Obituary of Katherine Evelyn Wood
Katherine Evelyn Taliaferro Wood, of Lynchburg, after fighting in a multi-decades long war with cancer, and having been the victor in three separate battles, passed away peacefully in her sleep while at home with siblings on December 12, 2023.
Katherine E. Taliaferro was born in Lynchburg on February 11, 1931, to Griselda and Gabriel E. Taliaferro. She is survived by her daughter, Karen Morelli (Domenic) of Magnolia, Delaware, and by grandson George Ford of Secaucus, N.J.; and by two loving sisters, Lydia G. Taliaferro, and Marjorie Jean Taliaferro, both of Lynchburg; and one loving brother, Clayton Taliaferro, Lynchburg, and New York City.
Katherine Taliaferro Wood was pre-deceased by her husband, Harry Wood and by beloved sister, Barbara J. Taliaferro, and five beloved brothers: Donald (Evelyn), Gabriel (Clara, Jacqueline), Marvin (Elizabeth), Waverly (Millie), Dexter (Adele) Taliaferro; and two nephews, Linwood Taliaferro (Sounjanette) Raleigh, NC; Richard Taliaferro, Atlanta, Ga. Also, left to mourn are a nephew, Marvin E. Taliaferro (Lorraine) Pittsburgh, Pa.; a devoted cousin L. H. Franklin (Carolyn) Lynchburg; and grandnephews, grandnieces, and a host of loving friends.
Katherine Taliaferro, or “Red,” as she was called by her father because of her hair color, matriculated in the Lynchburg City School System and graduated in the class of 1948 from the revered Dunbar High School. At an early age, she joined the Rivermont Baptist Church and was baptized by church pastor, W. M. Brown.
Following Katherine’s high-school graduation, she relocated to New York City to further her formal higher educational process where both opportunity and choices for such were more plentiful for her there than here in her birthplace, and indeed throughout the more segregated southern region of our country. While living, studying, and working in New York, she was employed by the New York Telephone Company starting as a Commercial Representative and very shortly thereafter was given the title of Office Manager. She retired as a Rate Engineer in the Pricing Administration Department where her duties included: analyzing costs and revenues; developing rates; rate case documentation and testimony involving exchange services; competitive/financial analysis; and associated lines of business activities.
Having left Lynchburg when she did, Katherine felt fortunate to have had the opportunity to enter and work in the New York City corporate world of the 1950s -70s which was a world in which she, female, was able to compete, succeed, and advance to a “glass-ceiling” level that she was a part of in the forefront of helping to create its ensuing entry cracks. That would have been impossible to achieve in Lynchburg during those, and even successive years.
A natural born and brilliant portraitist, the myriad mind of Katherine, with its panoply of interests, included reading, antiquing, piano playing, fashion design and structuring, gardening, travel, backgammon, and cooking—especially gourmet cooking. There was nothing more satisfying to her than preparing for elegant dining and having guests derive pleasure from the taste of good, home-cooked food. The giant cornucopia full of pleasureful, recreational and cultural event offerings that were so much a part of Katherine’s day-to-day life while in the city was the great part of living in New York that she most missed on departing, but later made up for in frequent visits back to the ‘big city.’
Lured back to Lynchburg by her heart-felt native attraction to her much beloved Blue Ridge Mountains, red earth and overall natural lushness offered here by Mother Nature, she met Harry Wood, a retired businessman from Lexington, Virginia. They subsequently married in November 1994.
Maintaining a positive and cheerful attitude and knowing that the most important part of life is in the moment, was part of Katherine’s creed. Her authenticity was what helped her to keep realizing that that moment was the beginning of the rest of her life. Hope kept her aloft and continued to do so throughout her long and full of love life; her spiritual belief, focused awareness, and genuine kindness to all, being at the helm.
Graveside service Tuesday, December 19, 2023 at 1:00 PM in Presbyterian Cemetery
In lieu of flowers, consider donating to the American Cancer Society.
Diuguid Waterlick Chapel, 434-237-2722, is serving the family. On-line condolences may be made at www.diuguidfuneralservice.com.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Katherine Wood, please visit Tribute Store