Mildred J “Milly” Woodling

Mildred J “Milly” Woodling
May 30, 1930 – June 29, 2021

Milly passed away peacefully, with Pete holding her hand, on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. Mildred was born to Edwin Murray Johnson and Estelle Elizabeth Gates in Petersburg, VA. She was raised with her older sister, Alice, their grandpa “Papa” Gates, and her Auntie’s small family. According to Alice, Milly was the “smartest and hardest working” of the two. “If she didn’t know how to do something, she just worked harder at it.”

Milly graduated with a BS in Mathematics from William & Mary College and worked as a human computer for NACA, at Langley Field, “when computers wore skirts”, from 1951 – 1955. She and twelve other computers performed all the calculations for the 8′ Transonic Wind Tunnel tests conducted by 30 engineers.

Milly and Pete were married in 1952; moving their young family to Friendswood in 1962 with the space program. She put her Computer career on hold for her Motherhood career, where she also excelled, and to fully support Pete in his NASA career. In 1975 she began another type of “computer” career as the age of personal computers was beginning to emerge. She took a couple computer classes, to freshen up her resume, and worked for Enron in the Oil and Gas industry. After Milly retired, in 1989, from Enron as the Director of Reserves, Records and Data, they moved to a small lake in East Texas to live out their retirement dreams. She spent her retirement years RVing with Pete, family and friends and, in her spare time, managing investments to assist in their grandchildren’s education. Milly and Pete returned to Friendswood in 2018 for health reasons. Milly was instrumental in making and keeping great friends of neighbors and co-workers wherever they lived and Pete will miss that dearly.

Milly is a breast cancer survivor; having a mastectomy followed by chemotherapy in 1988. Milly expected her children to get an education, work hard and take nothing for granted. She was a beautiful example of doing things “properly” and always quick to forgive. Her kindness, wisdom and integrity will be missed by many friends and, especially, her family.

Milly is survived by her husband, Carroll H (Pete) Woodling, 2 daughters, Kerry Aguirre
(husband Bob) and Jo Leach (husband Don), 1 son, Steve Woodling (wife Megan), 4 nephews and 1 niece. Blending families can overwhelm some but Grandma Milly’s love just multiplied. She has forever blessed 11 grandchildren: Heather, Calvin, Madison, Kayla, Kory, Karly, Kinly, Andrea, Celeste, Eric and Lucas; 13 great-grandchildren and 5 great-great-grandchildren including 1 due in July.

A small, family memorial will be held on a future date. The family wishes to thank the many loving caregivers at The Delaney at South Shore and Affinity Hospice for treating Milly like their own grandma. In lieu of flowers the family asks you to consider planting an Azalea bush, Dogwood tree (which were her favorites) or donating to your favorite charity in her memory.


  1. * Lucky and I are truly sorry for your loss… After reading the Obituary , I got to know a little more about and all her accomplishments… She sounded like a truly amazing mother as well as a wife, grandma, and great grandma.. She sounded adventurous and fun to be around. You were blessed to have a woman like this in your lives. It’s awesome to know that she is with our father God and is in no more pain. You and your family our in our prayers

    Samantha Lee
  2. Jewelry, I’m so very sorry for your loss It sounds like your mom was such a wonderful loving person, just like her daughter. I know you will miss g but we dearly. Hugs my friend!❤️❤️❤️

    Denise Waltrip
  3. Our condolences for your loss. The Woodling family was such an important part of ours. Milly was always so kind to me as part of school and home life.

    Pete and our father Jim, colleagues at NASA/JSC, were good friends. Mom and Dad always held Milly & Pete in such high regards.

    Philippians 1:3: I thank my God every time I remember you.

    David Bilodeau
    • Thank you David. Many great memories of my parents having fun with their friends. Your parents were great friends of theirs.

  4. I am very sorry for your loss. I have fond memories of growing up Nextdoor to her house and remember her kindness to the Carter girls.

    Susan Carter Slocomb

    Susan Carter slocomb
  5. I am so sorry for your loss Steve….when computers wore skirts….I like that

    brady mora
  6. Dearest Pete and family, I am so sorry for your loss of Milly. She was the sweetest person and I thought the world of her. You all are in my prayers.

    Susie Powell Herrmann

    Susie Powell Herrmann
  7. Everyone’s messages have been so kind. Memories over a long and good life are precious. It’s a good reminder of how we can affect (positively) other people’s lives. I have such good memories growing up in Friendswood. Thank you for your thoughtful words and prayers for our family.

    Kerry Aguirre

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