Woodrow Wilson Zenfell

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2012

SUNSET HILLS, Mo. — Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Zenfell died Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, at his home at the age of 94. 

Woody is survived by his wife, Victoria, of Sunset Hills; his children, Woody Jr. of Sunset Hills, Jennifer of Moberly, Mo., and Martha of London, England; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

A native of Vicksburg and Clarksdale, Miss., Woody was employed by the National Park Service (NPS) as a civil engineer and worked in the following national parks: Vicksburg National Military Park; C&O Canal in Maryland; Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee; Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi and Tennessee; and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, where one of his long-lasting achievements was the Blue Ridge Parkway scenic highway.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

During World War II, Woody served in the U.S. Navy as communications officer with the rank of lieutenant. He was on duty both on naval cruisers as well as on shore in the Pacific. Woody returned to building our country’s parkways and parks upon completion of his naval service. Woody came to St. Louis in the early 1960s as supervisory park engineer with NPS for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (Gateway Arch) Project. His job on the project was to serve as liaison between the government and the architects, contractors, subcontractors, consultants and other groups involved in the arch project. While in this role he had to be, at different times, engineer, politician, mediator, media contact and tour guide (including to the president of the United States) and was involved with almost every decision involving the Arch, including labor relations and equal opportunities. In 1966, Woody became the regional director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance with the U.S. Department of Labor. In this position, he was responsible for the coordination of Equal Employment Opportunity aspects of all federal and federally assisted contracts in 14 states. From 1973 until 1993, Woody served as the executive director of the St. Louis Area Construction Users Council, a non-profit organization composed of larger local industrial corporations.

Throughout his life, Woody was an active civic leader — serving as owner representative on the PRIDE board of directors and also as a member and officer of the Rotary Clubs where he resided. Additionally, he regularly spoke to groups about his experience in building the country’s parkways, parks and his efforts with equal employment opportunities.

Services will be at 4 p.m. Sunday at Kutis Affton Funeral Home, 101051 Gravois, St. Louis, Mo. Visitation will be Sunday from 1:30 p.m. until the service at the funeral home. Burial will follow at 12:30 p.m. Monday at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

The family would like to thank Bethesda Dilworth and Bethesda Hospice Care for their care and support. Memorial donations can be made to the National Park Foundation (www.nationalparks.org) and the Jefferson National Parks Association (www.jnpa.com).