Fred was born on September 23, 1924 to Otho and Mabel (Robertson) Woods on the family farm 11 miles south of Colome. He was the youngest of 8 brothers and 3 surviving sisters. He graduated from Mrs. Irma Painter’s 8th grade class on May 17, 1940 and completed his last year of school as a sophomore in 1941-42. He registered for Selective Service annually from 1942-1950 as required and was classified “Frozen Farm Laborer” and not deployed. He rode the military cattle cars from Colome to Ft. Snelling, MN in May of 1945 and was found “physically fit, acceptable for general military service” but the war effort was winding down by that time and he was not deployed.
He took great pride in his athletic achievements which included Golden Glove Boxing, sprinting in track, and scoring the only touchdown his sophomore year to lead Colome to a 6-0 victory over Winner! He grew up during the 30’s and hunted arrow heads in bowling sand for spending. He also grew up farming with horses before tractors became in Tripp County. He was accomplished cow & horseman. He often commented that “If you take care of the cows, they’ll take care of you”. Fred was one of the first men with registered Angus in Tripp County. Fred had a few odd jobs before settling down with his lovely bride in 1949 which included scooping wheat by hand for his brother Dick in Garden City, KS, where he also moonlighted as a chauffeur driver on evenings and weekends. He also worked for a short time at the Fremont Foundry as a welder in Fremont, NE.