Frances Violet Wood, 90, enjoyed Hallmark romance with her husband

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 | 7:54 p.m. CDT; updated 9:21 a.m. CDT, Thursday, May 22, 2014

COLUMBIA — The story of how Frances Violet Wood met her husband is like something you'd find on a Hallmark card — which is fitting, as she worked for the company.

"If I could get someone from Hollywood to hear that … it would make a great story," her son Bob Wood said.

Mrs. Wood and her husband, Doren Estel Wood, fell in love through exchanging pictures and letters for two years while he was stationed in Guam during World War II. When he came home to Colorado, he traveled east for the first time and met her in Kansas City.

The two wanted to get married right away but couldn't because of a seven-day waiting period in Missouri. That wouldn't do, so the couple traveled to Colorado — but couldn't get married there, either.

The two then made the journey to Taos, N.M., where they were married. The judge's wife was her bridesmaid, and a Hostess CupCake was her wedding cake. 

"Where one was at, the other was at," Bob Wood said. "When he passed, she was lost."

Frances Violet Wood of Columbia died Monday, May 19, 2014. She was 90.

She was born on Nov. 25, 1923, to Dorothy McDowell and Albert Alonzo Birdsong in Clarksburg. After graduating from high school in 1942, she moved to Kansas City where she worked for Hallmark Cards until she got married.

She then worked with her husband at his shoe repair business, Dawson Shoe Repair, where she'd tear off heels and put them back on and chat with customers as they came in.

She loved watching the Cardinals, reading the Bible, chatting with friends and caring for her husband and three sons. Bob Wood said that the family didn't have much money, but always had a roof over their head and clean clothes to wear.

"I'm the luckiest son in the world to have two parents who loved me unconditionally," Bob Wood said. "She's been my hero."

She was described by her son Bob as warm, loving and caring, and as a person who felt it was her duty to give more than to receive.

She is survived by her two sisters, Audra Gunter and Mary Long and husband Ross; three sons, Robert Wood and wife Mary Ann, Donald Wood and wife Elaine, and James Wood and wife Leslie; seven grandchildren, Sarah Hixon and husband Timothy, Matthew Wood and wife Calla Oneal, Michelle Cloutier and husband Matthew, Michael Wood and wife Cheryl, Jesse Phillipps and husband Adam, Corey Wood and wife Heaven Lister, and Shawn Wood; six great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

Her brother, Albert Birdsong, and her husband, Doren Wood, died earlier.

A visitation was held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 West. An additional visitation will be held at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at Parkade Baptist Church, 2102 N. Garth Ave., with services to follow at 11 a.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Parkade Baptist Church building fund or the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization.

Condolences can be posted at

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