Ellwood "Woody" Lee Missamore

August 4, 1931 ~ December 4, 2018 (age 87)




Elwood Lee Missamore, “Woody” passed away on Dec. 4, 2018 at the age of 87 in Maywood California.  He was born August 4, 1931 in Bakersfield California (since Taft didn’t have a hospital at the time), to Herbert and Lena Missamore who came to Taft in 1910 from the Cuyama Valley.  Woody was a graduate of Taft Union High School, and Taft Junior College.  He married Peggy Sue Kelsay in Taft in 1950 and had 4 children, Timothy, Paula, Paige and Amelia (Amy). 

As a teenager Woody worked in local oil fields around Taft. Over the years he became a gifted mechanic of gas and turbine engines.  In Bakersfield he served as the Service Manager for Lawless Detroit Diesel Company, at the time the largest factory dealer for General Motors.  He accepted a managerial position with Lawless at their factory headquarters in City of Industry, California.  While at Lawless he was the originator of many techniques that improved the GM Diesel and were used by technicians all over the world. 

Woody worked for many years with oil companies overseas, including Kuwait, Libya, Dubai, and Indonesia.  He was the first technician to independently completely overhaul a Pratt Whitney 30,000 horsepower gas engine in the Sahara Desert oil field of Occidental Petroleum while he worked for them out of Tripoli, Libya.  It was reportedly the first ever overhaul of that type of engine outside of a FAA approved factory.  He later went to work for Solar Gas Turbines out of Dubai, UAE.  From Dubai he went with Solar to Indonesia and became the Field Service Manager for their Solar Gas Turbines. 


In the 1980’s, he and son Tim opened their own large transmission and diesel engine business in Post Falls Idaho.   He also worked for a time instructing students at North Idaho College in diesel empowerment and its mechanical abilities.  He particularly enjoyed hearing from many of these students’ successes or businesses they started. While in Idaho he met and married Carmelinda (C.J.) Dante.   In 1990 he and Carmen returned to his hometown of Taft.  He continued to rebuild Air Starters for large diesel engines long into retirement in his home shop.  He retired from Bechtel Corporation in 1998.

He loved hunting, (and make his own beef or venison jerky), his dogs, visiting friends and family, telling “tall” stories, dancing, John Wayne movies, and eating good food.

He is survived by his wife Carmelinda (C.J.) in Taft, his 4 children, step-children, many grand and great grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and brother Jerry Missamore.  He is preceded in death by his parents, and siblings, Herbert Missamore Jr., Harold Missamore, Wendell Missamore, Lloyd Baker Missamore, Laverne Missamore, Beverlea Missamore Northrup, and Jack Missamore.

He was laid to rest on December 11, 2018 at the West Side District Cemetery in Taft, California.  A celebration of Life will be held at a later date.   Please leave any comments or memories on the guest book/obituaries at 

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