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Shelter Island Reporter obituary: Kenneth J. Woods

Kenneth J. Woods of Shelter Island passed away peacefully on Jan. 30, 2023, surrounded by his family. He was 87.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jeanne, his daughters, Maureen Ostermann (Bob), Jeanne Marie Ludwig (Larry), and son, Kenneth (Torie), and grandchildren, Meghan, Kelly, Kayla, Brendan, Ryan, Daniel and Riley Brynn, his nephew, John Puglia and his nieces Janet, Joyce and Judy Puglia, as well as his devoted caregiver, Jun Suaner, who called him, “Sir Ken.”

Born in the Bronx on May 8, 1935, he was the only child of Stella and William Woods. Ken was predeceased by a half-brother, William, and a half-sister, Mary.

He served in the Army from 1956 to 1958 and then worked as an executive for JP Morgan for 33 years, He and Jeanne raised their family in Forest Hills, Queens.

After retirement at age 55, Ken worked for the National Marine Fisheries, where he was in charge of monitoring the number of fish caught by New York State fishermen. This allowed the couple to travel extensively.

They came to Shelter Island to visit friends in 1989 and loved it because it reminded them of Maine. They bought property in South Ferry Hills and built their handicap-accessible home when Ken’s mother came to live with them.

An avid fisherman, Ken was often found out on his boat, at his favorite spots by the South Ferry or Buoy 27 in Moriches Bay. He loved to cook for his family and friends and was famous for his coleslaw, a recipe he begrudgingly gave to his daughter, Jeanne Marie, before he passed.

(Credit: Peter Waldner illustration)

Ken and Jeanne were voted the Shelter Island Reporter’s People of the Year in 2015, for their extensive volunteer work on the Island, including delivering for Meals on Wheels, driving seniors to doctors’ appointments, opening their home to Shelter Island Bucks and to kids with cancer who were too sick to fully participate in the Kids Need More Camp Adventure.

The couple helped however they could,  “quietly and with grace,” as a friend said. They were active parishioners at Our Lady of the Isle Church. Ken was also honored for 60 consecutive years as a member of the Knights of Columbus.

His grandchildren remember “Pop-Pop” as a kind man with a great sense of humor, who loved cigars, scotch and Italian pastries. Pop-Pop always made a concerted effort to be interested in the lives of all of his grandchildren. He encouraged them to save and invest their money and checked with them often to make sure they were doing so.

A Liturgy of Christian Burial was celebrated at Our Lady of the Isle Church officiated by Fr. Peter DeSanctis on Feb. 4, followed by interment with U.S. military honors at Our Lady of the Isle Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations made in Ken’s name to KidsNeedMore  — 600 Albany Ave. #14, Amityville, NY 11701, or online at kidsneedmore.org.