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Michael Joseph (Mickey) Woodford

Michael Joseph (Mickey)  Woodford

Born: July 14th, 1929

Passed on: March 21st, 2017

July 14, 1929 – March 21, 2017
Michael Joseph (Mickey) Woodford was born to Thomas and Lillian Woodford of Holyrood, NL, the fourth of six children. With loss of his mother at the age of four, he was sent to ‘the mainland’ to be raised in Glace Bay by his cousin Gen and her husband Joe MacAskill. It was in Glace Bay Michael became Mickey and he learned to handle himself equally well, be it on the ball field, the hockey pond or at ‘Senator’s Corner’. The positive athletic influence of Fathers Nash and Smith, combined with Gen’s educational values, Mickey joined the army of CB athletes and scholars shipped to St. F.X. in Antigonish. Graduating in 1952 after squeezing four years into five, he took every opportunity to play varsity sports, in particular hockey. His 1951-52 team was inducted into both the St. F.X. Sports Hall of Fame and Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame. After graduation, Mickey returned to Newfoundland to play senior hockey and drive trucks in Buchans, NL. It turned out that he had a greater aptitude for working with kids than trucks, so he returned to St. F.X. to obtain the first of three subsequent education degrees. St. F.X. was where he met his university sweetheart, Pat McManus and they married in 1956. His love for Pat and his family along with his passion for education and sport opportunities for kids defined much of his life. He was fortunate to have a professional life that he loved. His career ranged from interacting with kids in the classrooms in St John’s NF, Dominion, NS, St. Pat’s High in Halifax and in Baddeck; as principal. Eventually, his role was influencing education policy as Senior Director of School Curriculum for Nova Scotia and as Executive Director of the NS School Boards Association. Mickey had a passion for his community of Baddeck, from minor hockey to spear-heading the building of the Victoria Highland Civic Center, to chairing the fundraising campaign for the Victoria County Memorial Hospital. As well, he shared his passion for sailing by providing leadership and support to Bras d’Or Yacht Club and the community wharf initiative. In later years, Mickey was a keen golfer and curler. Aside from his own six kids, Mickey had so many pint-sized heroes and youth who were the touchstones of his decisions at work, as a coach, as a mentor, as a citizen and most importantly, as a father. His ever-present sense of humor endeared him to many. After his diagnosis of dementia, humour became his amour; deflecting the unsuspecting from recognizing the gradual erosion of his intellectual engagement, his ability to manage the mundane tasks of life to finally not being able to manage the basic activities of daily living. In his last years, he felt overwhelmed with gratitude for the gifts life has given him and for the people who have touched him. Mickey is survived by wife of 60 years, Pat (McManus); his children, Eileen, Baddeck, Tim, Liverpool, Paddy (Dina), Riverview, NB; Kathy Anne, Antigonish; Peter, Halifax and Beth (Craig) Collins, Liverpool and eight grandchildren, Curtis, Caleb, Ben, Tessa, Brittany, Nicholas, Gillian and Sarah, are grateful to him and the life he lived.
His survived by his brother, John (Elsie) in Holyrood, NF; brothers-in-law, John Phalen, Sydney, Bruce Hyland, Pointe Claire, Quebec and sisters-in-law, Beverly Woodford, Massachusetts and Betty McCarty, Falmouth Mass and many nieces and nephews. Mickey was predeceased by his parents and siblings, Betty (Phalen), Kay, Bill, Tom and Richard.
The family expresses special thanks to the medical community at Victoria County Memorial Hospital, Amanda Morrison of Above and Beyond Continuing Care and Victoria County Home Support.
Visitation will occur Thursday, March 23 from 2 p.m.-9 p.m. at the Baddeck Community Centre. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Michael’s Parish on Friday, March 24, 2017 at 11 a.m. with Fr. Paul Abbas officiating followed by a reception at the Community Centre.
In memory of Mickey, please consider donating to a Baddeck Academy scholarship established in his name, to the Victoria Highlands Civic Centre, Victoria County Memorial Hospital Foundation or by simply sharing acts of kindness, as this was the governing tenant of his life.
Funeral under the care and direction of MacAskill Funeral Home.


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