In 1976, Jimmy Carter was elected president, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple, and Wally Woods began a 44-year career at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.
On Friday, Woods’ family, friends, and numerous co-workers gathered — at a safe distance — in the hospital parking lot to send him off with waves and applause. Woods’ daughter Julie Meader helped put the send off together.
“He’s super excited,” Meader said. “It’s bittersweet because this has been his family too, but he’s looking forward to more time with the grandkids to go hunting and fishing.”
Woods’ family was gathered near his car which bore handmade signs that read “44 years!” and “Congrats Dad” on the windshield. Inside his truck were gifts of peanut M&Ms and gooey brownies — two of his favorite treats.
Woods, 70, worked in the hospital’s maintenance department for more than four decades. His boss and director of the facilities department John Murray couldn’t say enough nice things about Woods.
“He’s always been a pleasure to work with, funny as hell,” Murray said.
At 11 am exactly, Woods signed out of work for the last time. He waved at his colleagues as he was met with cheers heading out the door.
“Thank you all…I’ll miss you all,” Woods said, before adding some tongue-in-cheek humor. “If you’re all here, who’s running the hospital?”