Alice Virginia (Tyler) Wood, age 84, passed away peacefully on April 23rd, 2021 at her daughter’s home with loved ones by her side. Born in Alabama, she married the love of her life, Pete, and spent the rest of her life in Cocoa, FL.
Alice was preceded in death by John P. “Pete” Wood Sr., her devoted husband of 60 years, who passed on April 14th, 2016 and son Jeffrey Peter Wood who passed in 1961.
Alice is survived by her loving children; sons John P. Wood Jr., Joseph M. Wood Sr., and daughter Wendy S. (Wood) Dillon (Eric).
She is survived by her adoring siblings; sisters Julie M. (Tyler) Messick (Jim) and Laura E. (Tyler) Spencer (Bill), and her brothers John “Raymond” Tyler, William E. Tyler, and Scott L. Tyler (Mollie).
Alice is also survived by loving grandchildren; granddaughters Kara (Wood) Norman (Brian), Virginia “Ginnie” (Wood) Deming (John), and Ashley S. Dillon, and grandsons John P. Wood III and Joseph M. Wood Jr. (Alison).
Surviving great-grandchildren include Levi Cole Norman, Mason James Wood, Avery Logan Deming, and Mackenzie Lynn Norman.
Alice was preceded in death by her parents Clarence R. Tyler and Lillie M. Tyler, brothers Larry F. “Fred” Tyler and Thomas M. “Montier” Tyler Sr. (Mary), and sisters M. Ann (Tyler) Goforth (Ernie) and Wanda M. Tyler.
Alice has many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews who brought great joy to her later years.
Alice loved people, babies in particular. In her later years, the joy she felt when seeing them often spilled over, compelling her to stop and admire any baby she came upon, regardless of time, place, or the pressing need to finish gathering groceries. She would smile and wave at them, usually asking to hold the baby and doing what she could to instigate a babbling conversation. On some occasions, this scene ended with her offering to babysit for what most would consider total strangers, but whom she saw as tired parents of a beautiful new soul.
Alice also loved to read and sew, making beautiful clothing for her children and siblings. She excelled in cooking and her daughter learned many tricks from her. Although, they did diverge in their culinary pursuits, with Wendy preferring to bake sweet treats and leaving the liver and onions, one of Pete’s favorites, to Alice. She also loved to travel, whether it was a day trip out concluding with a meandering drive down River Road, or to slip off to Savannah or Charleston for a week.
Her love for her family extended as far out as the branches reached. She stayed home to raise her children until they finished high school…and then she found another great joy as a hairdresser. She loved her job, which was more of a pleasure than work as she said on many occasions. Many of her clients were older ladies. When some could no longer afford to pay for their hair-dos, she did their hair anyway. Sometimes, the ladies brought her cheese, butter, and homemade cakes or quilts as their payment. Alice just wanted the little ladies to always look pretty.
Her eldest child, John, was an anchor in her life and they shared a unique connection. He often came to her rescue by finding her a car and keeping her car in good working order when Pete needed a helping hand or could no longer do the work himself. Alice and John also shared many late night talks, which were and are still treasured by both of them. They each had a gift for showing compassion and love for each other, asking nothing in return.
Joe, ever a middle child, was full of impish ways that tried her nerves, but also brought her quiet amusement. Years later, they laughed at the trouble he got into as a youngster. “Are you listening, Joe?” she would say. The tales of waggishness would be shared with Alice later the same night, as it was well known that what wasn’t confessed to first-hand, would come to light at the beauty shop the next day. As the saying goes, Joe is the only “Hell his Mama ever raised”.
Alice and Wendy shared a very close relationship that only mothers and daughters can know. Many times this meant getting one another out of the house and into the world for the day. It meant planning parties, picking out flowers, and bouncing ideas back and forth. Wendy could always count on her mother for an honest and loving perspective. Each was there for the other one in the quiet ways no one else could be. They shared many moments of love, joy, sorrow, and hope which continued through the last of Alice’s time here with her.
As a mother-in-law, Alice cherished all and considered each her own child because that is how she felt. She was happy to run errands, give rides to medical appointments, give gracious gifts, and do anything she could to support the happiness and cohesion of her family, whether born to her or brought into the family.
As a grandmother and great-grandmother, she was always loving and wanted to see us smile. That didn’t mean lessons weren’t learned, but her primary want was that we all felt safe and loved and that we were well-fed and well-cuddled. She was always helping to help pay for dance shoes, boots, or whatever was needed to make your heart sing. She made ‘getting pretty’ a fun sport to be played lightheartedly that never wore away at any part of you, only accentuated what she naturally saw in you.
Alice was a compassionate, loving, light-hearted giver and the glue of her family. She had a quiet mischief and light of her own that was easily seen wherever she went. She sought only to see you as you were with no intention of changing you to suit herself or anyone else. She wanted you to be exactly who you were. Her only want was to make sure you knew how much you were loved.
Ga Bear, you took your sweet time getting back to Papa. We hope you’re having fun in Heaven snuggling all the babies, visiting with family and friends, dancing, sipping sweet tea, and enjoying a good book.