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Beloved Teacher, Coach From Westchester Dies: 'Man Of Integrity, Intelligence, Boundless Love'

A former educator, athlete, and coach from Long Island who worked in Westchester is being remembered for the deep impact he had on his community over the years. 

Daniel A. Woodard Jr., a beloved former educator who worked in White Plains for 34 years, has died.
Daniel A. Woodard Jr., a beloved former educator who worked in White Plains for 34 years, has died. Photo Credit: Ballard-Durand Funeral & Cremation Services

Longtime White Plains resident Daniel A. Woodard Jr. died on Tuesday, May 16 at the age of 93, according to his obituary. 

Born in the Nassau County village of Rockville Centre in 1930, Woodard displayed talent in academics and athletics from an early age and went on to play baseball and football at Winston-Salem State University, where he formed a close bond with Coach Clarence ‘Big House’ Gaines.

After graduating in 1953, he then worked toward his future career in education and earned a master's degree in educational administration from Teachers College at Columbia University. After this, he continued to earn a doctorate from Columbia, earning him the nickname of "Doc" among his colleagues and friends. 

Woodard's journey then took him to the US Army, serving in the Korean War with the 7th Division Special Services. After serving with honor, he received an Honorable Discharge, his obituary said. 

Upon returning home, Woodard then fully embarked on his career, beginning as an elementary school teacher while coaching football and basketball in Virginia. Then, in 1961, he joined the White Plains Central School district, where he would become an "integral part of the community," his obituary said. 

He began his career in the district by teaching English and Social Studies at a middle school in the city before moving on to White Plains High School, where he made history as an African-American administrator. 

Woodard remained at the district for an impressive 34 years before retiring. Even after this, he remained active and served on several local boards and administrations including The Thomas Slater Center, Educage, Winston Salem State University, and the College Conference of Westchester County. 

He was also proud of serving as the Chairperson of the Board for Loucks Games, a renowned track and field invitational meet held at White Plains High School.  

In addition to his career in education, Woodard was also dedicated to his family. He met his wife, Elaine DeLoache, and fell deeply in love with her, remaining with her for 54 years. They also had a daughter, Nicole Danielle, who was the "pride and joy" of his life in addition to his grandchildren, Zoë and Joshua. 

Woodard is survived by Elaine, Nicole, his son-in-law Dwayne Brown, and his grandchildren. He also is survived by his grand-nephew Stacey Edney and his wife Yvonne, cousin Ceil Carey, and countless friends and family members. 

Above all, Woodard will be remembered as "a man of integrity, intelligence, and boundless love," his obituary said. 

A visitation service is planned for Wednesday, May 24 from noon to 2 p.m. as well as 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Ballad-Durand Funeral and Cremation Services in White Plains at 2 Maple Ave. 

A funeral service will then be held on Thursday, May 25 at 11 a.m. at the St. Paul AME Church in Rockville Centre at 453 Pershing Blvd. 

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