Longtime teacher Wood celebrated by family, friends
Deborah Wood, 65, a teacher in the Prince George’s County Schools for 42 years, died May 26 at her home in Camp Springs.
Debby was born in Lawrence, Mass., the daughter of Floyd and Marian Traynham. She graduated from Oakton High School, in Vienna, Va., and the University of Georgia and began her long, dedicated teaching career in Prince George’s County.
About 150 teachers turned out for Debby’s memorial service at St. Philip’s Church on June 23. In her eulogy, Mary Hendley recounted how she and Debby started their careers at North Forestville Elementary. Debby taught sixth grade, but the next year, to her delight, she moved to the second grade.
Her greatest interest was teaching children to read. In 2002 she began to work with Reading Recovery, a highly effective short-term intervention of one-to-one tutoring for low-achieving first graders. In recent years she became a Teacher Leader, helping teachers to use Reading Recovery. Over her 42 years with Prince George’s Schools, she taught at several schools, including Tayac and Pointer Ridge. Her last school was Doswell E. Brooks in Capitol Heights. At the same time, she worked with the Instructional Support Services Center, also in Capitol Heights.
The governor named her a “Beloved Marylander” and one year she was named Teacher of the Year. A scholarship fund has been established in Debby’s name at the Reading Recovery Council of North America (R.R.C.N.A.).
She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Tiffany Garner and Kathryn Hardman also paid beautiful tribute to Debby at the memorial Mass concelebrated by the Revs. Edward Hegnauer and Bernard Ihrie. The Rev. Michael Quill, who married Debby and Terry some years ago on New Year’s Eve, gave a beautiful homily.
Survivors include her husband Terrence, sisters, Vicci Williams (Larry) and Lee Shattuck (John), and the teachers and first graders of Prince George’s County Schools.
Mocile Trotter, president of the Crowne Meadows Homeowners Association, phoned to fill me in on a new motel that has been OKed, “with restrictions,” on Suitland Road at Regency Parkway, near Crowne Meadows. There was a meeting of concerned residents at a nearby church on June 30. More about this in a future column.
Valerie McDonald of Skyline has just graduated from American University with a masters degree in arts management. Her undergraduate degree was from North Carolina State.
Harry Fleming, a longtime Skyline Drive resident, celebrated his 97th birthday on May 13 at an assisted-living home. Harry, who lived across the street from me, had been a cab driver in Washington, D.C. for many years. As he told me, he knew every inch of the city.
The annual Morningside Reunion at Douglas Patterson Park on May 14 drew the usual crowd of nostalgic Morningsiders. Among them, Jean Nichols and lots of the Nichols family who had a great time. I told her to let me know earlier next year. I might wander up there and see if I know anyone.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is formally opening on Sept. 24 when President Obama will cut the ribbon.
MGM Resorts International is due to open Dec. 8. In the meantime, MGM will be hiring employees for more than 100 job classifications beginning this month. The Employment Center is housed in the former Thomas Addison Elementary at 7100 Oxon Hill Road. Hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
‘If you visit Camp Springs Field...’
Wear your walking shoes, as Jo Bernard McDonnell advised in the May 31, 1943, Washington Daily News. He reported that shovels and scoops and bulldozers are tearing down hills and filling in hollows.
The 131-foot control tower is made entirely of wood, bolted together. There is a moderate-sized hangar and a couple of small buildings scattered about. “Some dirt roads apparently meander thru the woods and here and there you can pick out an old farm house.” The field covers nearly 7 and a half square miles, off Marlboro Road and takes its name from the town of Camp Springs.
“Forces and facilities generally are so scattered,” McDonnell wrote, “that an enemy probably couldn’t put the field entirely out of commission. The plan was born of bitter experience — Pearl Harbor.”
To be continued.
May they rest in peace
Edwin Gwynn “Doc” Mudd, a manager for Huntt Funeral Home in Waldorf for 47 years, died June 23, two days after he turned 91. He was born and grew up in Waldorf, son of Raymond and Eugenia (Brent) Mudd. He had a twin, the late Brent Mudd, and four other siblings: Raymond, Reginald, Paul and Amelia. He served in the Army in the 1950s, was a charter member of the Waldorf Fire Department and a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus. Survivors include his wife Theresa; daughters Beverley Wareham and Robin Magnelli, five grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Doc is my second cousin, once removed, and the uncle of my son-in-law John Mudd.
David H. Hurley, 72, a 1962 graduate of Oxon Hill High School, died June 9 in Leonardtown. He was retired from the National Science Foundation. Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Phyllis, two children, two grandchildren and two brothers, Patrick and James Hurley.
Happy birthday to Jimmy Gromen and Anthony Curcio-Bobbitt, July 8; Karlyn Davis, John Anthony III and my grandson Zachary Seidman, July 9; my daughter Elaine Seidman, July 10; Kevin Kline, Nicole Wade, Dee (Curcio) Brown and Dave Williams Jr., July 11; Kenard Simms, July 13; Laverne Peggy Simms, Krista Lanehart and Laura (Thompson) Hoffmann, July 14.
Happy 41st anniversary to Dave and Carolyn Williams on July 11.