She was a pillar in the community who will be missed by many.
Mary Woodman (nee Quilty) of Dunville passed away recently after a short battle with cancer.
Woodman was a woman who had a great impact on her community in many ways, as evidenced by the large showing of people who attended her funeral at St. Anne’s Church in Dunville Monday, March 26.
Woodman married Rex Woodman and raised three children with him, Russell, Denise and Neil. She was thrilled to have had a grandchild, Ryan, as well.
Mary Woodman was 56.
Woodman worked at Shave’s Grocery in Dunville for about 15 years, and was an active volunteer, one of the original founders of the P4 Youth Centre, and an active and lively member of the Dunville Women’s Institute, among other organizations.
She was a fixture in Dunville and just about everyone knew who she was.
Placentia Mayor Bill Hogan said it was sad to see an icon pass away at such a young age.
“Her fingerprints are all over the community as far as contributions with young people and recreation and the like. She was active in many community activities especially in Dunville. Everybody knew her,” he said.
Jean Budden, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Women’s Institutes and friend of Woodman, said she would be greatly missed.
“She really just had that personality... she kept the spark in the Branch, and was really like that. Anybody that knows her knows she always had a joke or something going on. She was quite involved,” explained Budden.
“When Mary came into a room everybody had a smile on their face. She was that kind of a person. She is going to be missed, oh my dear. When we meet now, it is so different without her there.”
Budden said the suddenness of Woodman’s passing was a shock to many.
“It was so quick. But I guess we just can’t question those things, can we? We never know when it is our time.”
Budden spoke at her funeral and had known her since Woodman was about 15 years old.
“I’ve known her since she was my babysitter. She was always so cheerful and a ray of sunshine at our meetings.”
Budden said her wit and sense of humour was one of the main things she’d remember about Woodman.
“She played auctioneer for us sometimes and boy, was she good. We had so much fun with Mary. And she was a real friend to all.”
Plus, said Budden, she knit, sewed, quilted, catered, did whatever was on the go.
“Whatever she did, she did it with enthusiasm,” said Budden. “She liked doing all those things.”
Woodman’s daughter Denise said her mother always felt it was important for her kids to have something to do, one of the big reasons she got involved in helping to set up the P4 Youth Centre.
“She knew not all kids were into sports, and really just wanted to see us have some place to go to have fun,” said her daughter.
Denise said she loved the Women’s Institute but laughed that her mother might start all kinds of projects, but she might not necessarily finish them.
“She also helped out with the PTA when we went to school, and whatever we were involved in, she was too,” said Denise. “If volunteers were needed, she was always there.”
The quickness of Woodman’s illness was difficult for her children since they all live out of the province, but Denise was able to take a leave of absence from her work to spend a couple of months helping her mom when she was ill and undergoing treatment in the fall of 2011.
“She had a really good support network here,” said Denise. “Genevieve Shave was a fountain of information for mom because she was a retired nurse, and could help interpret test results. She really had a lot of good friends, and an excellent support network.”
As her daughter said, Woodman not only played a great role in their lives, but in the lives of many people in her community, and in the community itself.
“It’s been really great to hear people coming up at the funeral home and saying she was always someone they could lean on, that they could trust her. She was the strongest person I ever met in my life. She was always there for people. She never said no. If she was asked to do something, whether it be volunteer work, or to help a friend, or something for the community, she was there, front and centre. She never said no.”
Denise said just before her mom went into hospital for her surgery, she was fundraising for another friend who was in the same position.
“That shows you right there, friends and support was first and foremost. But she was always down for a good laugh, and people say you could hear her before you could see her.”
Denise said the family is pleased that their mother got to have a grandson, and enjoy him before she passed away.
“She always wanted grandchildren, and got to get to hold him. She finally had her grandchild and really, got everything she wanted before she passed away.”