1927 – 2019
Woodstock – Mary passed peacefully at home surrounded by her family on March 14th, 2019. Mary was born in Bethel, Maine on September 24th, 1927 to Albert Harris Gibbs and Flora Belle Byrd (Churchill) Gibbs. She attended Gould Academy in Bethel and received a B.A. in Sociology from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. She married Richard Woodcock after graduating from Bates in 1949. The years immediately following were spent fulfilling graduate and doctoral degrees for Richard that included moves to Middletown, Connecticut, and then Providence, Rhode Island. They moved to Woodstock in 1956 where they bought their first home and settled down to raise their three girls; Debra, Kathryn and Laura Lee.
Mary always seemed to have time to take on some useful and fulfilling work along with raising her girls. Mary’s innate caring nature fit with her choice of volunteer activities and employment. Starting out helping in the Nursery school and Kindergarten, she later worked in the Nurse’s office in the Woodstock Elementary School and then in the Nurse’s office at Woodstock Academy. Eventually, Mary became an administrative assistant to the director of Community Health & Home Care, the first consolidated visiting nurse and health care agency for Northeastern Connecticut. She was dedicated to its initial formation, subsequent growth, and resulting moves. She worked during the moves from its base in Woodstock to Putnam and to Pomfret.
As each of the children grew she led three subsequent 4-H groups; one for each of them. Mary maintained an interest in politics and belonged to the League of Women Voters. She participated in church activities and organizations and was the first women elected to the board of deacons at the First Congregational Church of Woodstock. Mary enjoyed camping and travel; from wilderness canoe trips in northern Maine to cross-country road trips traversing the United States and up into the Maritimes in Canada. She thoroughly enjoyed music and sang solos as a child in church and in high school drama productions. As an adult she joined the Hill Church Choir and the Northeast Connecticut Concert Choir, gradually getting the rest of the family involved. In retirement, the camping tents and station wagon were replaced by more comfortable accommodations and more often travel took them outside the United States. Many enjoyable summers were spent at the house in Cushing, Maine, where family and friends were welcomed with open arms.
Mary is survived by her husband, of almost 70 years, Richard, their children: Debra & husband Ray Bard, Kathryn & husband Paul Lynn, Laura Bond & fiancé Glenn Boies, grandchildren: Caleb Shay, Desiree Bard, Justin Bard, Ian Lynn, Meredyth Lynn, Zachary Bond and Max Bond.
A service of celebration and remembrance will be held on Saturday, April 27th, 2019 at 3:00 pm at the First Congregational Church of Woodstock, 543 Route 169. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The First Congregational Church of Woodstock, P.O. Box 147, Woodstock, CT, 06281 or Hospice Care of Northeastern Connecticut, 32 South Main Street, Putnam, CT 06260. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Gilman Funeral Home & Crematory, 104 Church St., Putnam, CT 06260. For memorial guestbook, please visit www.GilmanandValade.com.