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Alumni News: Class Years 1960-1969

Mary Woody (1968) Passes Away

Thursday, May 17, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Mrs. Mary Frances (Hill) Woody of Nashville passed away May 5 at Alive Hospice after an extended illness. During her final months she struggled with rapidly-advancing dementia, against which she bravely fought as long and as hard as she could. Mrs. Woody, 72, was married to retired Tennessean sports writer and Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame member Larry Woody for 52 years. They met while attending Martin Methodist College in Pulaski. Born in rural West Tennessee, Mrs. Woody was adopted from an orphanage as a child by Mrs. and Mrs. Robert Hill of Portland, where she grew up loved and nurtured. She attended Portland High School where she played the flute in the school band and was a princess in the annual Strawberry Festival. After graduating from Martin College – at the time a two-year school -Mrs. Woody transferred to Belmont University with her future husband where she sang with the noted Beltones. She graduated from Belmont with a degree in Secondary Education and for several years taught second grade at McCann Elementary in Nashville where her family resided. After the first of her three children arrived, Mrs. Woody gave up her teaching career to be a stay-at-home mom. She was devoted to all children and served at a number of day-care centers. In ensuing years teenagers and young adults often would stop when they met her on the street to tell her how much she meant to them. Mrs. Woody was committed to numerous charitable causes, especially helping care for the indigent and the elderly. For a decade she rose at 4 a.m. three days a week to drive an elderly friend to a hospital for dialysis, waited until the process was completed, and took her back home. One of her day-care co-workers was a struggling single mom whose ancient car broke down and left her without transportation.  Mrs. Woody quietly withdrew funds from the family bank account to finance another vehicle. When not involved with her church or her charities Mrs. Woody enjoyed traveling and hiking with her husband in state parks and visiting historical sites around the state. The Radnor Lake Natural Area, located just minutes from her Granny White Pike home, was her year-round favorite. Mrs. Woody was known for being a good sport with a sense of humor. She once posed with a live boa constrictor draped around her neck at Lake George, N.Y., petted a pet pig during a walk at Radnor Lake, waded the icy Tellico River, endured a rainy, freezing Canadian camping trip and was flogged by a wild turkey at Long Hunter State Park – while her husband took instead of coming to her defense. At Daytona Beach every summer her kids talked into riding the wildest rides on the Boardwalk. Along with her husband, Mrs. Woody is survived by daughter Susan Dann and husband Jared Dann of New York; son Hugh Woody of Nashville, son Brian Woody and wife Dr. Meg Tully Woody of Iowa; granddaughter Makayla Boden of New York; and sister-in-law Carolyn Underwood and husband Tommy Underwood and niece Lori Ann Underwood, all of Crossville. For almost 50 years Mrs. Woody was a devoted member of Glendale United Methodist Church in Green Hills, where a memorial service will be held at a later date. 


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