Virginia M. “Virg” Wood, 89, passed away in her home Sunday morning surrounded by her family.
Virg was born in Lost Creek, on June 19, 1929, the first of eight children, to Patrick J. Coyle and Eleanor L. Shearn.
She was a 1946 graduate of the former West Mahanoy Township High School where she was a cheerleader and formed lifelong friendships.
Prior to her marriage to Charles J. “Herbie” Wood, she worked as a secretary for the PP&L and a legal firm. She married Herbie on July 31, 1954, in St. Mary Magdalen’s Church, Lost Creek.
Throughout her life she used her gifts and passions to drive her work, the celebration of holidays and family. Her prowess in the kitchen gathered many to the table and led to the reveal of secret recipes that included ingredients such as “a saucer full of flour.” She enjoyed making things from sewing children’s clothing to creating elaborate Halloween costumes, some so unconventional that final assembly was onsite. Children, grandchildren and anyone who graced her doors were indoctrinated into the world of casual gambling and fierce, yet friendly, competition though Michigan Rummy and various other dice and card games. Prizes ranged from cold hard cash to bragging rights. Frosty Parades, holidays with “food for an army” and family egg hunts (turned community events) will be at the top of the list of fond memories. We will all recall that Maggie (#13 and “the favorite”) ends up with the best gift in the annual Pollyanna as our gambling Grammy knew just how to “fix it” so “her house” would win. Grammy traveled far and wide to be in the stands cheering for her athletes through college in baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, field and ice hockey, golf, lacrosse, softball, track and field and volleyball. Her biggest loyalty was to the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. She looked forward to weekly poker games with her lifelong friends, serving with them to prepare spaghetti dinners for the annual parish block party, and traveling with these same women to ports of call around the globe. Of course, most trip itineraries included “the casinos.” She also helped to organize the Coyle Family Reunions complete with sack races and beer chugging contests. Her planning of parties continued at the head of the table with Irish eyes smiling at the thought of bringing her people together through even her last week of life. When NOT planning the next event, she served as Postmaster of the Lavelle and Lost Creek Post Offices for over 25 years.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Charles J “Herbie” Wood; her sister, Bobbie Dooling; and her brother, Frankie Coyle.
She is survived by her five children, Tim Wood, Deer Lake, Jacki and Butch Keithan, Katy, Texas, Joe and Terri Wood, Ringtown, Betsy and Chris Quinn, Roxborough, and Jim Wood, Wilkes-Barre; her 13 grandchildren, Colby Keithan, Chas Keithan, Alli Keithan, Megan Wood, Christopher Quinn, Lauren Wood, Michael Quinn, Tim Wood, Caitlin Wood, Ryan Wood, Brigid Wood, Connor Wood and Maggie Quinn; one great-grandson, Charles R. Keithan; her sisters, Ele McGarvey, Hatboro, Kiki Goodman, Pottsville, Jackie Isherwood, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Janet McDonald, Girardville; her brother, Pat Coyle, North Wales; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
She was proud of her Irish heritage, we will never look at a shamrock without seeing her face or watch a game involving the Fighting Irish without hearing her voice shouting, “Go Irish!”
Funeral services will be held at 9:30 a.m. Friday from Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, 132 S. Jardin St., Shenandoah. A Mass of Christian Burial will then be celebrated at 10 a.m. in Divine Mercy Church, 232 W. Cherry St., Shenandoah. Monsignor Edward Coyle will be the principal celebrant and homilist and Monsignor Ronald C. Bocian, pastor, as concelebrant. Interment will follow in Annunciation BVM Cemetery, Shenandoah Heights. A viewing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday and from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Friday at the funeral home.
Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, Shenandoah, is in charge of the arrangements.