Arthena Merdise Woods, of Greeleyville, died October 12, 2020. A descendant of the Murray and Woods families, Arthena was born on May 15, 1977, in Kingstree, South Carolina to Florence Williams-Woods of Greeleyville, South Carolina, and the late Thomas Woods Jr. As the youngest of four children, she exhibited an exuberance and love for life that we all cherished. At an early age, Arthena accepted Christ as her personal Savior and became a member of Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Salters, South Carolina. She was born with a wonderful voice and acquired a love for all types of music. She used her voice as a member of the Bethlehem Gospel Choir. Throughout the years, Arthena attended concerts, musicals, and shows. She loved life and embraced all that it offered her.
Arthena was an exceptional student and a life-long learner. She attended Greeleyville Elementary School and C.E. Murray Middle/High School, where she thrived academically and earned numerous academic awards. She loved literature, the Humanities, and writing.
Upon graduation from high school, Arthena matriculated at South Carolina State University where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English. With a passion for learning, she continued her education at the Citadel, where she obtained a Master’s Degree in Education, and then acquired a second post-secondary degree from South Carolina State University as an Education Specialist (Ed.S). Arthena loved education, and it showed through her service as a teacher, coach, mentor, sponsor, colleague, and educational leader. As the Teacher Cadet instructor at C. E. Murray High School, she inspired many young people to become educators, to give back to their communities, and to be their best. Arthena enjoyed her career in Maryland, but her heart was in South Carolina. She was awarded many accolades as an educator, to include Teacher of the Year at C. E. Murray High School before becoming the school’s Title 1 Curriculum Specialist. She was a talented educator, as she motivated all who knew her during her years working in both Williamsburg and Charleston County School Districts.
Arthena’s most current position as an educational leader was Title 1 Director for the Sumter County Public School System, and she served as Lead Representative for the South Carolina Association of Title One Administrators for Region 6.
Arthena was a member of numerous service organizations, to include the Order of the Eastern Star and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She believed in service, from assisting in getting high school seniors registered to vote to offering her personal time tutoring students. She was a brilliant light that shone brightest when she assisted others.
Preceding Arthena to glory are her maternal and paternal grandparents; dad, Deacon Thomas Woods Jr., an aunt, Lou Edna Woods-Morris; and two uncles, John Edward Williams and Edward Murray, Jr. Arthena leaves fond memories to her mother, Florence Woods of Greeleyville, SC; one daughter, Kayla Woods of Temple Hills, MD; one son, Fernandez Brown II, “Chubby” of the home; one brother, Thomas L. Woods (Loletha) of Newport News, VA; three sisters, Shareen Parson-Clark (Ray, deceased) of Atlanta, Georgia; Jaqueline Woods-East (Mike) of Temple Hills, MD; and Deloris Woods-Martin (Alvin) of Stafford, VA; four loving aunts, Dorothy Williams of Fort Washington, MD; Adell McClary (James) of Salters, SC; Lillian Pressley (Lee Edward) of Goose Creek, SC; and Sadie Mae Flemings (Eugene, deceased) of Cades SC; one uncle, Albert Murray (Conchita) of Temple Hills, MD; one very special friend, Fernandez Brown; one “sista-girl”, Vernescher Brown-Clyburn; one adoring fur baby,Isis; numerous adoring nieces, nephews and cousins; and a world full of loving extended family, friends, and distinguished colleagues.
Services were held 2:00 PM Saturday, October 17, 2020 at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery, Greeleyville, SC.
Posted in: The State
Posted on: 2020-10-20
Link to original obituary: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/thestate/obituary.aspx?n=arthena-merdise-woods&pid=196966747