Frances Cammiel George Woodbury died on June 17, 2023 in Ridgeland, Mississippi, after a wonderfully lived life. Her parents Wilma Keyes (nee Boswell) and Jennings Burton George welcomed her on July 15, 1930, in Chicago, Illinois. Her father was working on his doctorate at the University of Chicago at that time, but being a staunch Southerner and an Ole Miss Rebel, she rarely shared her birthplace.
After living in Nashville, TN, where her father completed his doctorate at Peabody College, the family moved to Hattiesburg, MS, after which Dr. George became the third president of State Teachers’ College (now the University of Southern Mississippi) in 1933. Cammiel George attended the Demonstration School at the college through the 10th grade. Because the school was based on the University of Chicago’s educational philosophy, she received a progressive education which advocated creativity and exploration and instilled in her a love of poetry, science, history, and design.
After graduating from Central High School in Memphis, TN in 1947, her father sought a college where he could shelter his soon-to-be-17-year-old daughter. He chose the University of Tennessee Junior College at Martin because the male-to-female ratio was not what his daughter would have wanted. Unfortunately, Dr. George did not count on the GI Bill and the influx of veterans in the fall of 1946. Cammiel recounted to her daughters how wonderful it was to have a different date for each meal in the college cafeteria. That all ended on a rainy afternoon when after leaving the home economics building, she offered to share her umbrella with a soaked engineering student, Sam Woodbury - - he would become her husband and the love of her life.
After graduating from junior college, she attended the University of Mississippi and became a member of Kappa Delta Sorority. However, Sam Woodbury was now attending the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Missing Sam, she decided to attend the second summer term in Knoxville and in August 1950, Sam called long distance to ask Dr. George for her hand. Frances Cammiel George and Samuel Richard Woodbury were married by Dr. Robert G. Lee, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church, in a garden ceremony at the bride’s home on September 16, 1950.
After the wedding, Cammiel and Sam boarded a train to Knoxville, TN and the University, where she received her BS in Education and he his BS in Industrial Management. Taking the precepts of the Book of Ruth to heart, Cammiel followed Sam from town to town as he built his career, being the wife, mother, and partner that every husband seeks, for the remainder of her life. She and Sam welcomed their first daughter Jackie in Knoxville where she taught 3rd grade. They then moved to Columbus, MS where they welcomed their second daughter George. The family then migrated to Memphis, TN in 1957, where she taught 4th grade at Lausanne School for Girls, and then to Clarksdale, MS, where she taught 7th grade science and where they welcomed their 3rd daughter Cammiel. Her last move was in 1968 to Dyersburg, TN where she backed into the subject she perfected - - 7th grade Tennessee History. Upon retirement, she would receive a plaque which read, “To the best Tennessee History Teacher that Mississippi ever produced.” In 2018, Sam and Cammiel left their beloved home on College Street in Dyersburg and moved to Flowood, MS.
Along the way she was active in every community of which she was a part. She taught Sunday School, and was a leader in Girl Scouts, Junior Garden Club, and Junior DAR. She served as an officer in Garden Club, Book Club, Sewing Club, Bridge Club, and her beloved DAR, where she served as Regent. The family home, first on Starlight Drive and then on College Street, was always open to her children’s friends and was a gathering point for Dyersburg teenagers for many years. Her family will always remember the warm times around the kitchen table, where she entertained everybody with her cooking, her wit, and her creativity. That creativity was never more on display than in her sewing, which benefited not only her children but also her grandchildren. Her laugh was infectious, but heaven help you if you saw her raised eyebrows. They were legendary - - not only at home, but in the community.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Samuel Richard Woodbury; father, Jennings Burton George, Ph.D.; mother, Wilma Keyes Boswell George; and sister, Wilma Boswell George Palmor.
She is survived by her three daughters -- Jacqueline Margaret Woodbury, Ph.D., Pascagoula, MS; George Woodbury Johnson (Whitman), Jackson, MS; and Cammiel Woodbury Hussey, Arlington, VA. A bonus daughter, Karen Illingworth Emmott (Angus) of Australia, was brought to her by the American Field Service Exchange Program in the fall of 1980.
She is also survived by her beloved eight grandchildren who knew her as their Dink -- Robert Lee Moore, Jr, Gautier, MS; Samantha Moore Cicotello (Tom), Washington, D.C.; Adam Richard Moore (Erika), Loranger, LA; Ann Boswell Johnson Carlson (Chris), Ridgeland, MS; Collins Woodbury Pease (Nick), Chicago, IL; Whitman Benedict Johnson IV, Chicago, IL; Christopher Woodbury Hussey (Emma), New York, NY; Cammiel Elizabeth Hussey, Arlington, VA. Sam and Cammiel were also blessed with seven great grandchildren.
Funeral services for Mrs. Woodbury will be private.
The family wishes memorials be made to First Baptist Church, Dyersburg, TN or St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN. Funeral services are under the direction of Curry Funeral Home. We are privileged and honored to serve the Woodbury family. You may share your condolences and your memories with the family at www.curryfuneral.com.