Margaret Jo Garcia Wood

June 12, 2024

Margaret “Jo” Garcia Wood

On Thanksgiving Day, Margaret “Jo” Garcia entered this world at the family home in Blackwell, Oklahoma. It wasn’t by mistake she arrived on a celebrated day of Thanks, November 25, 1937. She began her life with a thankful heart finding joy in serving others. She escorted the same heart through the gates of Heaven on Thursday, June 6, 2024, at Renaissance Living Center in Ponca City, Oklahoma.

Maude Irene Carroll Garcia and Jose’ MAntonio Garcia gave Jo life, but it was her grandparents who showed her how to live. They cared, provided for her, and gave her the best upbringing a girl could have. Jo was forever grateful to her grandparents, James and Lucy White, who took her to church, taught her the word and shared with her a magnitude of love beyond measure.

Jo attended Blackwell Public Schools where she graduated with the Class of 1956. As a teen she and girlfriend Barbara Cobb (Shoemaker) volunteered at the Blackwell Hospital kitchen. If luck had it while delivering meals they caught a glimpse of the attractive young doctors. Eventually, Jo took her kitchen talents to Mary’s Cafe in Tonkawa where she worked as a waitress. A young NOC football player began making a habit of showing up during her shift. On June 22, 1957, that guy, Gary Wood, made Jo his wife. They established their home in Tonkawa, and later moved to the farm they called home for nearly 50 years.

In February of 1958, the two became parents to a son, Daniel. Daughters Gay and Lori soon arrived and completed the family. Jo returned to work as the youngest began school. Jo always chose professions of service. Dorsett’s IGA, Max Welch Chevtolet, and the NOC Bookstore fulfilled her opportunity to serve others. When she wasn’t on the clock, Jo was on the tractor or the lawn mower. Neighbors west of town referred to her respectfully as “Mow Jo”. In the mid 1970’s, Gary and Jo decided to become business owners. Because the couple only had one gear, they went full steam ahead and established three operations: Woodland Camper Park, Gary Wood Rock Bit, and Jo’s Tastee Freeze. Managing this trio was a family affair with all five involved. Gary and Jo modeled hard work and perseverance throughout their lives.

Nineteen eighty-one marked the beginning of the string of grandkids. They came fast and furious for a time, but Jo found plenty of love to spread around. If Jo had one grandchild over, she had to have all 8 at the same time. She enjoyed cooking for them, reading to them, and letting them do things their parents wouldn’t allow at home, like drive! She took them to church and frequently stopped along the way to give others a ride, too. Together they delivered Meals on Wheels to elderly. Mostly, she watched them build relationships and have fun together. She loved following their activities. Grandma Jo was known to invite the entire Buccaneer football team to lunch on game day to eat her famous chicken and noodles.

Jo served the First United Methodist Church in many capacities. For multiple years, she and Drew Williams served supper to over 100 children at Wednesday night youth group. She helped in the Treasure Room at the thrift sale each year. For over 20 years, Jo prepared and served communion with Evelyn Coyle. Nevona Bossert always called on her to assist in decorating for the yearly Hanging of the Greens. More evidence of her serving heart.

Jo adored her great grandkids. It was guaranteed a game of Go Fish, Wahoo or Uno would break out during a visit. In addition, almost as much as she cared about the grands, she loved her dog, Bud. Whether it was going to town or driving the dirt roads, he was by her side. If Bud could talk, he’d have stories of near misses to tell. Jo was so appreciative to Bobby and Shelly London for adopting Bud and keeping him in the neighborhood.

At 85 years old, Jo continued to mow her yard and keep her home. In July 2023, she moved to Renaissance Living Center in Ponca City. Her life of service and thanks continued as she faithfully wrapped silverware in napkins for each meal. She helped in the kitchen and assisted residents at mealtime. Jo loved pushing the “old people” back to their rooms after lunch. She was always grateful to the staff at Renaissance for their love and compassion. Her weekly shopping list mostly consisted of snacks for caregivers and their children and treats for Hoot’s dog, Buster.

Jo is survived by her son Danny Wood and wife Christi of Yukon, OK, daughter Lori Simpson and husband Kyle of Tonkawa, OK, Eight grandchildren Lindsay Alexander and husband Terry of Hunter, OK, Kolby Simpson and wife Heather of Aledo, TX, Craig Wood and wife Erica of Parker, CO, Jake Coulter of Las Vegas, NV, Karlie Sparks and husband David of Ponca City, OK, Cory Wood and wife Anna of OKC, OK, Russ Coulter and wife Christina of Tulsa, OK and Kramer Simpson and wife Kenzie of Tonkawa, OK. Thirteen great grandchildren Connor, Carson, Kayne, Kamden, Kruse, Leyla, Kyler, Marley, Dean, Sutton, Davis, Callan and Ellis.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Gary, a daughter Gay Krizek, her parents and grandparents.

A Celebration of Life will be held Thursday, June 13, 2024, at 10:00am at the First United Methodist Church of Tonkawa. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Tonkawa Public Schools Helping Hands Project which provides for students in need.