“One Of My Life's Greatest Inspirations”: COVID-19 Takes Life Oakland Man Who Overcame Challenges

Scott Woodard, 67, loved daily walks around Lake Merritt and Sunday afternoons going to Oakland A's games.

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A Sunday afternoon taking in an Oakland A's game.

A daily walk around Lake Merritt.

These simple, some might say "mundane", pleasures in life were anything but simple for Scott Woodard.

Woodard Family

For the 67-year-old Oakland man who died on April 8, 2020, of COVID-19, life's daily rituals meant more because, for him, they represented freedom and independence.

"He was probably one of my life's greatest inspirations," said Scott McFadden, a life-long friend of Woodard and his companion for many years at those Sunday A's games.

"With all those things that he went through, all the adverse situations he fact, he just kept putting one foot in front of the other and kept moving," McFadden said. "Like no one I've ever met."

Woodard was born in 1952 with developmental disabilities and limited vision. Still, thanks to years of working with Oakland non-profit, Clausen House, Woodward was able to gain the skills to live independently.

Friends and family describe Woodard as an upbeat person who never complained about his challenges. He also possessed an incredible memory and a sly sense of humor.

"He was a success story," said Clausen House's Bridgette YoungHarry. "Scott had a beautiful spirit."

Scott Woodard (left) with fellow Clausen House client and longtime roommate, Bob.

It was at Clausen House that Woodard met another client, Bob, who became his longtime roommate and best friend. Woodard's niece, Jessica Woodard, said the two were fixtures at Woodard family gatherings for decades.

"Bob was the spokesperson for the two," Woodard said, adding he would lead long prayers always ending with a special request for whichever local sports team needed help at the moment.

Woodard says her uncle was, in many ways, the glue that held their family together. "He as innocent. Very present and childlike."

Scott Woodard, 67, of Oakland, died of COVID-19 on April 18, 2020

His family and friends say Woodard was, above all else, a reminder about what makes for a happy life: an appreciation for all that it has to offer and for the people one gets to share it with.

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