Winnie Wood

Winnie Wood

Winifred “Winnie” Jones Wood, 85, died Monday, February 17, 2014 at the Mayview Convalescent Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. She was born September 17, 1928 in North Augusta, South Carolina, the youngest of the five children of the late Josephine and R.C. Jones. The other four children were Gwendolyn (Madrin); Lois (Peele); R.C. Jr.; and Everett who all predeceased her. Winnie grew up in Elizabeth City, North Carolina and graduated from Elizabeth City High School. In 1949, she graduated from the College of William and Mary. In 1950, she married George M. Wood of Camden, North Carolina. They lived for many years in Camden County, where George was an innovative farmer and businessman. George died in 1986.

Winnie spent many years volunteering with organizations that served northeastern North Carolina, with a focus on education, economic development and issues involving women and children. Winnie was a charter board member and the first woman to serve on the College of the Albemarle (COA) Foundation Board of Directors and later served as board president.  She also served on the State Board of Community Colleges.  Winnie was a founding member of Albemarle Hopeline, an organization dedicated to serving victims of domestic violence. She served for many years on the Board of Advisors and was board president. She also served as board president of the Pasquotank County Arts Council and chairman of the board of directors for the Museum of the Albemarle. Winnie served on the boards of a number of other local organizations, including Albemarle Smart Start Partnership, Elizabeth City State University Foundation, and the Elizabeth City Waterfront/Mariner’s Wharf Organizing Committee.

Winnie was an active member of the Democratic Party. She served on the North Carolina Democratic Party Executive Committee and was a delegate to the 1972 National Democratic Party Convention.  Winnie loved music all her life. She played the flute and piccolo in the high school band as well as in college. She was particularly fond of sing-alongs and was quick to volunteer to lead a group in singing. Her family will miss the passion and energy with which she pursued all her interests.

She is survived by her five children, Gail Wood (and her husband Gary Richman), Matt Wood (and his wife Holly Cook-Wood), David Wood, Joanne Wood, and Rob Wood (and his wife Kara Donaldson). She is also survived by her 11 grandchildren, Elise and Michael Richman; Megan Wood-Tunnell, Emma and Maggie Wood; Josh and Greta Honeycutt; Isaac and Lowell Wood; and Griffin and Duncan Wood—and 1 great grandchild—Elsie Barrett Tunnell. She is also survived by many special nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 pm on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at Cann Memorial Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth City. A reception will be held after the service in the church fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Albemarle Hopeline, PO Box 2064, Elizabeth  City, NC  27906 or the College of the Albemarle Foundation, PO Box 2327, Elizabeth City, NC 27906. The family will receive visitors at the home of Matt Wood and Holly Cook-Wood, 1603 Rivershore Road, Elizabeth City, from 6-8pm Friday, February 21, 2014.  Twiford Funeral Home, 405 E. Church Street, Elizabeth City, NC is assisting the Wood family.  Online memorial condolences may be sent to the family at

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Condolence Messages


    To all the Children…Please know that my heart is heavy due to your(our) loss. Winnie was a “special” friend and we shared many years of close friendship with both of our families. UPTONS AND WOODS.,Wonderful memories which included George.
    Fred and I moved to Camden in 1953 and our friendship with the Jones and Wood families began with close relationship between our children.


    To all the Children…Please know that my heart is heavy due to your(our) loss. Winnie was a “special” friend and we shared many years of close friendship with both of our families. UPTONS AND WOODS.,Wonderful memories which included George.
    Fred and I moved to Camden in 1953 and our friendship with the Jones and Wood families began with close relationship between our children. GAIL,MATT,DAVID JOANNE, ROB,AND FREDDIE, SUE AND NANCY.

