Helen Wood

Posted 4/9/21

BROCTON — Helen Marie Powers Wood, 82, of Brocton, passed away at 8:50 a.m. Thursday, April 8, 2021, at her residence.

A service celebrating her life is 10 a.m. Monday, April 12, at Brocton …

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Helen Wood


BROCTON — Helen Marie Powers Wood, 82, of Brocton, passed away at 8:50 a.m. Thursday, April 8, 2021, at her residence.

A service celebrating her life is 10 a.m. Monday, April 12, at Brocton Christian Church. Burial follows in Embarrass Cemetery. Visitation is from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, April 11, at the church. Templeton Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Wood lived her entire life in the Brocton area. She was born at home on the family farm west of Brocton on Sept. 4, 1938, the third of four children born to Harlin and Zella “Tillie” Meece Powers. She married Rodney Wood on Dec.  8, 1956, and he survives.

She is also survived by her daughters, Lisa Marie Wood (Jim) Legg of Bridgeport and Jayne Ann Wood Booth of Brocton; her grandchildren including Amy (Lonnie) Moan of Sumner, Jamie (Chris) Kosten of Fishers, Ind., Jessica (Tyler) Parrott of Evansville, Ind., Abby Legg of Lawrenceville and Shelby Booth of Brocton; seven great-grandchildren, Dakotah (Tyler) Tussey of Sumner, Cheyanne (Kurt) Knollenberg of Oblong, Lola Kosten, Alice and Smith Parrott, and Lucy and Leland Lachenmayr; and one great-great-grandchild, Tuff Tussey.

She was preceded in death by an older sister and brother, Nancy Crum and Thomas Powers; and a younger brother, John Kent Powers.

Mrs. Wood attended the country schools of Sand Ridge, Fairplay and then sixth grade at Brocton Grade School and junior high in the old high school building. She graduated from Brocton High School as valedictorian in 1956.

After marriage, the young couple began farming in the Garland area and started a family with the birth of two daughters Lisa Marie and Jayne Ann. When Mrs. Wood was 29, she began college at Eastern Illinois University.

She wondered to herself, “How am I going to support our daughters if something happens to my husband? All of these foreign people leave their families, homelands and cultures, all to come to America to get an education, and here I am, within 30-45 miles of great universities.” She drove back and forth, earning her Bachelor’s in Education in 1971 and her Master’s in Education in 1974. She taught fifth grade at Homer for one year, then spent 28 years at Shiloh School in Hume. She retired in 2000, having called in sick only one day in her entire teaching career.

In January 2004, EIU contacted Mrs. Wood to serve as an adjunct in the Education Department, teaching two to three classes. She continued that position until 2014, retiring from Eastern at age 75. Throughout her career, she offered her services as a tutor in different subjects to many individuals in her community.

Mrs. Wood was a dedicated member of Brocton Christian Church where she taught Sunday School, youth lessons and DVBS. She played the organ or piano at church since the age of 17, playing for countless Sunday services as well as weddings, funerals and other occasions, and rarely missed a Sunday. In addition, she served the church in numerous other capacities including the Willing Workers who served food at funerals, Brocton Red Barn Market and Brocton Spring Festival.

She was a former member of the Edgar County EIU Alumni Golf Scholarship Committee, a past president of Alpha Delta Kappa and a member of the Legion Auxiliary. She was instrumental in the founding of the Brocton Red Barn which ran for nearly 20 years. She worked tirelessly for the Brocton Spring Festival, and along with her husband, created the Brocton Draft Horse Show. She also helped organize and plan the Brocton High School Alumni Reunion for all those who attended Brocton Schools.

Mrs. Wood was also a devoted farm wife. She kept all of the farm’s records, made payroll and after her teaching day, took meals to the field. She ran errands for parts and was always available for whatever was needed. She was an avid Fighting Illini fan and could often be found watching or listening to games. Mr. and Mrs. Wood showed Belgian Draft Horses for many years. She braided manes, tied tails, cleaned harnesses and even drove in the Ladies cart class at the State Fair.

Memorial donations may be made to Brocton Christian Church, 301 E. 3rd St., Brocton, IL 61917, or to Pinehaven Christian Children’s Ranch and School, P.O. Box 940, St. Ignatius, MT 59865-0940.

Online condolences at www.TempletonFuneralHome.com.