Mary Murphey Wood obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Mary Murphey Wood

March 6, 1923 - May 10, 2017

Obituary


Mary Murphey Wood passed away on May 10, 2017 at the age of 94. Mary was born on March 6, 1923 in Pontotoc, Mississippi. She was the daughter of Azuba Fitts Murphey and Elco Murphey. Her parents were farmers. Even in her early years, she could read, sew, and cook. She started school and skipped 1st and 2nd grade and went right to the 3rd grade where, on the first day of school, tied a 3rd grader in a spelling bee. This was also when she met Charles Wood, her husband-to-be many years later. She...

Mary Murphey Wood passed away on May 10, 2017 at the age of 94. Mary was born on March 6, 1923 in Pontotoc, Mississippi. She was the daughter of Azuba Fitts Murphey and Elco Murphey. Her parents were farmers. Even in her early years, she could read, sew, and cook. She started school and skipped 1st and 2nd grade and went right to the 3rd grade where, on the first day of school, tied a 3rd grader in a spelling bee. This was also when she met Charles Wood, her husband-to-be many years later. She graduated from Algoma High School at the age of 16.
Mary and Charles dated and later married on April 23, 1938. Their daughter, Carole Brenda, was born July 10, 1939. They moved to Fairhope and then to Mobile during World War II. Charles went into the military, and Mary obtained a job at Brookley Field in the transportation division, where she exceled. In February, 1949, they fell in love with a baby that her brother, Travis, and sister-in-law, Lottie, adopted. His given name was William Travis Murphy. Everyone called him Billy. At the age of one year, Billy became very ill with pneumonia and nearly died. Mary and Charles took care of Billy and became so attached to him that they asked Lottie and Travis if they could adopt Billy to which they agreed. Billy's illness had made him a special needs child. Because of Billy, Mary and Charles started the beginning of what the Mobile Association of Retarded Citizens (MARC) is today. Mary and Charles were devoted to helping the retarded citizens of Mobile.
When they moved to San Antonio during the 1960's to work at Kelly Air Force Base, they took up painting and became very interested in art. They took art lessons until the next step in painting was painting nudes. That's when they dropped the lessons. They both put out some great paintings. Mary loved to sew all her life. She could make anything: curtains, evening gowns, wedding gowns, any types of clothing. In her last years, she made scarves and crocheted many items.
Mary belonged to many clubs and organizations including the Mobile Association for Retarded Citizens, a major part of her life, the Mobile Branch of American Pen Women where she hosted many events, Mobile Art Association where she printed and sent out many a newsletter, and the Ikebana International, Chapter 164, where she was the secretary.
Mary was very dedicated to family and was a giving and caring person. She made a difference in the lives of others, in her profession, and the community. Mary and Charles celebrated their 79th wedding anniversary, April 23, 2017. She had a zest for life.
Mary is survived by her husband, Charles W. Wood, her children, Bill Wood and Brenda W. Hollis, grandchildren, Alicia H. Bold (Hammond) and Kevin C. Hollis (Susan), great grandchildren, Hammond Bold, Jr., Rebecca Hollis, Christopher Hollis, Elizabeth Tudor (Charlie), and Shaye Patterson, and many nieces and nephews. Visitation will be held at Radney Funeral Home in Mobile on Monday, May 15th, from 12 - 1 PM with services from 1 to 2 PM. A private graveside service for family members only will be held at Pine Rest Cemetery in Foley, AL.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mobile Association for Retarded Citizens, 2424 Gordon Smith Drive, Mobile, AL 36617.