Renthea Woodworth Dodson, age 92 of Virginia Beach, Virginia, passed away peacefully surrounded by friends, Tuesday, November 9th, 2021, after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was born on April 15, 1929, in the once bustling cotton mill town of Erwin, North Carolina, to Archibald and Eunice Woodworth. Her three brothers, Archibald, Jack, and Paul Woodworth, preceded her in death. Ren is survived by her son, William (“Tad”) and his wife Heather Dodson of Urbanna, Virginia, her son Russ Dodson of Irving, Texas, and grandchildren Tara Dodson Olsson, Carter Dodson, Matthew Dodson, and Nathan Dodson.
Ren was a kind and gentle soul. She always had a beautiful smile and cheerful disposition, and the unwavering patience of Job. She lived a long, happy life with many accomplishments. Most notable was earning a Master’s degree in counseling at Bowie Creek State College. She worked for many years in various psychiatric facilities and retired as the Director of Admissions at Rockford Center, an HCA facility. Her tireless and thoughtful efforts of helping patients earned her the Dr. Frist Humanitarian Award in 1991. Everyone who worked with Ren applauded her for steadfast dedication, honesty, and a job well done.
Beyond the workplace, Ren was actively involved in many community and church functions including many years in the church choir. Her talents included music, artistry, gardening, and cooking, all of which have had a lasting influence on her children. As a child born during the Great Depression in 1929, she lived a thoughtfully frugal life, and she a keen eye for great finds and good deals.
Ren was also very active in the community of Eagle Pointe, in Chesapeake, Virginia, for several years, where she truly enjoyed her friends and neighbors and where she swam regularly with a fine group of women who fondly called themselves “The Mermaids.” She enjoyed wine tastings and community parties and weekly trips with friends to explore antique shops and fun places to eat and laugh together. She also loved singing with her sons and her daughter-in-law, and they often enjoyed sessions where Russ played the piano and Heather played the guitar. The family is exceptionally grateful that they were able to spend a wonderful musical time with her over the weekend of Ren’s 92nd birthday earlier this year, and the videos and pictures of those moments will be forever cherished!
The family feels exceptionally grateful that Ren was very well cared for over the past 2.5 years at Trinity Haven in Virginia Beach, an exceptional, private adult care home. Additionally, we are grateful to Dr. Hamid Okhravi and the entire staff at the Glennan Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology at Eastern Virginia Medical School; they were very helpful in guiding the family through Ren’s Alzheimer’s journey.
A celebration of her life will be held in the near future (TBD). In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer for donations to be sent to the following organizations, in support of the fight against Alzheimer’s:
(Designation: Glennan Center for Geriatrics)