Margaret Jane Wood
Margaret Jane Wood, 77, departed this world on November 6, 2023, at Melbourne Terrace Rehabilitation Center, Melbourne, Florida.
Peggy, as she was lovingly known by her family and friends, was born May 9, 1946 in Enid, Oklahoma, a daughter of Arthur G. and Lyska G. (Gragg) Messman.
A graduate of Enid High School, Peggy also graduated from University of Maryland with a bachelor’s in sociology, and Brevard Community College where she studied graphic arts. She was married to Larry R. Wood until their divorce in 1987.
Peggy is survived by her children and their spouses: Anthony T. Wood (Amy Vriesenga), Roseland, Florida; and Christina L. Wood (Robert Cousins), Fayetteville, Georgia. Grandchildren Jacob A. Wood and Benjamin T. Wood also survive, as does her former husband mentioned above.
Our precious mother Peggy peacefully spread her wings and left this earth in the midst of a gloriously orange sunset – fitting for her artist spirit.
Born and raised in quiet Enid, OK she married young and embraced the adventurous, nomadic life overseas of an Air Force wife and mother. Always looking to spin the ordinary to extraordinary, our childhood was blessed by art coming to life in activities such as handmade salt dough ornaments baked for the Christmas tree, green oatmeal on St Patrick’s Day, and cartoons of our grade school faces hand drawn on paper bag lunches so the other kids wouldn’t mistake them as their own. Days with any preteen angst were met with a drive to the German countryside where she would stop the car at the first wide, open field and invite us to run with her as fast as we could until we tumbled to the ground in laughter. Resiliency is the favorite trait she instilled in us, playful positivity a close second.
Her career blossomed while being a single mom of teenagers; hired as one of the few female Quality Assurance Analysts with Pan Am World Services, working behind engineers on the Titan rocket launch pads. She infamously raced around Cape Canaveral Air Force Station campus in a speedy golf cart to reach the women’s restroom at the BBOB (big building out back) because none were located nearby in that time.
Her later years were filled with “Yart Parties” where she encouraged friends to bring homemade art projects to her yard so they could admire and encourage one another’s talents. The small business owners in her quaint, riverside Eau Gallie neighborhood always received the latest updates on the lives of her children, grandchildren, and her consistent support in buying their goods. She was an ardent advocate of local artisans, notorious for purchasing artistic oddities (such as a shellacked gourd purse or unusually-shaped cooking dishes) and mailing them in care packages to her children at college. Critters of all kinds (possums, raccoons, squirrels, stray cats, etc) surely spread news that her yard was the best in town – always stocked with bird seed, peanuts (from the local feed store), and her dinner leftovers in small bowls near the convenient tear in her porch screen door.
Always smiling and positive with a great sense of humor, she was not only our beloved but also adored by the staff at Melbourne Terrace Rehabilitation Facility where she spent her final years in their expert care for Parkinson’s dementia. Even in her final hours our Peggy-mom was smiling – brimming with love and quiet grace.
She is missed so deeply but we cast our love and smiles to her every time we catch glimpse of a brilliantly orange sunset or a wide, open field.
In lieu of flowers, the Wood family requests that efforts and energies go towards supporting local artists, small family-owned businesses, and your neighborhood wildlife in Peggy’s memory.