Knoxville (WVLT) -- On Saturday morning it was a celebration to honor the life of a man who some folks call their favorite bird-brain.
Roy Woodward and his wife Gwen have co-owned the exotic bird shop Strictly Feathers on Old Broadway for nearly two decades. In that time the store has become a haven for avian enthusiasts from not only Knoxville, but all over the state and region. Also throughout that time there has been one constant, the presence of Roy.
For about 8 years now he has battled cancer. At times it was difficult, but he still worked in his store while drawing strength from his customers and friends.
That changed a few months ago when Roy's condition took a turn for the worse. Doctors informed him that his cancer had become terminal and they could no longer do anything to cure it. At that point he was forced away from Strictly Feathers, and into Hospice care.
On Saturday, Roy made his first journey back to the store since October, one that could be his last.
"His last wish was to come to this store and see all the customers and the birds," said Roy's wife Gwen.
Great fanfare accompanied the owner's return with a Bluegrass band playing tunes and Parrots mimicking right along.
Many showed up, enjoying cake and thanking Roy for being such a kind man. For 17 years the store has survived thefts and even a fire. On Saturday from a bed specially set up in the store, Roy greeted customers with a smile, remembering how the store has helped him survive his sickness.