Maria Woodward passed away as she wished, peacefully at her home on Belvedere Cove. As her nephew and niece Tom and Ann Woodward described her, “Our Aunt Maria was a dynamic package: small and popping with intelligence, fun, wit, and sarcasm and very specific in her tastes — such as Cosmopolitan cocktails and yacht clubs where “you don’t pay, you just sign.”
She was born into a musical family and raised in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. When she found her way to the Bay Area, she embarked on a number of careers, including writing for a national women’s magazine, working in the front office of the San Francisco 49ers, and then serving as a hostess for Pan Am Airlines, where she met her husband, Tom Woodward. The two of them lived in a charming house built into and onto a wharf on Corinthian Island, where Maria began her next career of writing and composing musical comedies celebrating the life and history of towns on the Tiburon Peninsula.
Following Tom’s death, Maria continued living in her home on Corinthian Island, where she gave memorable parties. It’s lore that Joe Lavigne attended one of Maria’s parties in 1978 and stayed until his death in 2018.
Maria’s last years were spent under the loving care of a cadre of caregivers; led by Yesenia Murcia, the caregivers soon became family. On her 94th birthday on October 11, Maria lamented the seriousness of the party and the lack of laughter, at which time the guests raucously, without prompts, burst out laughing for a prolonged period while Maria beamed then joined in the ruckus.
Maria was well known as a musician, librettist, and civic philanthropist. She wrote the libretto and co-wrote the music for “The Ghosts of Belvedere & Tiburon,” a musical celebration for the 2017 Corinthian Island centennial performed as a gala fundraiser for the Belvedere-Tiburon Landmark Society on the grounds and surrounds of the Corinthian Yacht Club.
Those celebrating the island’s future may hear and enjoy recordings … the sound and spirit of Maria Woodward’s life.
Contributions in Maria Woodward’s honor can be made to the Belvedere-Tiburon Landmark Society, 1550 Tiburon Blvd., Suite M, Tiburon, CA 94920.