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Nancy Tate Wood

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SAN MIGUEL de ALLENDE, Mexico -- Nancy Tate Wood died yesterday after a long illness in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico, where she had lived for the past seven years. She was 81 years old.

She was the only child of the Poet Allen Tate and his first wife, the novelist Caroline Gordon. Born Sept. 23, 1925, in New York City, she spent her childhood in Kentucky, New York, Paris, Tennessee and Princeton, New Jersey. She attended St. Mary’s School in Sewanee, Tenn., and Miss Fines School in Princeton. She was married to Percy Hoxie Wood of Memphis, Tenn., in 1944. After the war, the couple lived in Memphis while he completed medical school. Dr. Wood accepted a post as staff psychiatrist and later clinical director at the Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead, N.J., and the couple settled in Princeton and raised their four children there.

She was ardently committed to the peace movement during the Vietnam War, and worked as a fundraiser for Sen. Eugene J. McCarthy during his bid for the presidency in 1968, and in 1976 was on the ballot with him as his vice presidential candidate for New Jersey, and also worked for John Kerry and the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. She encouraged and offered sanctuary to dozens of young people who opposed the war, and opened her house and heart to multitudes, always feeding them sumptuously. She was a voracious reader, and autodidact who could hold her own with physicists, diplomats, anthropologists, poets, and revolutionaries.

After the Woods retired to San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, in 1980, they continued their famous southern hospitality, opening a guesthouse, “El Jacarandal”, for foreign travelers. In Mexico, Mrs. Wood pursued her passionate love for horses, riding into the mountains almost every day, and established the Chiapas chapter of the national environmental protection organization, Pro Natura, which is dedicated to the preservation of indigenous species and wilderness.

She is survived by her adoring husband of 63 years, two sons, Percy Hoxie Wood III, of Olive Branch, Miss., Allen Tate Wood, of Portsmouth, N.H., and two daughters, Caroline Wood Fallon of San Miguel de Allende, and Amelia Wood Silver, of Bennington, Vt., as well as by her devoted sons-in-law Christopher Fallon and David Silver; and seven grandchildren, Marlene Cristina Wood de Martinez, Serena Winter, Christopher Fallon Jr., Caroline Silver, Nicholas Fallon, Kyle Wood, and Natalie Silver; three great-grandchildren, Krystal, Glover and Austin Winter, and two half-brothers, John Tate and Benjamin Tate.

Information provided by the funeral home.
Published in Bennington Banner on Mar. 30, 2007
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