Woodrow Millhouse, 92, laborer, gravedigger and loyal churchman

Millhouse
Millhouse
Posted: March 20, 2014

EVERY CHRISTMAS, Woodrow Millhouse Sr. would buy a couple of cases of apples and oranges and pass them out to friends, family and whomever needed them.

Keeping the Christmas spirit like that was typical of Woodrow, who cared deeply about people and sought to help them whenever he could.

Woodrow Millhouse Sr., who seemed to thrive on the hard work of construction labor and grave digging throughout his working career, a devoted family man and church worker, died March 9 of heart failure. He was 92 and lived in West Oak Lane.

"He was a strong, determined, religious, loving, compassionate father and husband who had a great sense of humor," said longtime friend Ron Allen, co-director of community outreach for state Sen. Vincent Hughes. "He was a great provider for his family."

Woodrow was born in Atkins, S.C., and grew up in Concord, N.C., where he got his early education. He began working as a laborer in the South and transferred his skill to Philadelphia in 1953.

He was married to the late Mary Tobin.

In Philadelphia, Woodrow worked for construction companies before going to Har Jehuda Cemetery in Upper Darby as a gravedigger and general maintenance man.

In his youth, he and his late brothers, Jason and Ned Millhouse, ran a pool parlor and clothing store in West Philadelphia.

Woodrow enjoyed playing pool, and enjoyed golfing at Cobb's Creek Golf Club.

"He was a caring man," said his daughter, Annie Raleigh. "He always took care of us. He was well-mannered, but he could be feisty if you pushed the wrong buttons."

Woodrow was a devoted member of Union Tabernacle Church in West Philadelphia, where he was a deacon and rarely missed a Sunday service.

Besides his daughter, he is survived by five other daughters, Carol Williams, Diane Satterwaite, Phyllis Millhouse, Lynette Millhouse and April Harris; one son, Woodrow Millhouse Jr.; eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Services: Were Saturday. Burial was in Merion Memorial Park, Bala Cynwyd.

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