VisitationSchertz Funeral Home
Schertz, TX 78154
Joan Marie Woods died peacefully at home in the early morning of May 11, 2021.
Joan was born to Robert and Edith Stillwagon in Brooklyn, New York, on May 23, 1930. She attended Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic church and school, and attended high school at St. Agnes Seminary. After graduating she took a secretarial job on Wall Street.
It was playing street hockey in Brooklyn as little kids when Joan first met Bill (William Joseph Woods, Jr., dec. September 2011), when, as they told it, she hit him with a stick. They met again after high school at church-sponsored dances at OLHC and began dating. They married at OLHC on July 21, 1951. The couple immediately moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, for his first assignment as an Air Force private and began their long marital journey that would take them back to Brooklyn in 1954, to Columbus, Ohio, in 1958, to San Antonio, Texas in 1993 and finally to their in-law suite with her daughter and son-in-law in Cibolo, Texas in 2002. Mind you, they moved far more frequently than that in the greater Columbus area.
Although both were only children, Joan was a matriarch, with 55 descendants. She is survived and will be missed terribly by all of her ten children: Kathleen Fulmer and her husband, Jerry of Tarpon Springs, Florida; Pat Perry and her husband, Tom of Cibolo, Texas; Debbi Taylor of Bonsall, California , William J Woods (III), of San Francisco, California; Maggie Schacht and her husband, Ken of Mt. Vernon, Washington: Mary White and her fiancé Bruce Steinhauer of Raleigh, North Carolina; Maureen Sickler and her husband, Tad of Albany, Oregon; Janice Davison and her partner George Helber of Houston, Texas; Robert Woods and his wife, Janice of Cibolo, Texas; and Kelley Adkins and her husband, Dave of Marietta, Georgia. Her children gave her 21 grandchildren, who in turn gave her 24 greatgrandchildren. Each and every one contributed enormously to her rich family life.
In Columbus, Joan was a working mother whose career as a secretary/administrative assistant took her through several utility companies, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and finally completing her career in the Senate Republican Offices for Senator Ted Gray of Upper Arlington, OH. She loved her work with Senator Gray, the longest serving legislator in Ohio history. She retired from the senate in 1992. After retiring, she and Bill traveled often to all points where their children had taken up residence, mostly using stand-by tickets on Southwest to enjoy people watching on the journey as much as the family time at their destination. Joan never met a stranger, in fact she was a magnet to strangers, sharing her joy of life, her simple, genuine smile, a quick hello and thank you. Instantly she had a new friend. The list of those we think of as her “11 th child” is longer than the list of her ten natural born children.
Diabetes and dementia were the main culprits in Joan’s demise, although thankfully they only slowly took away function over the years. The February freeze in Texas was the start of a decline she could not reverse. It was that week that she began receiving supportive services from Season’s Hospice and with help from hospice and family she was able to stay at home. Diabetes, on top of replaced hips and knees, had disabled her legs to the point where she could no longer walk or take care of her daily functions. Although her dementia was evident, she still had a lot of clarity about life and family – she watched her Nixplay e-frame throughout the day and would recognize and name all her family members almost to the end. During her final week with us, she was rarely coherent and spent most of her time sleeping. Now she is free to sleep eternally. Rest in peace.
A Memorial Visitation will be held on Sunday June 13, 2021 from 5pm to 9pm, with a rosary at 7pm at Schertz Funeral Home. A Memorial Mass will be held on Monday June 14, 2021 at Good Shepherd Catholic Church at 11:30am. Graveside service will follow at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery at 1:15pm.