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Obituaries » Velura Mae Wood

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April 14, 1925 - March 9, 2024

A memorial service to honor her life will be held on Saturday, April 13, 2024, beginning at 12:00 p.m. (noon) in the chapel at Mt. Ever-Rest Memorial Park South, 3941 S Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49008.

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Velura Mae (Boodt) Wood, age 98, of Vicksburg, MI, died peacefully March 9 at the home of her son and spent her last days surrounded by her family. Velura was born April 14, 1925, but always suspected her birthday was April 12. In 1925 it was not uncommon for it to take a day or two for the doctor to record the births. Her parents, Leonard and Clara (Northrop) Boodt had six children. As a young girl she lived in Kalamazoo and then at a cottage on Pickeral Lake in Pavilion Township where she and her brothers slept on the screened porch. She remembered how cold it was that winter and that they would walk the 2 miles to school every day no matter the weather. The Boodt children attended the one room school two miles down the road on S Avenue next to the railroad tracks. During The Depression she had memories of eating corn meal mush for breakfast only to have to eat it again for lunch. Her father was one of many men that worked for the WPA to support his family during this time. She and her siblings would push their cart a half mile away to the train tracks to gather dropped coal to heat the house. They moved to a farm when she was in 8 th grade where she attended Mattawan Schools. Graduating high school in March of 1943 she took a job at Gibson Guitar as an inspector. As the war trudged on Gibson turned to a plane part manufacturer with the women leading the production line. Velura along with others received a Flag of Excellence for their productivity. These women were features in the book “Kalamazoo Gals” and Velura was interviewed for the book and took part in a book signing tea when it was published in 2012. Velura’s brother Bob married Laura (Polly) Wood. Polly was always pestering her sister-in-law to go on a date with Polly’s brother, Walter. Velura didn’t think Walter was exceptionally good looking but finally agreed to a date and was glad she did. Walter (27) and Velura (21) were married on October 12, 1946. They built their home on Sprinkle Road in Vicksburg with the help of her father and she continued to live there for the rest of her life. The young couple went on to raise 3 children, Jon, Michael and Susan and were very active with the Scouts and would take summer vacations with her parents. Velura joined the Vicksburg woman’s bowling league and they won the title three consecutive years in a row. Velura and Walter were members of the Michigan Motor Home Club and wintered many years in Arizona. In 1988, Velura lost both her husband, Walter and daughter, Susan six months apart. After his passing, Velura became a regular at Virginia Caswell’s ceramic  classes three houses down. You would always find her family at her house for Sunday dinner, which was at noon, not a minute after. Velura enjoyed family gatherings very much as she cherished the time she was able to spend with her children and their families. Velura Wood was a beloved grandmother and her house became a gathering place for her grandchildren who came to live with her at various times and their many friends adopted her as their Grandma Wood as well through the many years. Velura was preceded in death by her husband, Walter Wood; daughter, Susan; grandson, Jeremy Wood and her siblings: Cornelius Boodt (Cork,) Clare Boodt (Jack,) Robert Boodt, Ralph Boodt, and Donna (Boodt) Esman. She is survived by her sons Michael Wood (Deborah) and Jon Wood (Rose Mary); grandchildren: Jon Wood, Melissa Dull, Rebecca Allen, Kurt Geoghegan, Jennifer Williams, Nikki Gutshall, Tim Geoghegan, Julia Wilkinson, Amanda Schepeler and their spouses. She is also survived by two-step grandchildren, 14 adopted grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, 2 great, great-grandchildren and her nieces and nephews.