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Helen E. Wooditch
Viewing: Friday, September 25, 2015 at DeVol Funeral Home, 10 East Deer Park Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20877 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Service: Saturday, September 26th, 2015 at 10:30 a.m.
Location: St. Mary�s Catholic Church, 520 Veirs Mill Road, Rockville, MD 20850

On Thursday, September 17, 2015, Helen E. Wooditch of Rockville, MD died at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. She is the beloved wife of 64 years to John A. Wooditch; mother of DonnaMarie and her husband Mark, Baltimore, MD, Thomas and his wife Cathleen, Clayton, NC and John, Rockville, MD; grandmother of Angela and her husband Evan and Lauren and her husband David; great-grandmother of Isaiah, Jonah and Sienna; sister of Mary McLaughlin, Heights, PA. 

Friends may call at DeVol Funeral Home, 10 E. Deer Park Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20877 on Friday, September 25, 2015 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at St. Mary�s Catholic Church, 520 Veirs Mill Road, Rockville, MD 20850 on Saturday, September 26th, 2015 at 10:30 a.m.

Entombment will follow in Gate of Heaven Cemetery Mausoleum, Silver Spring, MD. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her name to either The Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher House, 24 Stokes Road, Bethesda, MD 20889 or to Montgomery Hospice, 1355 Piccard Drive Suite #100, Rockville, MD 20850. Please sign the guest book. 

Eulogy shared at the Funeral Mass by DonnaMarie:

Last week when dad and I were at my mother's bedside, my mother turned to my father and said "thanks for the cigarettes". They looked at each other and both started to laugh. I was a little confused because my mother was not a smoker. I said that I think there is a story here that needs to be shared and she did. Right after mom and dad were married, my father came home and saw cigarettes on the table. He asked my mom about it and she said, "Oh, they belong to the neighbor". He returned them to the neighbor and she said "they're not mine, they're Helen's". Dad said something to mom's mother about her smoking and she said, "Not my Helen". Well the truth was that her Helen would go into her mother's bathroom, open up the window and smoke. My mom told me she had just gotten married and felt that fighting over this and not being truthful was not the way to start a marriage. So she stopped smoking and thus began a beautiful marriage based on love and honesty that lasted 64 years.

Today we are celebrating the life of one amazing and loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, and friend.

Mom was proud to be the wife of a career navy man and worked hard to take care of my brother Tom and me when dad had to serve his tour of duty and was gone for three years. She never complained - she worked full time, took care of the home and yard, and was actively involved in our lives - cub scouts, boy scouts, camp fire girls and school activities. After dad returned from his tour of duty and my brother John was born, she stayed home for a few years, then returned to work and continued to be enthusiastically involved in our activities. She loved sewing and last week was still talking about the outfits she helped make for our high school pom-pom team. She shared how it made her feel good to make a prom dress for a friend of mine in high school who could not afford to buy one. Our home was a place where our friends always felt welcomed and loved.

After my mothers liver transplant in 1989, she retired from work but not from living a full life. She focused on her other interests. She took up Bingo, crocheted afghans and tablecloths. I can't begin to count the number of afghans she made and gave away. She loved baking and everyone enjoyed what she so lovingly made. She took a cake decorating course and made lovely cakes. She baked so many cookies at the holidays and loved sharing them.  Just last week, a neighbor who lovingly calls her grandma, said he didn't like cookies until she made some for him. She enjoyed reunions with my fathers group of military friends and they hosted the group one year in Washington, DC. She was a strong supporter of our Veterans and she was very active in the Women's Auxiliary of the American Legion. At one point, she served as their President and the last 10 years, she was their treasurer. She was committed to everything she did and it was important to her to do it the right way. As a reflection of my mother's character and who she was, even the last week of her life, she had us bring the books to the hospital so that she could complete her August treasurer's report.

More than anything, mom  loved and treasured being with her family - whether it was spending time at home with us, taking mother/daughter weekend trips, joining us or taking us on vacations, or just spending time visiting her children's homes. She had wonderful memories of her and my dad vacationing with their granddaughters along with her sister and brother-in-law and their three grandchildren. She adores her great grandchildren. She wanted to live long enough to see and hold her youngest great granddaughter who was born in June. She got that wish. But then she bargained for more - I want to live long enough to see her walk. She always had a goal - something to live for.

The last two years have been difficult for my mother. She has been under the wonderful care of home hospice and she has endured whatever it took to keep her going. She was never a quitter. She drew on her faith and her love of God and the Blessed Mother. She said her rosary every night and prayed for everyone else - adding names as they were needed. She kept her sense of humor. Even as she was in the hospital a few weeks ago and in horrible pain, the doctor asked her name and she said "MaryJane". The doctor was immediately endeared to her sense of humor and said "I really like you". Then when asked what my mother would like to be called, she said, "I don't care, just don't call me late for dinner". That's my mother.

So this little glimpse you see of my mother is one of a woman who loved everyone and everything she did. She loved her life and never gave up - having survived a liver transplantation for almost 26 years. She was strong, she had a sense of humor, she always had the next thing to live for, she never asked much for herself and always compromised. As sick as she was, she still tried to care of my dad and my brother John - to be the wife and mother. But when she couldn't do it, they did an amazing job of caring for her. At the end, the doctors said there was no more they could do. She said she was tired and the Lord was calling her. In saying our good-byes last week, she still was the wife and mother, asking her children to take care of dad, telling dad what kind of things to do around the house, telling me what gifts to get for Christmas. In the end, she may have lost her independence, but never lost her dignity or grace. When she finally closed her eyes she was lovingly surrounded by her husband and three children. My niece put it so eloquently when she wrote about her grandmother that afternoon.

"Today heaven gained an amazing woman. God gets to spend eternity with one amazing woman. Thank you for always being there to listen to me, give me advice, teach me your ways of cooking and baking. I'll miss calling you and telling you all the things going on in my life. I'll miss your hugs and sweet hands. I'll never forget when I used to lay on your lap and you'd play with my hair, even when I was an adult. You always knew how to make me laugh and smile. You were an amazing grandma to not only me and Angela, but also to my brothers who weren't even yours. You loved everyone and always put everyone first. You were the best great-grandmother ever, and your grand babies loved you with all their hearts. I am so glad you got to meet and hold Sienna. I promise to always make sure they know what an amazing woman you were. I will miss you gram. Keep watching over us. I love you always and forever."

I believe the legacy my mother leaves here on earth is imparted by how she lived her life. If my mother could deliver this  in person, her message to you would be this popular saying:

Live Every Moment

Laugh Every Day

Love Beyond Word   

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