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Scales & Sons Funeral Home, Funeral Homes, Murfreesboro, TN

National Funeral Directors Association

National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association

Tennessee State Funeral Directors & Morticians Association

Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce


Olivia Woods



Visitation with the Family:
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 8, 2016
Allen Chapel AME Church, 224 S Maney Ave, Murfreesboro, TN 37130

Celebration of Life:
12:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 8, 2016
Allen Chapel AME Church, 224 S Maney Ave, Murfreesboro, TN 37130

The Service of Committal & Interment:
Following the service on Saturday on October 8, 2016
Evergreen Cemetery, Murfreesboro, TN

Olivia Murray Woods was born April 15, 1920 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to the late James Murray of Bedford County, Tennessee and Florence Espy Murray of Rutherford County, Tennessee. She departed this life on October 2, 2016.

Mrs. Woods attended public schools in Murfreesboro and Rutherford County, Tennessee and graduated from Holloway High School in 1939. After briefly attending Tennessee State University, in 1962 she enrolled at Middle Tennessee State University, becoming the first African-American to attend the institution. In 1965, she was the first African-American graduate of MTSU and the recipient of a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. Mrs. Woods went on to obtain a Master's degree in Elernentary Education from MTSU in 1974.

She taught at Bradley Elementary School, Critchlow Elementary and Mitchell-Nielson Primary Schools, where she received the award of Outstanding Teacher of the Year in the year before her retirement in 1984. She was also honored by Holloway High School Alumni, Eastern Star and the Mother of the Year Award by Allen Chapel AME Church, as well as MTSU African-American History Month in recognition of the her contributions to the university.

Her love for God, family and humanity inspired her to accept Christ as her personal savior beginning at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Murfreesboro. After marrying Collier Woods, Sr. in 1940 she joined Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church where she remained until her passing. At Allen Chapel she was very active in the church as a stewardess, Usher, Girl Scout Troop Leader, Sons and Daughters of Allen, Missionary Society, and several lay organizations. In addition, she was a member of the Bridge Club, Dynamic Social Club and the Garden Club.

On September 5, 1940, she married Collier Woods, Sr. and they were blessed with three talented and dedicated children: George, Deborah, and Collier Jr. For sixty-three years Collier and Olivia were inseparable, inspiring and motivating one another throughout their lives.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Martha Mae Howse; her brother, James Murray; and her husband, Collier Woods, Sr.

She is held in loving memory by her children, George (Annie) Woods of Nashville, Tennessee, Deborah (Lee) Harris of Columbia, Maryland and Collier (Anjali) Woods Jr. of Tallahassee, Florida; sister, Katherine Brooks of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; grandchildren, Shani Harris, Corey Harris, Wesley (Lauren) Harris, Danielle (Roderick) Gray and Tiffany Woods; great grandchildren, Zoya Gray, Zamauri Gray, MacKenzi Gray and Nora Harris; devoted niece, Sandra Brooks; sister-in-law, Mattie Woods Dunston all of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; five nieces, Linda Brooks, Marilyn Broyles Robinson, Florence Clay, Gail Andrews and Sharon Howse Puckett; four nephews, Herschel G. Woods Jr., Frederick L. Woods, Collier L. Woods and Steve Howse; devoted friends, Greg and Francine Thomas; and many loving cousins, great nieces and great nephews, other relatives and friends.

Scales and Sons Funeral Home

PHONE: (615) 893-1313 - 24 hours a day

314 East State Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37130

P.O. Box 1371
Murfreesboro, TN 37133-1371