On Sunday, September 12, 2021, Jaden Pierre Woodard passed away at the age of 21. Jaden was born on June 13, 2000 at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, IL to Chris and Marie Elisabeth (“Betty” Joseph) Woodard: their first born and only son. He attended Bethany (Middle) School in Glendale, OH and The Summit Country Day School in Cincinnati, OH. He was currently enrolled in his senior year as a finance student at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business in Columbus.
To say Jaden loved sports is an understatement. Jaden was passionate about his favorite teams and players. His heart condition was supposed to stop him from participating in sports, but by age 6, Jaden was in a Little League uniform ready to bat at home plate. Even shortly after his heart transplant in 2014, Jaden joined his high school track and cross country teams. Some of Jaden’s favorite sports moments included going to games with his dad. A few include the White Sox and Cubs World Series parades, Chicago Bears NFC Championship Games, visiting various Major League Baseball stadiums, and attending a New Jersey Nets game to see his self-proclaimed best player in the NBA, Kevin Durant.
Being a natural storyteller, Jaden was extremely relatable and could electrify a room with his laughter and conversation. If he wasn’t part of a conversation, soon he would join in and take the lead. He had many unique stories to share about the places he visited (e.g., Japan with the Make-A-Wish Foundation), the experiences he had (like participating in the BLK Capital Management Corp. student group and landing his summer internship in New York City with JPMorgan), and the important people he met (even if he was asleep the first time). If you heard these stories from anyone else, they would be unbelievable, but Jaden attracted the most interesting people and was drawn to extraordinary situations that fit his personality and talents perfectly.
From the first day of his life, people were drawn to Jaden. His body and mind had a special kind of resilience allowing him to overcome five open heart surgeries, including three of them in a span of 16 days. His fighting spirit and larger-than-life outlook shined through in every area of his life. Whether you were an introvert or extrovert, Jaden connected with you and, before you knew it, you were deeply engaged.
Jaden loved everyone, and his memory will live on in the hundreds of people who knew him and couldn’t help but love him, too. He is survived by his parents, Chris and Betty; his sisters, Bryana, Aniya and Sasha; grandparents, Dr. Jean Duthene and Marie Maxia Joseph, John and Avis Williams, and Ralph and Gloria Woodard; uncles and aunts, Jean Duthene Jr. and Megan Joseph, Carl Henry and Rose-Mai Joseph, Michael Downs and Carissa Thomas; and cousins, Randy, Jenny, Stephanie, Stacey, Carleigh, Brandon, and Allanah; and an innumerable host of other relatives as well as friends that he treated like family.
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