Nancy Margaret (Rafer) Wood, 79, died peacefully at her home on July 23, 2018 in Fairfield, Iowa from lung cancer.
Nancy is survived by four children: John Michael (JoAnn) Barker, Manchester, TN, Diane Bekel, Fairfield, Karen (Russell) Iseman, Germanville, and John William (Sue) Wood Jr., Athens, WI. She has 13 grandchildren: Ryan (Hope) Barker, Manchester, TN; Jessica Rodriquez, Houston TX; Margaret (Mark) Bell, Manchester, TN; David (Ashley) Robbins, Pella; Daniel Robbins (Ashley), Sequim, WA; Jennifer (Jeff) Matts, El Paso, TX; Sean (Farrah Perkins) Wood, Watertown, NY; Elizabeth (Joshua) Schmidt, Athens, WI; Samuel (Kodee) Wood, Ardmore AL; John ‘Bud’ Wood, Mildenhall, England; Michael Wood, Biloxi, MS; Shado and Nicholas Iseman, Germanville. She has 10 great-grandchildren: Angelo, Juliana, Liam, Reid, Kane, Lawrence, Hudson, Brooks, Logan, and Travis. Nancy was preceded in death by husband John Wood Sr. and parents Wilfrid and Eunice Rafer.
Nancy was born on April 26, 1939 in Succasunna, NJ to Wilfrid and Eunice (Wiggins) Rafer. She graduated from Roxbury High School, Succasunna, NJ in 1957. She entered the US Air Force in 1958 and served as a telephone operator. She met John Wood, a jet engine mechanic, at Offutt Air Force Base. They married in 1960 and moved to Succasunna where Nancy assembled azide primers in an ammunition plant. When John bought and operated the Phillips 66 service station in Andover NJ, she became his right-hand lady, helping to manage the gas station and garage. In 1971, they moved to be near John’s family in Emlenton, PA. Until John passed, Nancy worked alongside him, doing everything from picking up parts to swinging a wrench. Their last job was as an over the road truck escort team. This was as much an adventure and vacation for them as it was a job. In 2006 Nancy moved to Fairfield to be near some of the grandkids and grand dogs. She was active in Republican Women, Central Committee, church activities, and as a Maasdam Barn volunteer.
Some of things Nancy enjoyed were dogs, gardening, genealogy, going to concerts and theater (especially if family was playing), bowling, eating out in new restaurants, cake decorating, science fiction, NASCAR, RAGBRAI, AKC dog shows, Facebook, texting, discussing politics and religion. She was passionate about Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (CKCS) Rescue, family military service, and Bible study. She was the “cool mom” who had a dry sense of humor and loved to joke and laugh. Nancy was extremely proud of her family and would brag about them when given the opportunity.
Visitation will be from 6pm to 8pm on Wednesday, July 25 at Behner Funeral Home. A funeral with military honors will be held at Word of Life Lutheran Church on Thursday, July 26 at 11am. Pastors Chris Fiske and Danny Cary will officiate the ceremony. The body will be cremated after the service. Burial of cremains will be at Allegheny Cemetery, Allegheny Township, PA.
To honor her life, please send memorials to Cavalier Rescue USA at https://cavalierrescueusa.org/ (Write “Give to Kathi Erickson, Iowa” in comments), Word of Life Lutheran Church, 2092 Libertyville Road, Fairfield, IA 52556, or Tarnished Brass Band, 800 Mulberry St. Keosauqua, Iowa 52565. Cards and memorials can be sent to 501 E Adams., Fairfield, IA. The family would like to thank HCI Hospice Care Services (especially Jason, Heidi, V, Jo, Kathleen, Katie, and Gordon) for their compassion, care, and support.
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