Charleston, W.Va. — Representatives for the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance are deeply saddened by the death of WWII veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, Hershel “Woody” Williams, who passed away today surrounded by family and loved ones.
Woody was a true hero, and a proud West Virginian, who continued to serve veterans and their families for many years past following his service in the U.S. Marines.
“Woody was a good friend. He fought tirelessly for veterans here in West Virginia and throughout the nation,” WVDVA Cabinet Secretary Edward Diaz said. “He will be sorely missed.”
He served as a Veterans Service Representative for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for 33 years following his discharge from active duty in 1946. He retired as a Division Chief, supervising 44 Veterans Service Officers.
Following his retirement from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, he began working for the West Virginia Division of Veterans Affairs, the agency prior to the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance. He was the first director of the state Veterans Home located in Barboursville. He was instrumental in the establishment of that facility which services homeless veterans. He retired five years later in 1985.
He also founded the nonprofit organization, the Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, which served to build monuments for Gold Star families all over the country and provide scholarships to eligible Gold Star children.
“We know his legacy will continue to live on throughout our state and our nation,” Diaz added. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the many other lives he touched during this difficult time.”