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Louise's Story

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COOPERSTOWN — Louise Y. Woods, 88, passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015, at her home in Lakeland Shores. 
She was born Aug. 29, 1926, in Brooklyn, a daughter of Alfred W. and Paula W. (Grösser) Engelmann, who were both natives of Germany. A graduate of Mineola High School, Louise and her family moved from Long Island to Cooperstown, where her father purchased the 25-acre Lakeland Shores housing development site on the southeast shore of Otsego Lake and also founded the Lake Front Motel.
On Dec. 29, 1946, Louise married Francis Richard Woods in Cooperstown. True entrepreneurs, their first business was a paper recycling plant in Cooperstown Junction. They later sold wholesale goods from a storefront on Main Street in Cooperstown and then purchased 61 Main Street directly across the street and opened F.R. Woods. They first sold toys upstairs — in what was known locally as Toyland — with fine collectible gifts downstairs, and later purchased 63 Main Street next door and started the first sports and baseball memorabilia store in the village. Louise became well-known by many tourists from around the country for her excellent customer care, as she would custom design team jackets and jerseys to meet particular needs. When licensing and royalties became an issue with Major League Baseball the business model changed, but Louise never lost her touch in always making sure customers received what they wanted. F.R. Woods later became the first New Era hat retailer, and Louise always took the time to measure any potential customer’s head in order to give them a perfectly fitted ball cap. Upstairs business suites were later converted into the Baseball Town Motel, making it the closest possible tourist accommodation in the village to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
A faithful communicant of St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Roman Catholic Church in Cooperstown, Louise was always praying for someone in need.
A non-judgmental and truly selfless person, she will be remembered as a wonderful mom who would do anything for anybody.
Louise is survived by two daughters and sons-in-law, Karen and Norman Johannesen of Cooperstown and Lorelei and David McCall of Wakefield, Mass.; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, Jason Johannesen and his wife, Melina and their children Savannah and Leif, Kim Johannesen and her husband, Patrick Shepard, Erika Johannesen, Noah Johannesen and Ainsley McCall; her identical twin sister, Haidy Zoeller and her husband, William of Cooperstown; a sister-in-law, Gail Pyontek and her husband, Edward, of West Trenton, N.J.; a niece, Paula Wykoff and her husband, Terry, and their daughter, Tulsa and her husband, Joseph Lepetich; and three nephews, Alfred Zoeller (and his four children, Lonnie, Alexander, Christian and Brett) and Keith and Erik Pyontek.
She is further survived by a very devoted and special family friend, Janet Hotaling, who worked side-by-side with Louise for nearly 50 years and in later years provided her with wonderful care.
Louise was predeceased by her loving husband of 52 years, Francis R. Woods, who died March 22, 1999.
Beginning Sunday afternoon, April 19, 2015, Louise will be lying in repose in the sanctuary of St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Roman Catholic Church in Cooperstown, where friends may call and pay their respects to the family from 3 to 5 p.m.
The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 20, 2015, at St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Roman Catholic Church in Cooperstown, with Fr. John P. Rosson, pastor, presiding.
Interment will be in Hartwick Seminary Cemetery.
For those who wish to make a gift in memory of Louise, her family respectfully suggests the following: St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Roman Catholic Church, 31 Elm St., Cooperstown, NY 13326, or Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care, 1 Birchwood Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820.
Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.
Published on  April 9, 2015
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