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Phyllis Wood

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Phyllis Wood Obituary
Phyllis (Hourihan) Wood, 90, of Bedford, passed away at home after a long decline and a sudden illness on Monday, January 11, 2016. She was born November 21, 1925 in Boston, the daughter of the late Michael and the late Katherine (Quinlan) Hourihan of Cohasset, and the widow of the late Dr. Norman Stephen Wood. Phyllis excelled in school and attended Girls Latin in Boston and Regis College, and received degrees in social work. She enjoyed her different jobs which included the Real Estate Office of the Postal Service, but most loved placing children for adoption when she worked in Social Services for the State of Massachusetts. She was raised in the Catholic Church and was deeply religious her entire life. As she moved into her late fifties, she was very happy in Brookline, Mass. and some would have thought that she had lived a pretty full and happy life thus far, even if she had never married. A childhood friend, Stephen Wood, gave her a call one day when they were in their late fifties, and the rest-- as they say -- was history. No one will be surprised to learn that they lived happily-ever- after well into their eighties together. But what is amazing about this story is that Dr. Wood came complete with a ready-made family of six children in their teens and young twenties. They had not had a mother in ten years, and Phyllis gently but bravely stepped in to fill that vacuum. While most new brides can take their time getting to know their new spouse and becoming a mother someday, Phyllis instantly became a Den Mother when she said I do. Over time she gathered up all the loose threads and ribbons of family life and kept everyone together as the years went by. Every family holiday was a real event, and not just a brave attempt by children and a loving father to pretend things were okay. High School and College Graduations were attended by everyone. Birthdays were for celebrations. Many of the children lived at home for years going to school and working their way through college. There was never even a whisper that other arrangements should have been made. Her love and care did not diminish as the years went on | instead she did more. One grandchild lived with the family for a year. As several of the grandchildren were starting school, it was Phyllis that took them to Religious Instruction in the Catholic Church and made sure that they received their First Communions., etc. When Roseanne was married, Phyllis helped put on a beautiful seacoast wedding in Rockport. The center of the family was the relationship between their father and Phyllis. The children always knew that they were made for each other. They were not just from the same era | they loved the same things! She could remember all the names of the old actors in the classic movies they loved. He could actually sing the old songs they remembered in his wonderful, rich voice. Anyone that knew Phyllis knew that she adored Frank Sinatras singing, and Stephen was a fan as well. They travelled through Europe and America. He would experiment with amazing recipes, and she would eat them, and often they were delicious! Dr. Wood never really retired, but he was always impressed that Phyllis never stopped caring and giving. She loved St. Michael Catholic Church, and was the secretary for the Respect Life Comm., went to meals and aerobics at the Bedford C.O. A. and joined some womens clubs. She also delivered Meals on Wheels. When the terrible day came that Phyllis lost her husband, the children stepped up to help with any task and to honor their Fathers memory and his love and example. When Holidays rolled around they made a point of showing up and taking part. As time went by, Phyllis needed more help and different children took turns watching out and helping her. All of the children were grateful that they as a family were able to keep the promise and always take care of Phyllis. Roseanne never forgot how much joy and love had come into the family when her father married Phyllis. She believes her father loved angels, because he brought two of them to the family, and they both had golden wings. Even though she was not able to go as often as before, once she was confined to a wheelchair, she deeply enjoyed the fellowship of the Community Meals on Thursday nights at the C.O. A. in Bedford and Open Table in Concord. Her daughter Roseanne took her to many of those meals, and also took her on many trips around Maine and Massachusetts, including many museums and seashores, and was often accompanied by her son-in-law Robert, not to mention Skippy where possible. She is survived by her children Christopher and Michael of Beverly; Roseanne Arseneau and her husband Robert of Machiasport, Maine; Donald of Bedford; Paul and his wife Katherine of Rockland; Jennifer Hinkle and her husband Stephen of N. Venice, Florida; grandchildren Jonathan Wood of Beverly; Jenna Whalen and her husband Steve of Salem, N.H.; Linsey McDonald of Salem; and Alex and Karina Wood of Rockland, and also great-grandchildren Bradley McDonald and Samantha Whalen, She is also survived by her friends in Bedford, especially Joan Paul and Cecilia Wisentaner. She is also survived by her late brother Pauls Widow Anna Hourihan of Redding, Calif. Her funeral will be held from the Bedford Funeral Home, 167 Great Road, Bedford, on Monday, January 25 at 8:00 a.m. A funeral Mass will follow at St. Michael Church, 90 Concord Rd, Bedford, at 9 a.m. Interment will be at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. Visiting hours will take place at the Bedford Funeral Home on Sunday, January 24, from 2 to 5 p.m. Relatives and friends are invited. Flowers may be sent or memorial contributions may be made in Phylliss name to St. Michael Parish Fund, 90 Concord Road, Bedford, MA 01730.
Published in The Brookline Tab from Jan. 19 to Jan. 28, 2016
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