Jeannette Wood: Longtime state legislator was known for compassion, honesty

Jeannette Wood
February 19, 1932 – January 9, 2021

Jeannette passed away, comfortably, at her home in Woodway, WA on January 9, 2021 after a long struggle with dementia. Born in Auburn, NY, to Nick and Rose Picciano, Jeannette attended Cornell University and earned a degree in Home Economics in 1953. It was at Cornell, where Jeannette met the love of her life, Ross Wood. They were married on Jeannette’s birthday, February 19, 1955 and spent the next 57 years together until Ross’ passing in 2012.

In 1959 Ross received an offer to work for the Boeing Company. They decided to come out west and try it for a few years. They never went back. Ross and Jeannette settled in Woodway in 1965. Jeannette was active in her community, serving on the Woodway Town Council for 6 years and also served as Woodway Mayor. In 1988 Jeannette was appointed to fill a vacancy in the State House of Representatives, she successfully ran for three terms as a Representative of the 21st Legislative District. In 1994 she was appointed to the State Senate where she served until 1999.

Jeannette was a strong supporter of education and served on the Edmonds (Community) College Foundation Board from 1990-1997. She was appointed to the Edmonds (Community) College Board of Trustees, by Governor Gregoire in October 2006 and served until September 2011. Jeannette was a Rotarian, member of the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce and active in numerous charitable organizations. Jeannette was long-time, active member of Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Edmonds.

Those that were lucky enough to know Jeannette loved her for her compassion, honesty and wisdom. You always knew exactly where Jeannette stood on a subject, but she was always willing to listen and consider other’s opinions. Jeannette did not suffer fools lightly, yet would be your strongest supporter if you were open and honest. She was a fierce proponent of women’s rights and worked hard for equal rights, for all. Jeannette was an extremely talented seamstress, sewing wedding dresses (and bridesmaid dresses!) for her daughters and daughters of family friends as well as creating many beautiful vestment robes for the lucky Parish Priests.

Jeannette is preceded in death by her husband, Ross, sister, Carol and grandson, Benjamin. Jeannette is survived by her six children: Ross (Kathy), Chris (Shannon), Jon (Carolyn), Therese (Bruce), Bridget (David), Megan (Jack); 13 grandchildren and 1 great-grandson.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Edmonds College Foundation: www.edmonds.edu/foundation/give/default.html.

Funeral mass will be held at Holy Rosary Church, Edmonds on January 29, 2021 at 11:00 am.

Share memories at www.beckstributecenter.com.

5 Replies to “Jeannette Wood: Longtime state legislator was known for compassion, honesty”

  1. I decided to leave my job in TV news to become a consultant during the height of the last recession – hardly an opportune time to launch a new career. When Jeannette, a lifelong family friend, heard the news, she sent me a little, wooden giraffe figurine with the message, “Way to go! Never be afraid to stick your neck out!” I have kept that little giraffe on my office desk ever since. Sending my love to the Wood family.

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  2. I remember meeting Jeanette Wood in Olympia in 1989 during a visit with my father when she was in the State Legislature. As a 9-year old interested in politics, she graciously took time to talk with us. This is a memory I’ll never forget!

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  3. As a reporter who often covered lawmakers, I used to rate legislators by whether they were honest, or if I felt like washing my hands after encountering them. I never had to wash my hands after a discussion with Jeannette. She was a straight shooter, and you never had to guess where she stood on issues. We need more people like she was in government. My best to her lovely family.

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  4. My mother was a friend of Jeannette Wood and worked with her on many education bills. She went to Olympia to testify at hearings for both these education bills and to lobby for the Washington State Nurses Association. She had the highest regard for Senator Wood. Now they are both in heaven.

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