Death Notices & Obituaries

Jean Woods

WOODS Jean Née Tomkins Passed away peacefully at Yarnton Care Home on 13 April 2019, aged 88. Jean, a devoted daughter, wife, mother and grandmother, had lived and taught as a primary school teacher in Oxfordshire since 1968, when her husband Bill was posted to RAF Little Rissington. Jean was born in Barnet on 18 August 1930 and was adopted a few months later by Harry and Elsie Tomkins. Her education included four years during the war at Sudbury High School, and she went on to Trent Park Teacher Training College, from 1950 to 1952, where she studied English literature and her great love, drama. She joined the repertory company the Brookland Players, landing roles that garnered her much praise in the local press, including a Best Actress award for her leading role in The Young Elizabeth. In later years, she acted with a Cambridgeshire company under the directorship of Freda Dowie, with the Little Theatre Group playing the leading role of Sarat Carn in Bonaventure, and with the Aden Dramatic Society as Jo in Taste of Honey. Jean and Bill were married on 30 July 1955, and went on to have three children (Christopher, Mandy and Jeremy), all born in different parts of the country as RAF postings moved them on every two years. Jean taught at local primary schools during most of that time, as well as 4t Saint Philip and Saint James School ('Phil and Jim') in North Oxford after the family moved to Kidlington. For 35 years her strong sense of justice and compassion moved her to write via Amnesty International to Heads of State, Presidents and Prime Ministers, pleading on behalf of prisoners of conscience. She also delivered Meals-on-Wheels in the Kidlington area, taught at St Mary's Church Sunday School and produced their Nativity plays each Christmas, volunteered on the switchboard of ParentLine, served teas at St Mary's Church refectory in the summer months, was a deputy for the Almoner Alms Houses in Church Street, volunteered as a reader for Talking Newspapers for the Blind, and visited the partially sighted in Kidlington. She also supported the Medical Foundation (care of victims of torture), ChildLine, Starlight Express, the Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, Sobell House, the Stroke Association and the NSPCC. Jean will be greatly missed. Her funeraI will take place at St Mary's Church, Kidlington on Thursday 9 May at 1pm. Jean requested family flowers only, and for donations to ChildLine and Sobell House. Donations may be made online at



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