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Sunday, July 7, 2024

Patricia Jane "Trish" Lollar Wood


Patricia Jane Wood - affectionately known as Trish by close family and friends - passed away June 23, 2024, in New Carrollton, Maryland, at the age of 71.  She succumbed to multiple complications and effects of a stroke from 2017.

Patrica was born April 12, 1953, in Kingsport, Tennessee, to Fred and Dora Grace Lollar.  Her early life was rooted in the values of family and community, which she carried throughout her life.  Patricia was the 10th of 11 children born to Fred and Grace.  She grew up in a close knit community and family, surrounded by high achievers and loving siblings. 

The Lollar family may not have had much money, but they were highly respected and revered in the community.  They showed love through acts of service, and had a huge amount of laughter and joy.  Patricia and her siblings loved to sing, dance, and play cards.  From Spades to Canasta to Pinocle and Bid Whist, the siblings always had a fun filled time when they were together.  Patricia was in her element when she saw a pack of Bicycle cards in the room.

Trish began her school years at the segregated Fredrick Douglass Elementary school, where she thrived.  She thought she would matriculate from Douglass High School like her older siblings, but a new, state of the art integrated high school, was built at the beginning of her high school journey.  She graduated from Dobyns-Bennet High School in 1971.

Trish began dating George Wood of Gate City, Virginia, when they were both teens.  When George graduated from high school in 1971, he enlisted in the United States Air Force.  They were engaged before he left for basic training.  Patricia left to attend Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Patricia and George were married December 23, 1973.  They were married for 50 years at her passing.  They had 3 children; Katrina Renee, George Douglas II, and Ebony Taiwana.

Patricia's husband George served in the Air Force for 20 years, a journey they navigated together with strength and resilience.  The Wood family lived all around the United States and in Germany.  Like most military spouses of her time, Patricia worked hard to maintain a sense of home, and to help provide for the family.  Patricia was a woman of many talents, and used them all to make a comfortable home.  One way she made money each time they moved was to tailor young airman's uniforms.  She was an excellent seamstress, and could make anything from dresses to short sets, to coats and suits.  She made curtains and pillows, and even handcrafted "Cabbage Patch" dolls.  It was not uncommon to go shopping with her and hear "I can make that, and make it better, too."

Patricia's higher education journey was marked by perseverance, overcoming numerous challenges due to frequent relocations as a dedicated military spouse.  Each time the family moved, she would take classes at a local college.  However, when the family moved to the next military installation, local colleges would not accept most of her credits from previous institutions, and she would have to retake classes, or a new set of required coursework.  Eventually, through sheer determination and hard work, Patricia graduated summa cum laude from Strayer University with a BS in Business Administration in 2000.  By the time she graduated, Patricia had accumulated enough college credits around the country to have earned 2 undergraduate degrees.

Her professional life included various clerical roles within the US government and military, culminating in a position as an analyst for the US Postal Service, Office of Inspector General.  Trish's career was a testament to her adaptability and determination, consistently rebuilding her professional life alongside her husband's deployments.

Patricia was a creative and outgoing individual, known for her many acts of service, loyalty, and a humorous, assertive nature that endeared her to many, and even scared a few.  Her artistic talents shone through in her hobbies.  She was the "OG" of upcycling.  Her children knew to be wary if she stopped the car near a curb: that meant she would make them get out of the car to collect an item she would later renovate (yes, this was utterly embarrassing for her children!).  Besides sewing, she was also amazing at macramé, painting, upholstering, jewelry making, cooking (she made the best peanut brittle and fudge you will ever find), and BARGAIN HUNTING!

Patricia was known for her thrift store finds, and had a regular thrift store circuit.  She was known by name by thrift store employees from Clinton to Columbia.  She had an eye for collectibles and treasures, and could envision a new life for quality furniture that had seen better days.  She saw the beauty in things others discarded; at times, that meant people as well.

Faith played a significant role in Patricia's life. She was raised in Bethel AME Zion in Kingsport.  As a military spouse, she attended service at numerous Protestant churches, but always tried to find an AME or AME Zion church when she could.  She became a member of Union Bethel AME Church in Brandywine, Maryland, after George was stationed at Andrews AFB.  She contributed passionately to her church community.  She was an active member of the Guiding Lights Senior Group, Unity Choir, Women's Missionary Society, and the Order of the Eastern Star.

Trish is survived by her husband of 50 years, George, and their children and spouses, Katrina R. Dodro (George Scott), George II (Sheron), and Ebony T. Wood;  grandchildren Isabella Sojourner, Amira Grace, and Trey;  siblings Shirley Ann, Margaret Clara Eunice, and Ada Vanessa; and (too numerous to name) nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Charles Alfred and George Wesley, and sisters Freda, Elizabeth, Helen Francine, Zelma Huphelia, and Evelyn Beatrice, nephew Christopher Weaver, and niece Nicole Francine Lynch.

A memorial service was held Friday, July 5, 2024, at 10:00 AM at Union Bethel AME Church in Brandywine, MD.

The arrangements are under the care of Adams Funeral Home, P.A., in Aquasco, Maryland. Patricia's life was a portrait of service, love, and commitment.  She left a lasting impact on everyone she touched.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that people donate blood if possible, or sign up to be an organ donor, continuing her legacy of service.