Loretta J. (DiFilippo) Woods
  • Memorials may be made to:
  • Alzheimer's Association
    P.O. Box 96011
    Washington, DC 20090-6011
  • or the
  • Crossroads Hospice
    3743 Boettler Oaks Drive
    Green, OH 44685

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Memories & Candles

“Hi Wendy, I'm sad to hear of your mama's passing. She was always so happy and sweet to everyone she met! I know your girls will miss Nonna very...Read More »
1 of 7 | Posted by: Nancy Presutto-Shepley - OH

“Dear Wendy, I am so sorry that I wasn't able to meet your mother. But I know she was a wonderful woman because I know you. You and your family...Read More »
2 of 7 | Posted by: Sonya Wisdom - Stow, OH

“I have been a friend of Wendy Woods for years and at times I would work very closely with her. I loved to hear the storied of Wendy and Loretta and...Read More »
3 of 7 | Posted by: Peggy Perdue - Akron, OH

“My thoughts and prayers are with your family during this difficult time. May your fond and loving memories give you comfort. God bless! ”
4 of 7 | Posted by: Debbie Horak - OH

“It seems like only yesterday that I ask about Mam Mam so needless to say that I was surprised to hear Pastor Dave speak of her on Sun. God bless all...Read More »
5 of 7 | Posted by: Ron Moss - Ravenna , OH

“I am avery sad to hear about your mother and grandmother. I remember your stories about her from a long time ago. These memories help and keep us...Read More »
6 of 7 | Posted by: Marla Knabel

“You will be really missed and always loved. You will remain forever engraved in my heart... ”
7 of 7 | Posted by: Tamara perry - Columbus, OH


Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same. . . Other people leave Tyrannosaurus Rex-sized footprints. Loretta (Mam Mam) Julia Woods was one of those people. She changed our lives with her smile, her laugh, and the overflowing love she so generously shared with everyone she met.

Loretta was born in Steubenville, Ohio on September 15, 1930. She was the second oldest of four Italian-American siblings born to Andrew and Mary DiFilippo: Bette Glenn (Robert), Lou DiFilippo (Ruth Ann), and Terri McKelvey (Joseph). Loretta graduated from Steubenville "Big Red" High School in 1948. One of her favorite pastimes as a teenager was dancing at Swing Haven. There she met her husband, John C. Woods. Their marriage would last 36 years.
One of her first jobs was working at Isaly's ice cream parlor and then, later, at McCrory's Five and Dime store. She was a homemaker, raising her two daughters Deborah and Wendy, until 1965 when she was hired as the executive secretary to Dr. Gary Eicher, the pathologist of St. John's Hospital and the Jefferson County Coroner. In 1969, her son John was born. She worked at St. John's for more than 25 years successfully transitioning from the paper age to the digital age. She retired in 1995 and moved to Kent, OH to help raise her grandchildren, Taylor and Bailey McWilliams-Woods.

Faith was indeed important to her, but Mam Mam's family was the center of her universe. She taught her children and her 7 grandchildren – Jim, Danielle, Breanne, Taylor, Bailey, Vincent, and Franco; and one adopted grandson, Jackson – how to love unconditionally and to always find a beam of sunshine among any overhanging clouds.

She also adored her 4 great grandchildren, John, Aiden, Clara, and David.
Loretta loved to sing. She was particularly fond of the novelty songs of the 30s and 40s like Hoagy Carmichael's Huggin' and a Chalkin' and she could quickly brighten up a room with her signature rendition of Carmen Miranda's Chiquita Banana song and dance; even amusing Taylor and Bailey's high school and middle school friends with her infectious enthusiasm. She also enjoyed singing any sing-a-long song with whoever would join in – and, usually, when she started singing everyone soon joined in.

In addition to singing, Mam Mam loved to cook and long after she gave up cooking, she continued to tackle the daily crossword puzzle. Over the years, she tried her hand at new things like line- and belly dancing to name just a few.

She was diagnosed 10 years ago with Alzheimers and despite the disease's effect on her memory, she never lost her sense of humor and continued to inspire and make new friends at the Gardens of Western Reserve where she spent the last year-and-a-half of her life. Her family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at the Gardens who took special delight in caring for Loretta and to the Crossroads Hospice care workers who so gracefully saw her – and her family – through to the end.

She will be sorely missed by those who knew her intimately, and by those who only knew her briefly.

Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 from 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-8:00 at Bissler and Son's Funeral Home, 628 West Main St., Kent, OH. Memorial service will be held on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at Kent United Church of Christ, 1400 E. Main St., Kent, OH. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington D.C. 20090-6011 or Crossroads Hospice, 3743 Boettler Oaks Drive, Green OH 44685.