  3. James Harrison

    Wood children and family, you had a wonderful mother/grandmother/aunt. She was a special lady. I was a student school bus driver for you children and I have fond memories of all of you. I used to talk with Winnie when I worked at the A&P in Elizabeth City. She was a wonderful lady and everyone loved her. She will surely be missed. May God give each of you peace and comfort during this time of healing. God Bless each of you and be assured i’ll remember your family in prayer. God Bless. James Harrison

  4. Charlotte Underwood

    I loved Winnie Wood. Her energy and support of women and children’s causes was unwavering. When we mentioned to her we wanted to start a Women Givers group to help women and children in our area she immediately set up a luncheon at her house and encouraged us and that was all it took. Winnie and George were just special caring people and so are their children. Gail, Matt, David,Joanne, Rob and all the family know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and one day this sadness will be replaced by wonderful, happy memores. Sincerely, Charlotte



  6. Georgine Armstrong

    A special lady has passed our way. She has enjoyed a full life. Thank you Lord for sharing her with this world.

    Family, please cherish those wonderful memories. What a blessing to share her ministry to our community. Know you will leave it a better place because of her inspiration.

  7. Marcia Phillips

    Winnie was an awesome woman! I met her thru being on the Hopeline Board and was SO inspired. She was a woman who definitely left her mark on this world. She will be missed by many.

  8. John Aydlett

    What a great lady & what a great life she lived with HUGE enthusiasm.
    Winnie will be missed by so many. She was a treasure to our community and to her family. She was one of my favorites. Her influence & inspiration have touched many lives in this world.
    Thanks Winnie for all you strived to do. Peace be with you.
    With Love, John & Amie Aydlett

  9. Nancy Easterday

    Winnie was the epitome of an engaged community advocate and a role model especially for women, but for all of us. She was also just kind, fun, intelligent, and embracing. She welcomed me to the community and made a lasting and wonderful impact on my life. My sympathies to all of the family for your loss.

  10. Brenda Summers

    Winnie was an amazing woman, brining such energy to women’s issues and to the Democratic party. Hope that memories of the many things she did for your and for others brings you comfort. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Losing a parent is hard but when they are both gone it is truly difficult. Brenda

  11. Barbara Fitzgerald

    My aunt Winnie was the epitome of the well-rounded woman of her times. She was dutiful daughter, dedicated fun-loving mother and wife, an aspiring politician, hostess and business owner and community leader who unselfishly gave of herself and her funds to better Elizabeth City. I am proud to call her my aunt. God bless….

  12. Mary Ann Aydlett

    Winnie was a wonderful lady. She inspired many, and was always interested in everyone’s well-being. I certainly did enjoy talking with her when she took her daily walks around the neighborhood. May God give you peace during this difficult time. My deepest condolences.

  13. Kelly Thorsby

    Not being from this area, I only knew just a fraction of what this amazing woman did in her life. I was impressed when our chamber did the ribbon cutting at the Winnie Wood center, but I had no idea of her accomplishments until now. My heart goes out to her son Matt and wife his Holly, and the rest of the family. We lost a true legend, but what a blessing to leave such a legacy of pride. Her family should be so proud of her and know they were blessed to have her in the family. Prayers to all of her loved ones.

  14. Maria Garcia-Cunningham

    My heart is broken and the tears won’t stop flowing as I’m made aware of Winnie’s passing. She was the most influential figure in my personal and professional life. She was my boss, mentor, confidant, and more importantly my friend. There are many things that come to mind when I think about Winnie. She was a woman who was always doing things for others. Her compassion and generosity was evident in her life’s work. She was exacting and uncompromising about matters like integrity and work ethics, yet took immense pleasure in the simplest things in life like flowers. Winnie may be gone but she will forever live in my heart and memories.

  15. Robin Harris

    I always loved talking with her when I would see her various places throughout the years and I never walked away after our conversations without having a smile on my face and inspiration in my heart. She will truly be missed. My deepest sympathy to her family.

  16. Willam Horace & Joyce Jordan Jr.

    Our prayers and deepest sympathies go out to the Family.

