Wanda Jo Woody was born on December 27, 1949, in Mansfield, Ohio, to the parents of Elroy H. Jones and Beulah M. Middlebrook–Jones. She was the fifth of seven children.
Wanda graduated from Mansfield Senior High School in 1967, where she was active in band and various clubs during her time there. “Jo,” as she was affectionately called, was a member of the Mansfield Playhouse where she performed in several plays and musicals. Wanda was recruited because of her leadership and community service participation in the Mansfield Sing Out, which was a local group of young people who embraced the values of the civil rights movement and global peace. Wanda traveled with the International Cast of Up With People from 1969-1971, where she traveled throughout the United States, Osaka, Japan, and Puerto Rico. The country she enjoyed the most was Japan. This experience of travel and different cultures helped shape the way that she raised her children, by promoting multiculturalism, racial equality, and positive thinking.
Wanda worked in many different industries to ensure that Autumn and Adam were taken care of. As her children would say, “She was a Renaissance Woman.” The time that Wanda got to spend with her siblings and extended family were times that she cherished the most since she lived in Virginia. While in Virginia, Wanda was an active member at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church in Richmond. Moving to Ohio in 1999 was a fresh start for Wanda and her children.
As a long-time member of Faith Ministries Church, Wanda was an active member by participating with the Local Outreach Ministry and the Women’s Ministry; she also assisted in any manner that could help. She was a kind and generous person who was more than willing to share what she had. Most of all, the love of the Lord and love for her children was evident in the moves she made.
Wanda was preceded in death by her father, Elroy H. Jones.
She was the mother of Autumn R. Woody and Adam T. Woody; the grandmother of four grandchildren, Ameer, Amari, Akeen, and Anthony; and her furbaby, Gizmo; mother, Beulah M. Jones; brothers, Robert Jones and Martin Jones; sisters, Beverly (Robert) Kimber, Gloria (George Miller), Marsha Beard, and Karmene Reed; and Wanda also had a host of nieces, nephews, and friends whom she loved and adored.
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