Ella Mae Patton Wood died peacefully at home on November 7, 2018, after a long battle with cancer. She was born in Speedwell, VA on January 2, 1928, one of 12 children born to Louella and Martin Hobart Patton.
While attending Radford State Teachers College in Virginia in 1946, Ella met her future husband, Robert S. Wood, who later became an officer in the U. S. Air Force. Together they traveled the world for nearly 3 decades, completing tours of duty in Japan, Bermuda, the Philippines and Germany, as well as several US locations. Retiring to Burnsville in 1976 they created even more adventures, hiking the entire Appalachian Trail from 1985 to 1991. Woody passed away in March of last year.
An Air Force wife needs a certain amount of feistiness, and Ella had that in spades. It wasn't easy managing a household that changed location every couple of years. She loved an active lifestyle that included golf, bowling and skiing (on both water and snow). She was most at home in nature, and loved the beautiful North Carolina mountains. Her green thumb nurtured plants of all kinds - indoors, outdoors, and in her greenhouse. She even cultivated a special vine on her deck for pipevine swallowtail butterflies. Her hummingbird feeders went up every April 11 to catch the earliest migrators, and she studied and identified every bird that paid a visit. All this and an efficient housekeeper, whose chicken pot pie was the best ever. She will be sorely missed.
Ella is survived by daughters Nancy Wood and Janet Wood Taylor; and son Sparrel Wood and wife, Karen Frye. Predeceased by her oldest grandson, she is also survived by three granddaughters, two grandsons, and three great-grandchildren. Additionally, Ella is survived by her sister Reba Patton Warner of Dublin, Virginia and brother Daniel Boyce Patton of White Marsh, Maryland, as well as countless nieces and nephews.
A memorial service for Ella and the scattering of her ashes is being planned for a later date.