Woodie Flowers passed away

Team 5943 would like to express their condolences. We had the opportunity to meet and speak with Woodie Flowers in Detroit, as well as BattleCry, and we will never forget this interaction with him. He was a truly amazing person, and has impacted everybody on our team, as well as millions of others around the world. His impact will never be forgotten.

We’ll miss you, Woodie.

Team 5943, The Bad News Gears


Woodie has always been a personal role model of mine. When I briefly met Woodie at Houston last April, he was down-to-earth and you could tell how much he cared about learning and mentorship. I am so grateful to have learned so much from him, directly and indirectly.

The world has been made a better place as a result of everything he’s done. Rest in peace, Dr. Flowers.


Dr. Woodie Flowers has often been called the heart of FIRST. Through his countless efforts he has helped make a meaningful, thoughtful, and caring impact on countless children and young adults. (And some old ones too.)

I’m grateful for the few minutes I got to speak with him in Detroit, and the saddest thing is that he won’t be around to give that experience to those to come.

Thank you Woodie.


What woodie has created will live on in all of are hearts. You will be deeply missed


I was fortunate enough to have spent a fair amount of time with Woodie over the past 21 years. I just want everyone to know that Woodie was the most genuine human being I’ve ever met. The perfect example of “practice what you preach”; he was the living embodiment of Gracious Professionalism. He was just so caring, empathetic, and thoughtful at all times, while still having an amazing sense of humour. We were all so lucky to have our lives touched by Woodie, whether directly or indirectly.

RIP to a true hero.


Woodie was our soul but because of the lessons he taught us through the years his spirit will live on in every person he touched.

Thanks for all you did for us Dr FLowers


He was a personal hero of mine. His speeches and overall messaging was always on point and felt he was talking to me.

This is a great personal loss and a loss for the FIRST community and of course his family and friends.

RIP Woodie. You will be missed.


My Dad studied at MIT and always told me the story of how he walked into the first lecture of an engineering art course, sat for five minutes, and walked out.

He dropped the course shortly after because back then he didn’t see the value.

But he told me when I was younger and first starting in robotics that he still regrets not taking that course and learning from this wonderful man.

Thank you Woodie, for making it more than robots.


Woodie Flowers, thank you. You made an amazing impact on me even though I never met you. You live on in our hearts, Woodie.
I remember the highlight of every kickoff I watched being Woodie Flowers, from being a Knight of the GDC table to being Super Woodie. I always looked forward to the “Good Stuff with Woodie” presentation.
I will remember and cherish your words.
Rest in peace, Dr. Flowers.


The program has lost a strong leader. I hope we honour his memory by continuing to practice Gracious Professionalism.

A story I haven’t told many: Woodie Flowers inspired me to become an engineer long before FIRST was a thing. As a geeky kid in the early 90s, I used to stay up late watching Discovery Channel. For a couple years the channel featured Woodie’s second year design competitions at MIT (https://youtu.be/cDnSFQ4YZLc, https://youtu.be/9BFDotuTSB8). It was the coolest thing I’d ever seen! From then on, I pushed myself to be better at math and science, not for a career, just so I could get into University to play a design competition :slight_smile:.

Now of course, also because of Woodie, I get to play one every year. Thank you Dr. Flowers!


3512 was lucky enough to meet Woody in 2015 at the inaugural Ventura Regional. His passion and humility left a huge impact on us (he also signed our robot which had the kids over the moon). Thank you so much for all that you have done, and will continue to do as your legacy lives on through FIRST and beyond.

Rest in peace.




:confused: :cry: :confounded: :persevere:
Woodie’s messages and teachings are the heart and soul of this program we all love. Let’s continue taking them to heart as he moves on.


Rest in peace Woodie. You will be missed by millions, all those whose lives you made better because of your goodness and decency.


Heartbreaking news.


What a shock to read this… Such an inspiration… RIP Dr. Flowers, and most sincere condolences to his family. This is a tragic loss.


Woodie was perhaps the most genuine person I have ever met. I cannot think of someone who embodied everything they spoke about so earnestly and genuinely. Truly a remarkable human being who made the world, and all of us, better. Woodie spoke about standing on the shoulders of the giants who came before us. I cannot imagine a world in which I was not able to stand up Woodie’s shoulders. The world is a little less brilliant today than it was before.


I met him a few years after the First <-> VEX split. We talked about how I was still growing the VEX program. He was pleased that the smaller robots was a growing program. The energy that came from him was amazing.

The world will miss him.


Woodie Flowers is what I want to be when I grow up. Millions share that ambition with me. Most of us won’t get there but that’s not the important thing.

Rest, Dr. Flowers. You left us richer.


I shared on the blog, but I will also share it here.

One time in Atlanta I was speaking with Susan Lawrence, who was Woodie’s “handler” for lack of a better term at Worlds. She would help him get to places when he needed to be there.

When Woodie was done speaking with someone else, he came over to us. I told him that he’d met our team the day before, and Devin said he was never going to wash the hand that shook Woodie’s hand. Woodie got a truly incredulous look on his face, and said something about not knowing why the kids revered him that way. It’s because of the man that he was, totally genuine, humble despite all his successes and achievements. He will be sorely missed by his family, the FIRST community, and the world.