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Virginia (Cabot) Wood

Virginia (Cabot) Wood, Boston Brahmin renegade has died at age 94. Born December 25, 1925 in Needham, MA, Virginia Cabot Wood, age 94, died quickly, peacefully and on her own terms, Friday, January 3, 2020 surrounded by her family.                Progressives, environmentalists, women’s rights activists everywhere have lost a true champion and an indomitable inspiration. Nicknamed Chris Mouse, because of the unfortunate timing of her birth, Chris was the eldest child of Paul and Virginia Cabot of Needham, MA. Chris was a quintessential Boston Brahmin renegade, who her four children: John M. Wood of Taos, NM (wife Leolyn), Susan Cabot Wood (husband Hal Slotnick) of St. Augustine, FL, Dr. Amy Peters Wood (husband Philip Shelton) of Georgetown, ME and Virginia Converse Wood (aka Whistle) of Groton, MA, simultaneously cheered, feared and revered. With a privileged childhood, riding horses with her sister Elizabeth Minot of Dover, MA, uncontrolled and undisciplined through the then undeveloped Needham countryside, Chris also spent nearly every summer at her family compound on North Haven island in Maine, where she complained loudly about the family tradition of messing about in boats.       She attended Charles River, Beaver Country Day School, and Pine Manor, before eschewing the east coast to attend Mills College in Oakland, CA. With degree in hand and WWII ending, she married Navy officer John M. Wood of Brooklyn, NY, returning to the Boston area and settling into the bucolic lifestyle of farmer, gardener, mother, and wife to a prosperous businessman, living first in Medway, MA and eventually moving to a historic house overlooking Farm Pond in Sherborn, MA. She enjoyed a carefree lifestyle studded with many friends, volunteer work on school boards, countless political campaigns and fundraising events before the seeds of feminism began to sprout. Endowed with the belief that we should leave the planet a better place than when we found it, Chris began to feel the limitations of her established lifestyle. Unsatisfied with her earlier career as an art teacher, Chris returned to Boston University to receive her Master’s degree in Special Education. While pioneering the now common juggling act of raising a family and working full time, Chris taught underprivileged children in Roxbury and Boston for many years, eventually partnering with her friend Helen Grush to form the LEAD educational com- pany, heralding in a new method for teaching recalcitrant and learning disabled children.
     After retirement, Chris enjoyed traveling, photography and creating slide show programs through her company Alphapress. She stopped dividing her time between Beaufort, SC and her beloved Stowe, VT following the death of her husband, and settled into the community of Groton, MA to be nearer to her grandchildren, where she spent her time writing many published articles, a memoir, countless short stories and self-published books. With the help of the internet and
Chris finally found the love of her life, retired psychiatrist Zenos Linnell, with whom she enjoyed four of her happiest years while moving to the retirement community at Lasell College where education is not only recommended but required.
     Over the years Chris has received many awards and accolades for her services to public educational TV, lifelong learning centers, charitable and underserved political action committees, colleges and environmental groups. Her gift and love for needlepoint, gardening, cooking, the great outdoors, speaking her mind and remaining active, educated and well-read, will be passed on to her four children, five grandchildren, five step grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
     In lieu of flowers, the family would like everyone to donate to a charity which will make the world a better place.
     A Memorial Service and small reception will be held Saturday, February 29, 2020 at Story Chapel, Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA at 2pm.
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