Woody, Woodrow W.
Woodrow Woody was born Woodrow William Shikany in Bejdarfel, Lebanon on November 15, 1907. His family immigrated to the United States in 1912, settling in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While living in Minneapolis, Woody went to school, sold newspapers, and organized the St. Maron Athletic Club.
By 1929, the Shikany family had moved from Minneapolis to Detroit. During this time, Woody began his first job in the automobile industry working for the Hudson Motor Car Company installing axles. After a few years of assembling automobiles, Woody decided he would rather be responsible for selling automobiles. Woody got his opportunity in 1936 when the Mack-Gratiot Chevrolet Company hired him for a sales position. After less than two years of selling Chevrolets for Mack-Gratiot Chevrolet, Woody left the company to go into business for himself. He purchased a used car lot on Vernor and Mt. Eliot in Detroit and opened Liberty Motor Sales.
Soon after, in 1939, Woody applied for a Pontiac franchise in Hamtramck. Woody Pontiac Sales, Inc. was established on January 2, 1940. The dealership remained open for six decades until Woody closed the store 2000. During his many years as the senior Pontiac Dealer in Michigan, he also served as president of the Hamtramck Auto Dealers Association and the Detroit Metropolitan Pontiac Dealers Association. In 1994, Woody received the Automotive Hall of Fame's Distinguished Service Citation Award.
Along with the opening of Woody Pontiac Sales in the 1940s, Woody also served in the United States Army during World War II. After being honorably discharged in 1945 at the conclusion of the war, Woody married Ann Martes, a Polish-American from Hamtramck.
Besides his many accomplishments and responsibilities as an auto dealer, Woody was also the president of the Hamtramck Rotary, president of the World Lebanese Cultural Union, owner of Hillcrest Country Club in Mount Clemens, and the recipient of the St. Ursula Award for Humanitarianism. Additionally, Woody was a lifelong Republican and tireless proponent of peace in the Middle East.
Woodrow Wood died on April 3, 2002 at the Beaumont Hospital in Troy, Michigan at the age of 94.
From the guide to the Woodrow W. and Ann Woody papers, 1931-1998, (Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)
- Arab Americans--Michigan
- Hillcrest Golf and Country Club (Macomb County, Mich.) (as recorded)
- Hamtramck (Mich.) (as recorded)