Madelyn Woodye Freeland Eskridge, aged 88, peacefully passed away on November 15, 2023. Born on June 4, 1935, in Lucedale, Mississippi, Madelyn Woodye was the beloved daughter of Woodie Stone Freeland and Kathleen Martin Freeland. She was originally named Woodye Madelyn Freeland after her father, but, with a touch of humor and grace, she embraced the name 'Woodye' throughout her lifetime.
Woodye earned her degree in Music Education from William Carey and embarked on a fulfilling career as an educator in Lucedale, later moving to Gulfport. There, she continued to share her passion for music, teaching in various Gulfport schools. Her dedication to learning led her to attain a master's degree in library sciences from the University of Southern Mississippi. She culminated her teaching journey as the librarian at Gulfport High School, leaving a lasting impact on countless students. Her love for teaching and music also extended to private piano lessons for many young learners along the Gulf coast.
A devoted member of Bayou View Baptist Church, Woodye's contributions were not limited to her teaching and musical talents. She played the organ and took joy in decorating the church for various functions. Even after retiring in 1989, she remained deeply committed to church activities, exemplifying her unwavering faith and community spirit.
In addition to her cherished husband of 64 years, Jimmy Ray Eskridge, Woodye is survived by her son, James Stone Eskridge (Gloria) of Ocean Springs; her grandson, Michael Thomas Eskridge (Chelsea) of Highland Village, TX, along with their daughter, Olivia Ann Eskridge; her granddaughter, Melissa Kaye Eskridge (Cole) of Seattle, WA. She is also survived by her sister, Katie Bradshaw of Gulf Breeze, FL, and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family expresses their heartfelt gratitude to the compassionate nurses and staff at One Magnolia Place who provided her with exceptional care.
A graveside service will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, December 1, 2023 at the Biloxi National Cemetery in Biloxi, Mississippi. Her memory will forever live on in the hearts of those who knew and loved her.