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Late sheriff's deputy hailed for valor

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Proceeds from a motorcycle ride and pancake breakfast scheduled for Sept. 17 will go to the family of late Forsyth County Sheriff’s Deputy Norman "Woody" Woodward. Registration and the breakfast are from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Mount Zion Lodge on the corner of Little Mill Road and Hwy. 369. The fee for the ride is $25 per bike and $5 per passenger. Those who are not riding may come to the breakfast. Admission is $5 per person.

Friends and colleagues of a former Forsyth County Sheriff’s deputy who died Wednesday recalled his valor and dedication.

Norman "Woody" Woodward, 46, had been on a waiting list for a heart transplant. The father of two retired as a lieutenant from the sheriff’s office in 2010.

"Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with his family in this time of loss," Sheriff Ted Paxton said. "We appreciate all of the concern throughout the community through the years as he has battled his health problems.

"Unfortunately, they were just too serious for him to overcome."

Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at First Redeemer Church. The family will receive friends from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at the church.

Woodward’s immediate survivors include his wife, Cindy, and two teenage daughters.

Paxton added that Woodward was a dedicated and professional law enforcement officer who served the sheriff’s office with honor and dignity.

"He’s going to be a tremendous loss not only to his family but also to his extended family throughout Forsyth County," Paxton said.

Woodward served 22 years in law enforcement, 17 of which were with the local agency. He had also served in the Army.

During his tenure with the sheriff’s office, Woodward was employee of the year three times, made investigator of the year and headed the community relations unit in its early stages.

His last assignment was as watch commander for the sheriff’s north precinct.

Frank Huggins, who retired from the sheriff’s office in December, said Woodward was like a brother to him, though his former colleague called him "Uncle Frank."

"I will never forget his quiet laugh and his sense of humor," Huggins said. "In addition to being an excellent father and husband, Woody dedicated his life to protecting others through his work in law enforcement."

Huggins went on to say that Woodward’s legacy of fairness will continue through the years as those he supervised go on to supervise others.

"Woody should always be remembered for how he lived and not how he died," Huggins said.