With heavy hearts, we say goodbye to longtime active member, Della Mae Wood. Della passed away on October 26 at the age of 96, less than 2 weeks after giving her final presentation. During her 12 years with the CWLC, Della Mae served as CWLC treasurer for 4 years. She presented on many authors including John Banville, Clive James, Nora Ephron, John Steinbeck, and Anne Quindlen.
For more information on the life of Della Mae, please read her obituary.
In the words of member Anita who knew her well:
“Words cannot express my love and admiration for Della Mae. Her presentations-hand written on yellow paper-always lured me into the author’s life and writing to share the admiration she felt.
I cherish Della Mae’s kindness and hugs, handwritten notes and special cards.
The Treasurer’s position on the CWLC can be challenging to fill from a group more interested in words than numbers. At the termination of my two year treasurer’s position in 2015 , Della Mae, from a sense of responsibility, graciously offered to take on the role provided the retiring treasurer help. While just marginally literate with balance sheets I agreed and had wonderful months with awesome, funny, self-deprecating Della Mae.
Wednesday October 25th, 11:08 am, the day after our last CWLC meeting, Della Mae sent me a note expressing disappointment for not having had a chat as she was late and we were all in a rush to leave due to weather concerns. I had planned a response saying while I had missed a shared hug, I had so thoroughly enjoyed observing the special relationship between Della Mae and soul mate Tom as they sat together at the meeting .
I know no other person whose whose life trajectory so closely reflects the signature quote in her letters:
“Live as if you were going to die tomorrow: learn as if you were to live forever” Gandhi”