Mary Lou Woods, age 88, of Sugar Creek, MO, passed away peacefully on Thursday, February 27, 2020. She was born February 7, 1932 in Kansas City, MO, to James E. Behee Sr and Vivian (Pool) Behee. She was the eldest of nine children born to James and Vivian.
She met the love of her life, Charles R. Woods Jr or “Porky” (as he insisted she call him) at Brownies Café in Fairmount, Independence, MO. She worked as a phone company operator at the time and modeled women’s dresses/casual wear for Montgomery Ward. Porky was an apprentice welder at Sheffield Steel. They married on October 7, 1949 reaching their 70th wedding anniversary this past October. They made their home in Sugar Creek, MO in May 1960, where they raised three children. To this day, it remains the home of Porky.
Mary Lou was a member of St. Cyril’s Catholic Church in Sugar Creek, MO for the entire time she lived in Sugar Creek. She served on the Alter & Rosary Society helping to support the prayer and community needs of the parishioners she cared for so much. She volunteered at the Independence Regional Health Center for many years in the medical records department. She served on the board at the Sugar Creek Citizens Civic Relief Commission (CCRC) and worked at the food pantry serving the Sugar Creek community’s needs. She was recognized for hers (and Pork’s) decades of volunteering and supporting the Sugar Creek community by being presented with the Sugar Creek Citizen of the Year Award around 2000.
Mary Lou was a member of the St. Ann’s Grade School PTA, Independence, MO, where both her daughters, Angie and Chris, attended. She became a Girl Scout leader as her girls joined the Brownies. She continued being a Scout leader as her daughters grew through the Girl Scout ranks. Mary Lou was also a member of the St. Mary’s High School Booster Club back in the 1960’s when her eldest son, Gary, was attending SMHS. She was employed as a seamstress for a small sewing factory in Sugar Creek (corner of N. Sterling and Kentucky Aves) during the late 60s into the 70s.
As for her hobbies, she was the adventurer, an avid camper, hunter and fisherman. She didn’t hesitate to throw on the camo gear to go hunting with hubby looking for that elusive turkey. Her fishing skills left some baffled by the whopper 3 ft long, 26 lb catfish she pulled in while trolling at Lake Jacomo the Summer of 1977. Her catch made the Independence Examiner paper, a proud moment for her.
Tent camping was a summer staple in the family, and she always made sure we were well-equipped for “roughing” it back then. Later in her life, the tent camping was replaced by actual destination vacations including one of her most memorable trips to the Holy Land and Medjugorje in 1988.
She is survived by her loving husband of 70 years, Porky of the home; three children Gary Woods (Linda), Angela McVey (Jim), Christena Horne; nine grandchildren Tim Woods, Tom Woods, Cassie Woods, Carrie Woods, Callie Lawrence (Jared), Carly Taylor (Luke), Amber Douglas (Ben), Aaron Vroom (Lyn), Sarah Hughes (Tyler); 10 great-grandchildren Izzie, William & Annie (Lawrence), Jaxon (Taylor), Avery & Archer (Vroom), Clark & Isaac (Douglas), Ava (Hughes), Abbie (Woods) ; one sister Linda Durben (Bill), three brothers Richard Behee (Glinnis), Walter Behee (Debbie), Melvin Behee. She leaves behind many unnamed but loved family members from both the Behee and Woods families. Also, the many relatives left behind from the half-side of her father’s family, the Lomax Family, with whom she loved and cherished very much.
She was preceded in death by her parents James & Vivian Behee; sister Nellie Ryan, brothers William Behee, James Behee & Franklin Behee.
Visitation will be 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at Carson-Speaks Chapel, 1501 W Lexington Ave, Independence, MO 64052 with the rosary being recited at 5:30 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at St. Cyril’s Church, 11231 Chicago, Sugar Creek, MO 64054. The procession to Mt. Olivet Cemetery will follow Mass.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at https://alz.org/.