Tattingstone mourns Rita Wood – community stalwart and support to her councillor husband
- Credit: Archant
One of the best-known figures in the village of Tattingstone has died suddenly while celebrating her wedding anniversary with a short break in Amsterdam.
Rita Wood, 68, had been married to David – county councillor for the Peninsula division and a former chairman of Babergh Council – since 1971 and were in Amsterdam with friends when she died suddenly last Friday.
Mr Wood, who led the Liberal Democrats at the county until earlier this year, said his wife had had some symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease – but she had been generally fit and active.
He said: “We were away with friends in Amsterdam and she died suddenly. It was a terrible shock. We are still waiting for her to be repatriated.”
Mr Wood said his wife had been a huge support to him throughout his working life as a senior firefighter and during his political career once he retired.
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He said: “She worked for Primedale Financial for more than 30 years – but always had time to do things in the village. She was one of those people who people relied on to get things done.
“She encouraged me to get involved in local politics and did all my secretarial work and made sure letters were written, that kind of thing. I could not have done this work without her.”
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He said she was a strong support when he was chairman of Babergh Council in 2011 – and while he led the Liberal Democrat group at Endeavour House for many years.
Mrs Wood, nee Abbott, was born in Tattingstone and the couple lived in the village almost all their married life.
Mr Wood said: “He family were farmers in the village and have been here for many years. Tattingstone has always been home. She never wanted to live anywhere else.”
But the love of their home village did not stop the couple travelling the world. Their daughter lives in New Zealand with her family and Mr and Mrs Wood travel to see them for a month every year.
Mrs Wood also leaves a son and his family in this country.
Mr Wood said: “Our daughter was over here a few weeks ago. Looking back now, that was a very precious visit.”
The funeral will be held on Thursday 6 September at 1.30pm at St Mary’s Church, Tattingstone.