Pace Woods dies at 86

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Pace Woods
Pace Woods

F. Pace Woods II, Chairman Emeritus of Woods Bros Realty and owner of Woods Investment Co., passed away Monday at the age of 86 after a long illness.

Woods served Woods Bros Realty and the Lincoln real estate and development markets for 50 years, having retired from his position as chairman in 2004.

Woods followed his father, F. Pace Woods Sr., in the family business, which was founded by Pace’s great-grandfather, Col. Frederick M. Woods, and grandfather, Mark W. Woods, in 1889.

Born in 1924 in Lincoln to Frederick Pace and Olive (Black), Woods was educated in the Lincoln Public Schools through junior high and then attended The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey where he graduated cum laude in 1943.

He later earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., in 1950, graduating with Dean’s honors. At Yale he majored in creative writing and drama and minored in economics.

During World War II he served in both the U.S. Army Air Corps and the 75th Infantry Division, earning the rank of sergeant.

In 1950 he started his career in the television industry in Hollywood. At ABC he was the Audience Promotion Director and later transferred to NBC where he became the Advertising and Promotion Director for KNBH, NBC’s Los Angeles affiliate.

At NBC he transferred to the live television part of the network operation and ultimately became senior director for NBC Hollywood, directing such shows as The Dinah Shore Show, the Jimmy Durante Show, the Bob Hope Show, Matinee Theatre and Colgate Comedy Hour with stars such as Martin and Lewis, Ethel Merman, Frank Sinatra and others. He also had a hand in NBC’s first color television commercial for RCA.

Late in 1958, Woods returned to Lincoln between shows to work for the family business. He had planned to return to his own pilot TV project in Hollywood; however, he soon became an integral part of Woods Bros Realty.

Woods received his real estate license Oct. 6, 1965, and his broker’s license Oct. 10, 1968. He aided his family in advertising and management, land development, financing, residential development, farm management and new construction, helping to grow Woods Bros Realty into one of the top real estate firms in Nebraska.

Under Woods’ leadership, Woods Bros Realty embraced the concept of “one-stop” shopping to provide better service to the public. He served as president of Woods Bros Realty; Woods Investment Company, a land development company; and Woods Bros Real Estate Group, which included Capitol Title Co. (now Nebraska Land Title and Abstract); Woods Bros Insurance (now HomeServices of Nebraska Insurance); and Community Mortgage Company.

Woods expanded the brokerage business with his father in 1968 by merging Woods Bros & Swanson Realtors, and then again in 1999 with the purchase of RE/MAX Professionals.

Woods earned his CRB (Certified Residential Broker) designation from the National Association of REALTORS® and was the Nebraska REALTOR® of the Year in 1997 and the REALTORS® Association of Lincoln (RAL) REALTOR® of the year in 2000. As 1999 RAL President, he followed his grandfather Mark Woods, president in 1924 and his father, Pace Sr., president in 1956. He was named to the Woods Bros Realty Hall of Fame in 2003.

He served as a director of the Nebraska REALTORS® Association, was a Nebraska REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) Trustee and was a member of the Legislative Review Committee, along with serving on the MLS Committee of the National Association of REALTORS®.

His political involvement promoted excellence in real estate, including supporting fair housing education, voluntary affirmative marketing agreements and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) laws and regulations. Woods always encouraged political involvement by Woods Bros associates and managers as well.

Woods also established the Woods Bros Realty Foundation for Giving. The Foundation is funded through a matching program with the Woods Bros associates. The Foundation for Giving has given more than $200,000 over 20 years to charitable organizations supporting children and the elderly.

Woods sold Woods Bros Real Estate Group on June 19, 2002 to HomeServices of America Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. Woods Bros Realty is an industry leader still today with 250 sales associates and three offices in Lincoln and offices in Beatrice, Seward, York and Grand Island, and Woods celebrated the company’s 120th anniversary in 2009.

Woods was a strong supporter of the arts. He was active in Friends of the Lied, Lincoln Symphony, National Historic Trust, as well as numerous other organizations. He served on the Nebraska Repertory Theatre Advisory Board and was inducted into the first class of the Nebraska Repertory Theatre Hall of Fame in 2001.The agents of Woods Bros Realty started a scholarship in his name in 1994 at the University of Nebraska. Woods endowed this scholarship to provide for the education of our youth.

In 2004 he was presented with an Award of Merit by Hixon-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, and he received in 2010 a Mayor’s Arts Award–the Halcyon Allsman Benefactor of the Arts Award–for his significant financial contributions to the arts in Lincoln. Gov. Mike Johanns in 2004 awarded Woods with a Nebraska Admiralship. In 2009, the Woods family received the Distinguished NEBRASKAlander Award for their prominent role in the business, community and cultural development in Lincoln and the state of Nebraska.

Tom Woods, Gov. Dave Heineman and Pace Woods
Tom Woods, Gov. Dave Heineman and Pace Woods

A world traveler, Woods has traveled throughout the Middle East, Africa, France and England, and he is also an avid Big Red fan, having donated the “Little Red” fire engine to the University of Nebraska the year Tom Osborne became head coach.

Woods enjoyed field training, guiding his beloved late Labrador Retriever, Howland’s Calypso “Skye,” to Field Champion honors. He also enjoyed spending time at his Lake Superior home on Madeline Island.

Pace Woods and his beloved dog, Syke
Pace Woods and his beloved dog, Skye

Woods remained active in real estate and land development beyond his retirement through the completion of the Rolling Hills development and Rolling Hills Ridge, built in the Woods Bros tradition of Woodsshire and Sheridan Boulevard.

Family members include his sister, Marilynn Woods Ellick and 10 nieces and nephews, Lisa Kilbourne Briggs, Marjorie Curry Woods, Marilyn Anne Girard, Shauna Colton Woods, Shelley Clarke Lentz, Rondi Woods Pike, Pace Woods Wilson, Diana Wyman Eisner, Robert Black Woods, Mark Williams Woods.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Mark William Woods.

Memorial Service: 3:00 p.m. Sunday (8-1-10) First-Plymouth Congregational Church, 2000 ‘D’ Street. Rev. Barb Smisek officiating. Private prior family committal service. No visitation/cremation.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the City Mission and the Lincoln Food Bank.

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2 comments

  1. Pace will always be remebered as a great listner and an indivdual who followed through on his comittment to others. He was always receptive to new ideas and will be missed.

    His memory will always be part of my life and will miss him.

  2. At new agent training in 1994, Pace was the speaker for the new group of agents that I was with. He shared a few humbling stories at his own expense of mistakes he made when he was newly licensed. These were mistakes he did not want us to make. He was always a gracious man and he had an open door policy. When you went to his office, you always had to greet Skye first, if Skye would let you pass, you could talk to the boss. I have great memories of Pace and will miss him.

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