Glen Woody Farris, DDS, passed away peacefully at the age of 81 from cancer in his home in Fredericksburg, Texas, on June 14, 2021. Woody’s wife of twenty-seven years, Kate Sharp Farris and his sister Carole Farris Valusek, were by his side.
If Woody were writing this he would leave out too much from a life that felt like witnessing the bright flare of a comet. Woody possessed great wit and charm. He was a natural-born storyteller who actually lived the remarkable stories he told. Though it felt like he knew everyone, had been everywhere and done everything, he never related this in a braggadocios way. He expressed a deep kindness and joy while mentoring, coaching, and encouraging others.
Born in Lafayette, Louisiana, on March 21,1940, Woody was influenced by its lively people and culture. He loved music, danced whenever he could, and spread his fun-loving and fearless joy of living wherever he went. With his loud and contagious laugh, life always got more fun when Woody was around.
Woody graduated from Alvin High School in 1958, where he lettered in four sports and built his first car from scratch at the age of 14. He attended the University of Texas at Austin, pledged Sigma Nu and made lifelong friendships, graduating in 1961. He played baseball for the Longhorns and played in the minor leagues in Mexico.
After receiving his D.D.S. in 1965 from the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston,
Woody worked in private practice with his sister Carole, in Houston and Richmond, Texas, until 1993. Early in his career, he served as team dentist for the Houston Oilers and the Houston Rockets. He insisted patients “call him Woody,” and he was dedicated to providing a painless experience while entertaining patients with his colorful stories. He later practiced dentistry in Alpine and Marfa, where he and Kate married in 1994.
Woody always found a way to balance his work life with his lifelong love of sailing. By the end of the 1970s, he had sailed over 50,000 solo nautical miles through the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Florida Keys and the far reaches of the Pacific Ocean. Already a gifted photographer, Woody found new inspiration creating sculptures, a natural step for his entry into the art world. He produced intensely colorful abstract paintings and watercolors. He was prolific. During the 1980s, Woody studied and exhibited at the Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and later had studios and shows in Galveston, Marfa, Santa Fe, Austin, and Fredericksburg. He continued creating his art until just a few weeks before his death.
Woody lived by the maxim that “timing is everything,” and so it was destiny he came to serve as part-time staff dentist for Fredericksburg charitable clinic the Good Samaritan Center from 2011-2019. Helping people in the community and making them laugh replenished his spirit and gave him immeasurable joy and gratitude.
Along with his wife Kate, Woody is survived by his sister and brother-in-law Carole and Larry W. Valusek of Angleton, Texas, niece Kelley L. Gardner, nephew Ray Corn, Jr. and wife Sherry of Alvin, Texas, great-niece Christian Corn and husband Josh Mathews and nephew Pete Harper. He is also survived by brother-in-law Dudley C. Sharp and wife Poochie of Houston,Texas, nieces Helen T. Sharp and husband Adam Robinson, Katherine S. Sharp and Anna P. Sharp; brother-in-law M.H. Palmer Moldawer and wife Susanna of Houston,Texas, nephews Matthew S. Moldawer, Benjamin N. Moldawer and niece Eliza S. Moldawer; as well as many members of his extended family.
Woody is also survived by a broad group of real and anointed godchildren Anna P. Sharp, Max W. Lozmack, John P. Dennis, III, Wendy W. Atwell, Lexa W. Gulley, Belton K. McMurrey, Estella L. McMurrey and others he treated as his own, as well as many devoted friends.
Woody is predeceased by his parents Woodrow and Joyce Gertrude Farris; sister Jonelle Harper; nephews Woody, Robert, and John Harper; and godson Harry B. McMurrey.
To his faithful family and friends Woody would say “Wishing you Fair winds and Stay the course!”
The family wishes to thank Woody’s devoted friends at the Good Samaritan Center, in the Fredericksburg community and his many far-flung friends for their generosity and support.
Memorial contributions can be made to the charity of your choice.
A celebration of his life will be held in the Texas Hill Country at a later date.
Arrangements are by the Schaetter Funeral Home of Fredericksburg
Expressions of sympathy may be sent at www.schaetter.com