June Wood, 82

Writer, patron of the arts, 'family first' traveler

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June Catherine Wood (nee Cullicott), 82, of River Forest, died peacefully on Jan. 21, 2018. Born in Berwyn to George Cullicott and Mary Cullicott (nee O'Rourke), she moved to south Oak Park in 1941 and attended Irving Elementary School, Oak Park and River Forest High School, and the University of Illinois at Navy Pier.

In 1955, she married Gerald Wood and moved to the naval air station in Chincoteague, Virginia. In 1957, they returned to Oak Park, moving to Broadview in 1965, Riverside in 1976 and River Forest in 1986 while raising their four children. 

Her employment included turns as pre-school instructor in Broadview, owner of a children's clothing store in Riverside, freelance writer for publications throughout the Chicago area, and office manager at Ahern Funeral Home in Oak Park. She was also a volunteer with the Religious Education program at St. Luke Parish in River Forest.

In recent years she enjoyed a close relationship with her children and grandchildren who would often stop by around 5 o'clock for a chat and a cocktail. "Family first" was her mantra. She loved to plan vacations and travel with family members. She also loved weddings and special occasions, especially Christmas. She was always up for a dance and a sing-along (despite not being particularly gifted with vocal range). In her heyday, she enjoyed getting friends from the neighborhood together and throwing parties for the people she loved.

The daughter of newspaper writers, she was a great reader, writer, and patron of the arts, taking her children and grandchildren to the theater on myriad occasions. And she encouraged the playing of musical instruments.

She believed in the value of an education. It doesn't matter how long it takes, she would say, just get a degree.

June Wood is survived by her husband, Gerald A. Wood Sr.; her four children, Julianne (Dennis) Marani, Maureen (Mark) Kelty, Gerald (Elizabeth) Wood Jr., and Elizabeth (Mike) Jaros; and 13 grandchildren, Andrew Ozga, Emily Ozga, Mark Kelty Jr., Joseph Kelty, Jack Kelty, Caroline Kelty, Katie Wood (Wes Szamotula), Claire (Alfonse Drechsler), Maggie Wood, Nora Wood, Jake Jaros, Mary Jaros and Jennifer Jaros; her brother, John (Barbara) Cullicott; and five nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her brother, George Cullicott Jr.; her mother, Mary Cullicott; and her father, George Cullicott Sr. 

Visitation will be held on Saturday, Jan. 27, from 10 to 11 a.m. at St. Luke Catholic Church, 519 Ashland, River Forest 60305. Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11 a.m. Private interment for family members will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery, 7750 W. Cermak Road in Forest Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children's Hospital.

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