Woodrow “Freddie” Frederick Whitford, 86, passed away May 7, 2020. He was preceded in death by his devoted wife of 64 years, Frankie Benoit Whitford, and his parents Woodrow and Romayne Voigt Whitford. Freddie was born in Provencal and lived in Natchitoches, Lake Arthur, Jennings and Baton Rouge.
He is survived by his daughter, Charlene Young and husband James “Jay”; his son, Anthony “Tony” Whitford and wife Elizabeth “Lisa”; four grandchildren, Ashley Myrex and husband Nathan, Alyse Colvard and husband Joshua, Scott Whitford, Elizabeth Johnson and husband Michael; great-grandchildren, Evelyn Johnson and Grafton Myrex; brother, Michael Whitford; sister, Marsha Whitford; and by many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Freddie was a lifelong advocate for education in the state of Louisiana and worked for over 50 years in various roles as an educator. While living in Jeff Davis Parish, he worked as a teacher, became a principal and supervisor, and ultimately was appointed Superintendent. He received many awards during his leadership roles in many organizations, including the Louisiana Association of School Executives, serving as their President. He volunteered as the Master of Ceremonies for many civic organizations. He continued his career in Baton Rouge as the Executive Director of the Louisiana School Board Association and also served in a lobbying position during the legislature to promote favorable education legislation. He was a 32nd degree Mason, a member of the Jennings Elks Lodge and a veteran of the United States Navy. He held an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, a Masters and Masters plus 30 degree and an Education Specialist Degree from McNeese State University. He was a member of the Jennings Methodist Church, and the First Methodist Church of Baton Rouge.
His reputation was one of honor, loyalty, hard work, dedication, diplomacy, quick wit and always exemplified a positive attitude and wanted it to be remembered that “100 years from now, the world was a better place because I was important in the life of a child.” He was a wonderful role model for many and a true patriarch of his family, a role he cherished and performed tirelessly. He loved the quote, that he had a “long ride, but a good ride.”
The family extends their appreciation to the caregivers and dear friends that shared their support and love over the years with Freddie. Interment and a private memorial will be graveside in Provencal at a later date and the family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Methodist Children’s Home.