Celebrating the Life of Mary Woods

Feb 6, 2023 | 0 comments

Mary Woods’ life was celebrated with a Rosary and Vigil service at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on Wednesday, February 1, 2023. After the Rosary is recited, about 30 minutes into this video, you can hear comments from family and friends about Mary. A Funeral Mass was held the next morning with Archbishop John C. Wester presiding. The video was recorded and edited by Gail Rubin, who writes The Family Plot Blog.

Mary Woods Rosary

Mary Woods Rosary and Vigil Service

My Remembrances of Mary

Mary was a friend to many. I met her through the New Mexico Interfaith Dialogue as a guest on The Archbishop’s Hour on Catholic Radio. She was an excellent interviewer. I invited her to my home for Passover, where she charmed everyone she encountered. She became great buddies with Melanie LaBorwit, and we all celebrated our Maryland roots. Melanie and I were at Mary’s bedside the day before she shed her earthly vessel. We said the Viddui prayer, an interfaith gesture we think Mary appreciated.

And Mary was a friend to Historic Fairview Cemetery, where she volunteered to help clean up the grounds on the first Saturday of the month. She also participated in the first Cemetery Stories event held November 2, 2021. Here is her tribute to her mother, with her story, Prince Matachabelli, which is also included in the video of the Rosary service.

Cemetery Stories: Prince Matchabelli by Mary R. Woods

Mary Woods Obituary

Here is the obituary that appeared on the Riverside Funeral Home website:

It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Mary on Sunday, January 23rd at University of New Mexico Hospital after a brief battle with cancer.

She was born in Munich, Germany, to U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Norman and Helen Woods. Soon after the family returned to the United States where they lived in Baltimore (Dundalk), Maryland, Stamford (Glenbrook), Connecticut, and Arlington, Virginia. She attended Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington. She graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC with a BA in Drama.

Mary moved “out west” in the 90s living mostly in Salida, Colorado, Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico. She fell in love with the people and cultures of the area and never looked back east. Mary was an accomplished actor performing in theatre, movies, television and streaming productions. She was a member of SAG-AFTRA as well as Actors Equity Association. She appeared on stage at Arden Players, Santa Fe, Arena Stage Washington DC, Ford’s Theatre DC, National Portrait Gallery DC and many other theatres.

Mary was also a magnificent voice of audio books having recorded Talking Books for the Blind and Disabled for the Library of Congress. (1979-2000). She won the Alexander Scourby Narrator of the Year Award for Fiction in 1977.

Mary also had a prolific career in radio. She was Host and Interviewer for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe (2006-2021). She hosted NPR Morning Edition at KUNM (FM) in Albuquerque, New Mexico (2005-2006), was News Director at KVRH/KBVC in Salida, Colorado (1996-2005) and News Contributor at KRCC in Colorado Springs, Colorado (2004-2005).

She is survived and greatly loved by her eldest brother, Joseph (Dorsey), many nieces and nephews, and great nieces and great nephews. It would be remiss to leave out that she is also survived by her cats, Sam and Dave, whom she loved dearly. She is predeceased by her parents and her loving brothers Peter (Mai), John (Josefina) and Maurice Patrick.

Mary was a lover of music, literature, movies, archery and poetry. She was passionate in all her activities and interactions. Everyone who knew her, and they are legions, admired her generosity, compassion, honesty, empathy, talent, cleverness and humor. She will be sorely missed and leaves a big void in many lives.

The family want to thank the doctors, nurses, technicians and the entire caring staff at University of New Mexico Hospital (Adult Oncology). Their compassion and love for Mary was evident during her entire journey with them. Words fail to express our appreciation.

A Vigil Wake, an evening of prayers, rosary and remembrances by friends, will be held at Immaculate Conception Church, 619 Copper Ave. NW, Albuquerque, NM, 87102 on Wednesday, February 1st, at 6:30 PM. A Funeral Mass will take place on Thursday, February 2nd, at 10:00 AM at the same location. In lieu of flowers, donations to Catholic Charities, The Humane Society of Albuquerque, or the charity of your choice would be Mary’s wish. The family can be contacted by email at jox1@videotron.ca.

Thank you Mary for being you. Love you to bits.

Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist and The Doyenne of Death®, is also a Certified Funeral Celebrant.

A Good Goodbye