Josephine “Jo” Hires Wood, deeply loved by her family and her friends at Avenue Church and in the Milford community, passed away on February 16, 2018. She died peacefully at home in the presence of family and friends following a brief illness.
Born in Salem, New Jersey on November 17, 1936 to Charles R. Hires, Jr. and Josephine (Hutchinson) Hires, she grew up with her sister Susannah Hires Mollineaux on a dairy farm in Mannington, New Jersey. Jo graduated from Salem High School in 1954 and obtained a Degree in Education from the University of Delaware in 1958. She went on to teach first grade at Lulu M. Ross Elementary School in Milford for 10 years and then served as Director of Avenue Preschool for 27 years.
Her favorite experience and greatest love, however, was being a mom to her two sons, Bruce and Douglas. That circle of love expanded when Colleen and Katie married “her boys”. Her five grandchildren, Nelson, Lenna, Ryan, Caroline, and Lindsay, were her biggest joys. Her extended family, including her brother-in-law William and nieces Susannah Mollineaux and Barbara Budaj, made the circle of love complete.
Jo was a committed and dedicated member of the Milford community. At the time of her death, Jo was serving on the boards of the Milford Public Library and the Bayhealth Foundation Board. Previously, she was a board member of the Mispillion Art League and the President of the Milford Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.
She was also a long standing and active member of Avenue United Methodist Church, having served as President of the Trustees, Chair of the Staff Parish Relations Committee, Chair of the Stewardship Committee, Treasurer of the United Methodist Women, Lay Leader, and Assistant Finance Secretary. In 2009, she was honored as Lay Laureate of the church.
Jo was committed to educating young children, but her favorite times included spending summers with family at their beach house in Lewes, boating on the Chesapeake, and traveling throughout the United States and abroad with friends. Jo will be deeply missed by all who knew her.
A memorial service to celebrate and joyfully remember Jo will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at Avenue United Methodist Church in Milford. The family will receive visitors on Friday, March 2, 2018 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm, and again at 10:00 am on Saturday before the service. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to be made to Avenue United Methodist Church, 20 N. Church St., Milford, DE 19963, and the Milford Public Library, 11 SE Front St., Milford, DE 19963.