Edward Franklin Woods (99+) died peacefully on January 5, 2020. He was known for his generosity, kindness, and being a true gentleman. Born in Cohasset, MA on August 25, 1920, he was the eldest of the five children of Marion (Gibson) and Carlton M Woods.
Ed was a graduate of Tabor Academy ’39 and Bowdoin College ’43, finishing in 3½ years so he could join the war effort. He served as a US Army Sergeant in WW2. He received his DMD from Tufts Dental School in 1950 and was a member of the oral surgery staff at University Hospital in Boston, the Mass Dental Society, the American Dental Association and the Pankey Institute of Graduate Dentistry. Ed was named a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry in 1979. After a 41-year career in Cohasset, patients still retain their gold work and hear praises from their current dentists about his artistry.
Rowing was an integral part of Ed’s entire life. His most rewarding personal memory and achievement was being part of the 1939 Tabor crew, travelling on the Queen Mary, and winning the Thames Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta. In 1945 when he learned that Henley was planning a one-day Peace Regatta, Ed again competed. As the only American he was the sentimental favorite of the 30,000 spectators. In 1946, Ed joined the Union Boat Club of Boston where he was involved in the American Henley Regatta and was a past Vice President. He was a co-chair of their Endowment and fundraised for two UBC trips to Henley in the 1980s. Ed was honored by election to full membership in the Leander Club of Henley-on-Thames in 1990. Both the Hingham High School Rowing Association and the Union Boat Club have dedicated EFW shells in appreciation of his passion and inspiration.
In 1973, Ed was elected to membership of the New Hampshire Society of the Cincinnati, our Nation’s oldest patriotic and hereditary organization of direct descendants of George Washington’s Revolutionary War officer core. He served as NH Secretary for over 25 years and co-Chairman of the Membership Committee for almost four decades. In 1981, while inventorying the NH headquarters attic, Ed discovered an original Dunlap Broadside of the Declaration of Independence, which had been sent to Exeter to be read on the Town Green in 1776. It was the 23rd known document of its kind and in excellent condition. The 1721 Ladd-Gilman House became the home of the American Independence Museum and holds responsibility for that document today. He proudly served on the General Society’s Board of Directors and Standing Committee at their National Headquarters in Washington, DC for over 2 decades. In 2010, Ed was awarded the Washington-Lafayette Eagle for Service of the Highest Distinction to the Society of the Cincinnati.
Recently feted as Cohasset’s longest living native, community involvement was always important to Ed. Married in 1953, he and Lucia moved into their only home on their wedding night. Lucia’s favorite quip was “Same house, same spouse!” Ed was involved with the introduction of fluoride into the town’s drinking water and served for ten years on the Boy Scout Troop 28 Committee. He introduced the Conservation Committee concept to the Town of Cohasset and served for ten years as the committee’s first secretary, worked actively to restore the Greenbush railroad line, was a longtime member of the Central Cemetery Committee, and the renowned Old Goats Club. Christened there, Ed was a lifetime member of the First Parish of Cohasset. Dressed in his original uniform shirt he was a regular participant in the Memorial Day parade, proudly marching with his fellow veterans through 2019.
Ed picked up the bagpipes in 1977, played doubles tennis well into his 90s and walked every day. He read historical biographies constantly, was active in the stock market, and politics. In addition, he acted as a class agent for Tabor Academy and Bowdoin College, consistently reaching over 85% participation. Ed was a member and exhibitor at the Mass Horticultural Society, winning several top prizes in the New England Flower Show for his orchids. Ed was also a member of the Harvard Musical Association, the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, and the Cohasset Republican Committee. He is the author of two publications – “A Monograph: New Hampshire – Its Cincinnatians – and the Revolution”, and “A Monograph: The Union Boat Club of Boston in the Henley Royal Regatta, 1914-1989”.
Ed was the beloved husband of the late Lucia Russell (Hedge) Woods. He is survived by his children William Hedge Woods of Menlo Park, CA; Anne Adams Norwood and her husband Kenneth of Charlottesville, VA; Susan Cornell Spofford and her husband Robert of Cohasset, MA; Jonathan Tufts Woods and his wife Alice of Wilton, CT. He was adored by 8 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. His sister, Gertrude (Sis) Boyd lives is Mountain Lakes, NJ. He was predeceased by brothers Carleton (Bud), Joseph, and Edward (Ted).
Visiting hours will be held at the McNamara-Sparrell Funeral Home, 1 Summer St., Cohasset on Friday, January 31st from 5-8 pm. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 1st at 11:00 at the First Parish Church, 23 N Main St, Cohasset.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the American Independence Museum, c/o Emma Stratton, One Governor’s Lane, Exeter, NH, 03833, www.independencemuseum.org or to the First Parish in Cohasset Capital Campaign, 23 North Main St., Cohasset, MA 02025, www.firstparishcohasset.org .