On the evening of November 25, 2016, Anne-Marie passed away after succumbing to illness. She passed away surrounded by family members at the Brookdale Assisted Living Center. She was 89 years old.
Anne-Marie was born in Verdun, France, October 10th, 1927. She was the first child of Andre and Blanche Gille. Anne-Marie spent her early years in Verdun, living the life of a typical French youth, riding her bike, walking with her beloved german sheperd, Max, and helping her mother. At the age of 12 this world was upended as Anne-Marie and her family were forced to flee the oncoming German army. Living as refugees, Anne-Marie and her family spent nearly 2 years living in the countryside, barns and railway stations. When a treaty was signed with the Germans, the family was allowed to return to their hometown of Verdun.
Living under German occupation Anne-Marie witnessed first hand the horrors of war as well as the heroism and bravery of those who fought against the occupiers. Despite being witness to much death and destruction Anne-Marie never lost her joy for life, her radiant smile never dimmed, her love of life never faltered. In 1955 Anne-Marie married the love of her life, Diamond (J.D.) Woodard and began a chapter in her life, moving to America and giving birth to four sons. Sadly, Anne-Marie lost her husband after only 8 years of marriage and she began the daunting task of raising four young children in a country foreign to her.
Anne-Marie settled in Muskogee, OK, and raised her sons alone, providing them with a loving and happy upbringing, instilling in them the same joy and happiness she felt in her youth. Anne-Marie loved to sew, having been trained as a seamstress after the war. She made many of her children's clothes when they were young. Ann-Marie worked many years at Susmans Clothing Store as a seamstress, always delivering beautiful work to their customers.
Anne-Marie was preceded in death by her parents, Andre and Blanche Gille; brother, Rene Gille; and her beloved husband, Diamond Woodard; as well as sister-in-law, Nancy Millsap. She is survived by four sons, David, Jeff, Stephen and Phillip. Eight grandchildren, Jacklyn, Tyler, Michael, Taylor, Connor,Bryan, Mitch and Melissa. Nine great-grandchildren, Caleb, Sarah, Gabriel, Chandler, Samuel, Kason, Kashton, Hunter and Lola as well as sisters-in-law Ann Szulski and Shirley Crum, brothers-in-law Lee and David Woodard. In France she is survived by sister-in-law Marie Gille and her children, Catherine Marrone and Phillipe Gille.
Services will be at the Lescher-Millsap Funeral Home Chapel in Muskogee, Wednesday, November 30th, 2 PM followed by burial at Greenhill cemetery in Muskogee, OK. Special thanks is given to Lee Woodard, brother-in-law of Anne-Marie for all his help and guidance. Condolences may be sent to 611 W 15th St. Unit C1, Tulsa, OK 74127.
Flowers may be sent to Lescher-Millsap Funeral Home, 2801 Chandler Road, Muskogee, OK. 74403.
Published on November 28, 2016