WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Friends of the man found dead under a Wichita bridge are describing the lasting impact he had on them.
The Breakthrough Episcopal Social Services community shares fond memories of one of their beloved volunteers.
“When we could get him to laugh he had this huge unfettered laugh and it was just full of incredible joy,” said Deacon Peggy Flynn.
“I would say good morning Bernard he would say good morning ma’am,” said RoxAnne Romey, a staff member at Breakthrough Episcopal Social Services.
All who came in contact with 59-year-old Bernard Woodard say he was a light and joy to work with. They say although he was homeless, he took pride in volunteering at Breakthrough. He came five days a week for the past three years. Records show he volunteered 810 days for a total of 6,480 hours.
“Always the first person to take initiative. And just volunteer wherever he could,” said Heather Snapp, Breakthrough Assistant Director
“He just came here to care for other people. Such a loving selfless human being,” said David Kapten, Breakthrough Program Director.
That’s why when he did not show up Monday morning they were concerned.
“Because it wasn’t like Bernard not to show up,” said Snapp.
When police identified the man found beaten to death under the Douglas Street Bridge as Woodard, it confirmed their worst fears.
“It kind of hit me real hard. Because he was like my older brother,”said Daniel Cline, Breakthrough member.
Woodard’s Breakthrough family now grieving the loss hoping for closure soon.
“I hope that they catch the person that’s responsible for this in a timely fashion,” said RoxAnne Romey, Breakthrough staff member.