    William and Joyce Powell Jordan

  17. Brenda Russell

    Dear Matt & Family,
    I was saddened to hear of your mother’s passing. I hope all of the family is doing as well as possible. Please give the girls a hug and let them know I am thinking about you all and praying. God Bless each of you.
    Always in Heart,
    Joe and Brenda Russell

  18. Jane Hearn Hill

    To all the Wood children, we send our deepest condolences. Your Mom was a special friend to our family. We enjoyed being with all of you at Cann Memorial. You will be in our thoughts, and we are holding you in our hearts during this difficult time. Hugs, Jane Hearn Hill and the Hearn family

  19. Ana

    I am so sorry for your loss. Although, I do not know your family personally, I would like to share some encouraging thoughts from the Bible. The Bible provides comfort during these difficult times. Revelation 21:3-4 states, And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away. Very soon now, we will never experience losing our loved ones in death. May these words give you a new hope.

  20. Pauline Leary Berard

    There are not enough words to describe Winnie! She was a true Southern Lady- full of energy and a friend to all. Winnie was so active in our community-Please accept my condolences to all of the family. I will be out of town this week-end but my prayers will be with all of you! Thinking of all of you!

  21. Linda McClintock

    Ms. Winnie – a wonderful lady – a wonderful legacy. We should all aspire to be like her. What a gift she was to her family, her community and her friends. Rest in peace. Condolences to her beloved family. My prayers are with you all.

  22. margene curtice

    Winne had a life well lived. She had a positive impact on all who knew her and many who never met her. I feel lucky to have known her.

  23. Gavin and Wendy Lloyd

    Our hearts go out to her family. She was a wonderful lady. We loved listening to her stories. We believe she lived a full and rewarding life. We should all aspire to have her drive and love of life and people.

    You are in our thoughts.

  24. Travis Burke

    Matt & Family:
    Let me express my deepest sympathy for your loss. Mrs. Winnie was a remarkable leader, innovator and catalyst for the common good of people during her entire life . You and I, along with your family and many, many others, have a true understanding of how remarkable she was in whatever she did. Her passion for people was noted by those that she was around. Please know that I am thinking about you and your family during this time of loss.

    In deepest sympathy,
    Travis Burke

  25. Lynnette Beasley


  26. Cheri Steele Stalls

    Dear Wood family… You are in my thoughts and prayers as you celebrate the life of Winnie! My mom always thought so much of Winnie and both Mom and Dad enjoyed visiting her in Cary. Memories of her presence, and that of your entire family, in our lives as we grew up brings smiles. Peace to you. Heaven has gained another of the greats.

  27. Ray Meiggs

    Dear Gail, Matt, David, Joanne and Rob,

    Words simply cannot capture my range of emotion and depth of feeling for Winnie –thankfulness and joy for her presence in my life to a deep sadness that we have lost such a beautiful spirit. I’ll cherish forever many fond memories from childhood days in Camden to our afternoon chats on the shores of our Pasquotank River. I truly loved your beautiful mother and send my deepest condolences.

    Always in my heart,

  28. Don Steele

    Gail, Matt, David, Joanne and Rob,
    I am so sorry for your loss, but know that Heaven is a great place because your Mom is surely there. I know that she is seeing tons of folks that are welcoming her in the knowledge that she will keep them straight. Our families 14 years in Camden County relied time and again on the Wood Family for all sorts of help. I know you will miss your Mom, but please know that she is happy in heaven.
    Don Steele

  29. Pat Hollingsworth

    Matt and family,

    I first met your mother when I took at parenting class at COA. I found Winnie to be a warm, genuine lover of people who always talked to people on a level plain. She never talked down to anyone.
    I believe her to be one of the great ladies of this county who devoted her life to helping people. I am sure she was a role model to you as well as to the community at large!

    Pat Hollingsworth

  30. Janet Russ

    Matt & Family,
    Sorry for the loss of your Momm she was a great person, Democratic Leader for our state, the champion for life is evident in their children. She and George were both people of integority, such a positive Russ

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