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Our History



The doors of Wood Funeral Home, Inc. opened in August of 1959 under the vision of Clarence and Geraldine Bowser Wood. The young couple was inspired by two family members who were already funeral directors, Elmer "Bus" Bullock in Harve De Gras, Maryland, and Newton S. Bowser in Topeka, Kansas.  Wood Funeral Home was established at 5537-39 W. Girard Avenue and provided dedicated, professional funeral services to the Philadelphia community. 

Life was busy during the early years as the young couple juggled their existing careers with their new involvement in the funeral business.  Clarence worked as a probation officer at the Philadelphia Municipal Court and had now become the sole proprietor of Wood Funeral Home.  Gerry taught at the Philadelphia Public School District while acting as the support staff and lady attendant for her husband.  Both consistently strove to serve their community.

In January 1989, their two daughters, Cynthia Elizabeth and Wanda Annette joined the family business as licensed funeral directors.  Cynthia had graduated and completed six years of teaching while Wanda had just finished her college education.  After expressing their desire to be a part of the family business, they became second generation funeral directors.  With fresh ideas, initiatives and programs, the two daughters infused an already successful business with new perspective. They continued the family tradition of providing funeral services to the public while also responding to the changing times.

In 1991, the business was transformed from a sole proprietorship to a partnership under the direction of Cynthia and Wanda Wood. Since that transition, the level of service provided by Wood Funeral Home, Inc. had improved and expanded greatly.

Later, the sisters sought to provide a safe and affordable resource to share with their community.  The Wood Community Annex, a 2-story building next door to the funeral home was purchased, and the open house officially introduced the culmination of this work on September 13, 2009.  Numerous businesses, politicians, vendors and friends come together to celebrate the presence of a new gathering place.  Since that time, family receptions, meetings, political fundraisers and seminars have been held in the Wood Community Annex in order to bring people together.

Clarence, Gerry, Cynthia and Wanda are grateful for their ministry of funeral service, which affords them the opportunity to care for families in need.  They stand ready to serve you whether it is for a pre-planning needs or assistance in the arrangements for the funeral of a loved one.