Nancy F. Woods (Freeman), 96, of Temple, NH, died on Friday, March 30, 2018, surrounded by her loved ones at Bridges in Nashua, NH after a long and beautiful life.
Nancy was born in the quintessential New England town of Waterbury, VT, on November 3, 1921. Daughter of the late Homer H. and Ethel M. (Graves) Freeman. She grew up in small town Waterbury where her father owned the general store and had a deep connection to their beloved community. Married for nearly 55 years to her high school sweetheart Eugene Leonard “Len” Woods, who was her soulmate and the love of her life. After spending a short time in Hartford, CT while Len served as a paratrooper in World War II, they settled down in Winchester, MA where they raised their four beautiful children and resided for 40 years. Later, they retired in Temple, NH where their family expanded exponentially through the close relationships they developed by becoming entrenched in the community.
Ahead of her time, she was named valedictorian of her high school and went off to Bay Path University to earn her degree in business administration. During WWII, she did everything she could to take care of her then two children, Kathy and Eugene “Gene”, including taking a job at a ball bearings plants and turning her head while missing meals as they ate. Nancy worked in several fields after the war, but most notably as the Head Secretary to the Principal at the Shawsheen Valley Technical High School in Billerica, MA where she focused her attention on teens who needed guidance. One of her proudest moments was relishing the fact that her Great-Grandson, Joseph Sweetser was named valedictorian in 2017 of that same school.
Throughout her life she was part of countless charitable and community organizations. Most remarkably Lions Club, Math Tutor, Ladies Aid and Auxiliary Fire Fighter. She served as a Deaconess, a substitute organist and a singer in the choir at church. Well into her 80’s, she served as Deputy Treasurer for the Town of Temple and later became the Treasurer. She helped to create an over 80’s support group, as well as a volunteer group which visited Pheasantwood Nursing Home in Peterborough, NH.
She was loved by her community and she loved them deeply in return. In her mind, they were an extension of her close family. She enjoyed local events including monthly pot luck dinners for the community at Friendship Hall and breakfast with some of her dearest friends on a weekly basis.
Nancy was the type of person that had a contagious smile and was kind to everyone, including strangers. She saw everyone as one and the same, regardless of their background, status, religion, orientation or heritage - she viewed everyone as equal. Raised by a single father after her mother passed unexpectedly when she was only 9 years old at the start of the Depression. Her father, with the help of close relatives, raised her by himself. Through his actions, including unannounced hand-delivery of food to people’s houses during the Depression, thus keeping the community alive. Prior to her Mother’s passing, she taught Nancy to always set an extra place setting at the table to welcome those less fortunate to share a meal. These core beliefs were the backbone of who she became as a person. That same thread was woven throughout the tapestry of her entire life.
She spent a lot of time with family including her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Most of all, she loved spending time making unforgettable memories at family gatherings and the annual family trip to the beaches of Cape Cod and the Green Mountains of Vermont.
In her final hours, she was surrounded by her loved ones and passed with a smile on her face. Her expression let her family know that she was reunited with the love of her life, Len, her daughter Kathy, her son-in-laws John and Steve, dear friends Gert, Walt, Peggy, Fred, Leo and so many more.
In addition to her parents, Nancy is predeceased by her daughter Kathy, her son-in-laws John and Stephen Dunn.
Nancy is survived by her daughters Pamela Dunn of Tyngsborough, MA, Priscilla (Sid) Anderson and her husband Ed of Greenfield, NH; her son Eugene (Gene) Woods and his wife Carol of Clinton, MA; her grandchildren Stacey Reid, her husband Mike and their son Sawyer of Milford NH, Stephanie (Dunn) Urquhart of New Ipswich NH and Candi Dunn of Nashua NH; Kimberly Prescott and her husband Steve of Milford, NH; Jennifer Woods of Florida; her grandson Gregg Sweetser and his son Joseph of Billerica, MA and her honorary granddaughter, mother to Joseph, Darlene Hemenway of Billerica, MA, and many extended family members and close friends.
Family and friends are warmly invited to Calling Hours, which will be held on Saturday, April 7, 2018, from 11:00am to 2:00pm at the Cournoyer Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 33 River Street, (Route 202 South) in Jaffrey.
In lieu of flowers, since Nancy was such a charitable person, her family has requested memorial contributions be made in her name to the Monadnock Kitty Rescue and Adoption PO Box 468, 11 Plantation Drive, Jaffrey, NH 03452 http://kittyrescueandadoption.org, or a charity of your choice. If a monetary donation is not possible, they ask that you perform an act of kindness to a stranger.