TEWKSBURY, MA — Mark Francis Wood, age 86, a well-known community activist, elected and appointed town committeeman, co-founder and board member of benevolent charitable organizations in Tewksbury, and devout Catholic advocate, died peacefully on Friday, June 1, at Lowell General Hospital, after a five month period of rapidly declining health. June 1st, marked the sixtieth anniversary of his wedding to the “love of his life,” Catherine A. “Kay” (Grand) Wood.
Mark was born in Lowell, February 12, 1932, one of three children of the late Mark F. Wood Sr., and Mildred (Meehan) Wood, graduated Keith Academy with the Class of 1949, and went on to earn degrees in Industrial and Electrical Engineering from Lowell Technological Institute, now the University of Lowell, and Northeastern University. He and Kay had lived in Tewksbury for the past six decades.
During the Korean War, Mark enlisted into the U.S. Navy aviation corps, and served aboard the U.S.S. Wasp, Aircraft Carrier. He was awarded the Korean War Service, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, United Nations, China Services, American Defense, Good Conduct, and European Service Medals during his enlistment. He continued many friendships with his fellow Veterans as a member of the D.A.V. Post 110, and American legion Post 259 in Tewksbury.
He began his Engineering career at Avco in Wilmington, and later Raytheon in South Lowell, where he retired after twenty-five years of service in 1992.
Active in Town Government, Mark was elected to Tewksbury’s first, and to date, only Charter Commission, served on many town committees, including Chair of the D.P.W. Committee, Tewksbury’s Council on Ageing, and was also a member of the Tewksbury Golden Age Club. Until a few months ago, Mark and Kay were present at most community fundraisers, and supported the many community charities serving the town. Mark was associated with the Greater Lowell Mental Health Association for over twenty-eight years, and served as Chairman of the Human Rights Committee for the organization. Community Teamwork Incorporated honored Mark as their Local Community Service Hero in 2004.
Mark was a prime mover and co-founder of the Tewksbury Community Pantry, from its unofficial beginnings at St. William’s Church, to the highly successful organization it has become, continuing to serve the people-in-need of the community. The T.C.P. dedicated a wing of the building on Whipple Road to Mark in honor of his service.
Mark was a devout Catholic Layman and longtime communicant of St. William’s Parish in Tewksbury. He had served as a Eucharistic Minister, and continued to serve Communion to the residents of Bayberry at Emerald Court for many years. Mark co-chaired the very first C.C.D. Program at St. William’s, was a founding member of the St. William’s Men’s Club, and had served as President of the Parish Council. He was also a member of the Fr. Coppen’s Council, Knights of Columbus in Tewksbury. Mark was an active Oblate Associate, a branch of the Oblate Fathers of Mary Immaculate, devoted to Evangelization, reaching out to those in need and concerned with all matters of social injustice.
Besides his beloved wife, he leaves a son, Mark P. Wood and his wife Linda of Tewksbury; sisters-in-law, Robin Wood of Natick, the wife of his brother, the late Atty. Donald J. Wood, Joan Grand and Mary O’Malley, both of Lowell; grandchildren, Matthew Ferrelli and his wife Shannon and their sons, Jackson and Ethan of Tewksbury, John Ferrelli and his wife Christina and their son Jacob also of Tewksbury, Nicholas Ferrelli and his wife Kristyn and their daughters, Vanessa and Evelyn; many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, cherished friends and caring neighbors; and was also predeceased by his sister Barbara Wood.
Visiting hours Thursday, June 7, from 3:00 until 7:00 in the Tewksbury Funeral Home, corner of 1 Dewey and 975 Main St. (Rte. 38) TEWKSBURY CENTER, Ph. (800 in MA or 978) 851 2950. Funeral Mass Friday, June 8, at 11:30 a.m. in St. William’s Church, 1351 Main St. (Rte. 38) Tewksbury. Please meet at church. Burial with Navy Honors at St. Mary Cemetery, No. Tewksbury. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Oblate Father’s Infirmary Fund, 486 Chandler St. Tewksbury, MA 01876 are encouraged. Visit: tewksburyfuneralhome.com
Mark insisted the following be the last words in his obituary: “To Kay – This I will remember. When life is finally through, the finest thing I ever did was loving you.”
(NOTE: The above obituary is from Tewksbury Funeral Home.)
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