Floral 22

Marie Elizabeth Wilkins

May 22, 1937 ~ March 25, 2022 (age 84)


On the 22nd day of May in 1937, Marie Elizabeth Wood made her arrival into this world. Her parents, Jim and Grace Wood, welcomed their baby girl to their Spring Hill, Iowa home as they did all of their 9 children.  Marie’s siblings include:

William Wood, Glen Wood, Bob Wood, Zelda Wood Dyer, Rosemary Wood Jones, Howard Wood, Carolyn Wood Harkin, and Henry Wood.

Marie and her brothers and sisters were raised on hard work, love, church on Sunday and Sunday dinners. They didn’t have much but they had each other. They all worked the farm and learned valuable skills from their parents that they carried throughout their lives and passed on to their children. The girls would learn to make homemade bread and noodles which is a long time family favorite and a must have on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The family was always very close. The fourth of July was a favorite for the kids. It was always a great celebration as they would get to have watermelon and pop. Simple things we take for granted in this day and age. As years went by they knew the importance of being together and together created the famous Wood Family reunions that were an annual weekend celebration that was more like a festival. They went all out on these incredible reunions which had themes and keepsakes and are treasured memories by the entire family. 

Marie’s first marriage was blessed with the births of her first three children.

Debbie, Bev, and Rick.  Later she would meet and marry her forever love, Ray Wilkins, and their family was completed by the births of Raymond and Robbie.

The family moved to the Branson area in 1970 where Marie & Ray both worked at the School of the Ozarks. Marie worked in the Print Shop for years and developed lifetime friendships along the way.  She retired from the print shop but retirement didn’t last long and she later became the manager of the Farmhouse Restaurant. She was an extremely dedicated worker, so much in fact that she missed her own birthday party once because she was so busy at work.

Marie always had a passion and talent for crafts. She excelled in all she set out to do including sewing, painting, and decorating. She always worked several jobs and oftentimes recruited others in on her projects whether they liked it or not. She was never an idle person and was always eager to help anyone who needed her creative guidance. I’d say her work ethic and love for shopping was a fueling force behind her need to work, work, work!

She also loved to design, build, and then ultimately decorate her homes. She did this with skill and precision and her homes were always beautiful and well kept.

Marie’s five children blessed her with 14 grandchildren. She was known to them as both Mom Marie and Grandma. Her grandchildren are:

Chrissy Layton Smith, Lacey Layton Sanders, Shelly Whorton Barnett, Zach Whorton, Josh Mundy, Jennifer Mundy, Jeffrey Underwood, Shayne Underwood Thompson, Hope Wilkins Gann, Jade Bottoms, Dillon Wilkins, Donavan Wilkins, Trey Wilkins, and Zella Wilkins.  Her grandchildren blessed her with 22 Great Grandchildren and 1 Great Great Grandson.

Marie attended the First Baptist Church for most of her adult life and later The Taneyville Union Chapel where she was an active member always helping with special events. She started a Christian Book Library which was a special resource and appreciated by all who used it.

Once you met Marie she was not easy to forget. Although she did not appreciate comments and questions about her height it was hard to miss. She was tall and she was beautiful. Her appearance was important to her and unless she was ill she was dressed to the nines. Big hair, makeup, and lots of jewelry is what she was known for. But those who knew her personally knew her as strong willed, giving, opinionated, witty, kind, and she lived life her way. She didn’t often ask for advice but was always there to say something to make you laugh right up till her last days. She loved Christmas, She REALLY loved Christmas. She would start decorating in the fall and her decor, which was beyond what most can imagine, stayed up well into the New Year. It brought her joy and she shared that joy with everyone. She was extremely giving, especially at Christmas time. She was known for making sure people she knew had Christmas gifts for their family but she never took the credit. She loved Santa Claus and she definitely had the spirit of Santa in her.

Life’s unexpected changes in the end left her in a wheelchair and in a nursing facility that she referenced as “San Quentin.” The past three years were not easy on her independent nature but her sense of humor got her through the tough times including the quarantine year. There she was loved by other residents and clearly made a positive impact on their lives and entertained some of the staff.

Marie was used to working late into the night whether she was painting or closing the farmhouse so it was only fitting that she went to her eternal home in the late night hours on Friday March 25, 2022 at the age of 84, just two months shy of her 85th birthday. She is and will always be missed but we are comforted in knowing she is with our Heavenly Father and is waiting for us to join her.

She was preceded in death by her Husband Ray, Parents Jim & Grace Wood, Sister Rosemary, Brother William, Granddaughter Jennifer, Son in law Lloyd, other in laws, and many friends.

Our hearts will always hold her close and the memories will be sweet reminders of the mom, grandma, sister, and friend she was to many.

Services will be Thursday, March 31, 2022 with visitation at 1:00 PM and the funeral service at 2:00 PM in Snapp-Bearden Funeral Home and Crematory, Branson. Burial will follow in the Highlandville Cemetery, Highlandville.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Marie, please visit our floral store.


March 31, 2022

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Snapp-Bearden Funeral Home and Crematory
1638 East State Highway 76
Branson, MO 65616

Funeral Service
March 31, 2022

2:00 PM
Snapp-Bearden Funeral Home and Crematory
1638 East State Highway 76
Branson, MO 65616

Interment following funeral service
March 31, 2022

Highlandville Cemetery
Hwy EE
Highlandville, MO 65669

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