blackhawk, Calif. says his father has proven many things throughout his life. He is “the best example of that proven adage that age is only a number. He has good looks, health, wealth and a stellar reputation.”
He was raised on the family farm of 180 acres at the south end of Austin Lake by parents Alfred and Ada Woodhams. His brothers were Russ and Max and a sister, Martha. His uncle was Irv Woodhams, who taught Frank how to fly when he was 21. Soon after, he joined the Army Air Corps and flew military gliders and C-47’s. He accomplished 58 combat missions in World War II and returned home as a 1st lieutenant. Over the past 40 years, Frank has been a private pilot and has flown his Piper Cherokee to countless locations. He continued to fly at 99 years old and soon after decided to sell his plane.
Frank married Geraleen Shirah on June 17, 1944 and they were married for 60 years according to son Terry. His brothers are Larry who lives in South Pasadena, Florida and William Woodhams of Whitehall, Mich. Unfortunately, Geraleen passed away in 2004.
Frank started Prairie Feed & Grain in 1962 and sold it in 1980. The company was located on W Avenue between Schoolcraft and Vicksburg. Frank lives in the home he and Geraleen purchased after he returned from WWII.
There are two granddaughters, a grandson and six great grandchildren.