Anna Jean Coomes Woods grew up in western North Carolina and graduated from high school in the early 1940s. She attended business school in Charlotte, North Carolina, then worked at a radio station and as a stockbroker.
In November 1943, Woods enlisted in the WAVES. She attended basic training at Hunter College in the Bronx, New York. For two weeks, she was assigned to Shore Patrol at Hunter College. Her first duty station was classified communications work in Washington, D.C. In July 1946, Woods transferred to the Patuxent Naval Air Test Center in Maryland, where she worked in personnel. She was discharged in 1947 as a petty officer second class.
Woods attended High Point University in High Point, North Carolina, under the GI Bill from 1947 to 1949. She then taught in elementary, junior high, and high schools for thirty-three years. In 1990, she established a scholarship at High Point University. Woods was also very involved in the local WAVES National unit and in supporting the Women in Military Service to America Memorial (WIMSA).