April 3, 1928 to July 31, 2021
“They whom we love and lose are no longer where they were before. They are now wherever we are.” St John Chrysostom
Mary Wood, age 93, passed away on July 31, 2021 at Sumter Place in The Villages, Florida. She was the wife of Duane Wood. They shared 65 years together; November, 26, 1955.
Mary Jane Gage was born to Clara Westenbarger (Gage) and Floyd Gage, the last of eight children, on April 3, 1928. Mary’s mother Clara died from unknown causes 18 month later and she was raised by her Father as well as her older brothers and sisters on a farm just outside of Clio, Michigan. Mary was a popular and vivacious girl throughout high school and after. She spent two years attending Central Michigan University from 1946 to 1948 and then moved into an apartment in Flint Michigan with two of her sisters. After breaking hearts across central Michigan, she was wooed and ultimately married Duane Wood on November 26, 1955. Duane was a young de-commissioned Air Force first Lieutenant then finishing his college degree at General Motors Institute. Mary was initially put off by Duane, but his persistence and the encouragement of her sisters soon broke down Mary’s reticence. She was a full-time mother and homemaker after she had her children, Cindy and Craig.
Mary and Duane raised their young family in Clio throughout the 60’s and 70’s with an emphasis on character, family and academics. Both Cindy and Craig went on to the University of Michigan and both later earned additional graduate degrees. Both have happy and successful families, Cindy and Frank with daughter Molly and (step)son Frank, Jr. and Craig and Tracey with sons James and Nathaniel.
Mary and Duane retired in 1987 and spent several years splitting their time between Mesa, Arizona and Lake City, Michigan. In 2003, then moved full time to The Villages in Florida, where they have resided for the past 18 years. She belonged to Trinity Lutheran Church in The Villages. She enjoyed a vast array of sports and hobbies including tennis, golf, softball, fishing, sewing, gardening, bowling and card games. Mary knew how to throw a good party with her gift of hospitality. She was a friend to all.
Mary is survived by her husband, Duane Wood, her daughter, Cindy/Frank Janusz, her son, Craig Wood/ Tracey Thatcher, her grand-children, James and Nathaniel Wood, Molly and Frank Janusz, and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, her siblings and a son, Michael Wood (who died two days after birth of complications).
The celebration of life and graveside services will be December 27, 2021 from 9-11:00 AM at Trinity Lutheran Church, located at 17330 UD-441, Summerfield, FL 34491 and with interment at the Bushnell National Cemetery to follow.
Memorial donations/ in lieu of flowers may be made to Cornerstone Hospice located at 2445 Lane Park Road, Tavares, FL 32778- DCOHRN@CSHOSPICE.ORG or www.cornerstonehospicegiving.org.