James Clinton “Woody” Woodman was born on September 19, 1963, in Yakima, Washington, to James Nelson Woodman and Virginia Rae Carden. He joined his two sisters, Karen Lynne and Mary Diane. Jim died on March 29, 2019, at age 55, in the Center at Centennial, Colorado Springs, from long-term severe injuries that he incurred as a firefighter/paramedic with the West Haven Fire Department in Connecticut.
On October 5, 1999, Jim was in the back of a rescue truck administering first aid to a young injured girl being transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital, when another van failed to yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle and broadsided the rescue truck. He and the others in the van survived, but Jim suffered catastrophic injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, and was not expected to live more than a few years. In 2003, he was moved to be near family in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He lived there in two skilled nursing facilities that cared for him for the last sixteen years.
Jim wanted to be a fireman ever since he was a young boy. As he grew up, he wanted to help injured people, and he became a paramedic. Later, when the opportunity came to join the West Haven Fire Department, he jumped at the chance and successfully completed the state’s fire academy. He was injured on his second day with the fire department.
Jim was honored at the Connecticut Fallen Firefighter Memorial in October 2019. The West Haven Fire Department also dedicated a new firefighting boat in his name.
Jim is missed by his family, his friends, and the caregivers at the Center at Centennial. Despite his inability to speak, he blessed many people who met and took care of him over the years.
He is survived by his father, James; stepmother, Lynn; sisters, Karen Lynne (Kenneth) Van Riper and Mary Diane Woodman; brother, Mark Alan (Kristina) Woodman; nephews, Kyle Van Riper, Sam Woodman, Caleb Woodman, and Joseph Woodman; niece, Anna Woodman; and stepfather, Jim Allen.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Virginia Allen.