Oct 13th 1940- April 4th 2023
“You did so many things for us,
Your heart was kind and true,
And when we needed someone
We could always count on you”
When a Mother passes, we lose a piece of who we are. We lose the person whose story provides the beginning of our own. We said goodbye to our loving mother, Mary Margaret Quigley-Woods aka Loot, in Roseville,(CA) on April 4th, at 7:30 pm. She was surrounded by her children, Gregory, Kelly, and Troy. Her Daughter-In-Love, Jamie, and her Favorite #1 Grandson, Britton. She left us while we surrounded her bed, and Kelly, through tears, assured her we would be ok; we are eternally grateful to have been blessed to say farewell. Even at 82 years of age, she never gave up.
Mary was born in 1940, to Joseph James and Helen Jacqueline Quigley, in San Mateo, CA. Mary grew up as the only daughter, but had an older brother, John Quigley, who were very close, throughout life.. She attended Lincoln Elementary School, McKinley Jr High, and Sequoia High School in Redwood City Ca. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education, with a minor in Music and her Teaching Credential from San Jose State University. She started her first teaching job in Sutter, Ca. then to the Alum Rock School District in San Jose. She taught for a few years in Hawaii, but ended up teaching at her favorite job at Etna Elementary School, where she retired after 33 years in elementary education. She had an infectious energy that she brought to her classroom every day. She loved music and started her days by singing and playing the piano as she welcomed her students to their classroom. She was an incredible teacher, whose energy and smile greeted each day. She taught multitudes of children how to read. Teaching was her passion and truly her gift.
Growing up, Mary loved to play with her dolls and ride her bicycle. She loved all animals. She participated in the “Campfire Girls of America” and “International Order of the Rainbow for Girls” clubs in her youth. In high school, she was on the ski team, and synchronized swimming team. She loved to water ski at Lake Berryessa and Lake Tahoe behind her fathers boat. She had a strong belief in God and loved attending the Scott Valley Berean Church in Etna and St. Augustine Episcopal Church in Rocklin Ca. She loved to ride horses, and enjoyed herding cattle into the Marble Mountains with her father, the Burtons and her Cousins. She loved the summers, and going with her parents, brother (John) and his wife (Kathleen), her children, cousins, nieces, and friends to the family cabin in Boulder Creek (Santa Cruz Mountains). We used to laugh and sing while Mary and cousin Dick Quigley brought out their dueling guitars. Eating Smores and homemade ice cream, while singing “La Di La Di Lo” was great fun. Trips to the beach and boardwalk in Santa Cruz was a common occurrence, as was stopping for bubble gum ice cream in Ben Lomond, CA. She taught her children to swim at the Boulder Creek swimming pool in the Forest Track, which during the late 60’s was a hippie stronghold. She loved singing to Johnny Cash and would attend his concerts at the Circle Star Theatre in San Mateo.
After moving to Scott Valley in 1975, she loved to go camping in Carter Meadows, or Lake Siskiyou. She encouraged us to be a part of the 4-H and FFA programs, and we raised various animals for the Siskiyou County Fair. As her children hit high school, she attended their home and away games of various sports. There are simply too many wonderful memories, but she made sure her children had a well rounded childhood, introducing us to a plethora of fun, exciting, and culturally significant events. Her 2 dogs (Blu and Chia) were by her side for the past 9+years.
She was married in 1964 to Joe Raymond Woods. Her biological children include; Gregory Joe (1965), Kelly Dawn (1968), and Troy Dunnigan (1970). Her children always came first. She was an amazing, doting mother. She had so much love to spread around to all her children. Through the years, she balanced her love and home to numerous Foster Children, and various friends of her children. Her door was always open, and she loved to cook and feed the masses. Angela, Robbie, Kathy, Darrell, and Cherie were as much her children as we were. Her brand of love and care will be etched in our hearts forever. She wore so many hats and welcomed anyone who came to her home. Noone was ever turned away.
Throughout our lives, she was there in countless little and big ways. Later in life, Kelly, Britton, and Mom shared a very unique bond. They were best friends and shared countless experiences that highlighted their love for life. Britton was her pride and joy. Mom also adored her beautiful granddaughters and loved getting to watch her Granddaughter Jacey Jacqueline slay the competitive dance world or her granddaughter Teagan Jada ride and rodeo on her beautiful horses. Mom was a brilliant cook, and a lover of adventure and resourcefulness. Many friends of her children referred to her as “Mom”.
She loved to sing, and was a member of the Siskiyou County Chapter of Sweet Adelines. She was “Worthy Matron of the Order of Eastern Star” (Chapter 10). She was a long standing majority member of the International Order of Job’s Daughters (Chapter 356), where she was on the Council as Director of Music. In retirement, She earned the “Golden Umbrella” a volunteer group for placing Seniors back into the classroom as educational aids to benefit low income and disadvantaged students. She was also a “Room Grandma” in her Grandson’s school.
Our mother dealt with many formidable illnesses in the last 6 years. She never stopped fighting, and surprised numerous Drs and Health professionals by continually bouncing back. Few people would know the full extent to which she struggled physically. It would be wrong to say she lost the battle at 82 years of age. While most people would have lost hope and given up, her fiery determination was inspiring and courageous. Through her, we know what resilience and perseverance truly look like. There was no quit, ever. One of her hopes was to watch her #1 Grandson walk down the aisle. She will do this, but from a different advantage point.
Mary leaves behind her children, Greg, Kelly and Troy (Jamie). Her Grandson, Britton, and Granddaughters, Jacey and Teagan. Her Brother John Quigley (Kathleen) Two nieces, Carole and Susan, a Grandniece Kalie (Josh) and a Grandnephew Mitchell (Hanna) . 5 Foster children, Angela, Robbie, Kathy (Paul) Darrell(Courtney), and Cherie. Her very best friend Helen Keith aka Sissy.
Mary is preceded in death by her parents Joseph James Quigley and Helen Jacqueline Quigley, as well as her Granddaughter Bristol Mary (her namesake).
There will be a Celebration of life held in her honor on Saturday, May 6th at 2pm at the Scott Valley Berean Church, Etna Ca.
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