Willoughby Scott Hood, 91, of Cohasset, MA, was born November 2, 1927 in Rochester, NY and died August 30, 2019 in Plattsburgh, NY. Christened Barbara Barlow by her parents, Kathryn Willoughby Beecher (her mother’s maiden name) and Frederick Briggs Barlow of New Haven, CT. When her mother remarried and her stepfather James Bradley Scott, Jr. of Newburgh, NY, adopted her, they changed her maiden name to Willoughby Scott. She grew up in Pittsfield, MA, and lived in Cohasset, MA, for most of her life.
Often called Willa or Willow, she graduated from Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield, MA, then attended Wheaton College in Norton, MA. She graduated with a BA from Simmons College in Boston and joyfully taught History and English to middle schoolers for several years in her early adulthood, notably at the Bement School in Buffalo, NY, and Hull High School. After her parents moved to Cohasset in the 1940s, she became an accomplished, avid sailor (and her father Jim Scott became commodore of the Cohasset Yacht Club), racing Herreshoff Bullseyes, 110s and 210s. She married in 1954, enjoyed family hiking, camping, and stays at the cottages on Westport Point, and participated enthusiastically in the Greater Boston Visitors Bureau, League of Women Voters, Cohasset Discussion Club, Community Garden Club of Cohasset, and the Episcopal churches of Hingham and Cohasset. Baby boomers who spent their childhoods in Cohasset will remember her as the epitome of motherhood; she provided many young people in the ‘70s with unconditional love, free meals, and often a temporary home at her beloved antique Cape with cobbled courtyard and terraced gardens at 23 Border Street, while they sorted out the rest of their own lives. At almost 50, she learned bookkeeping and worked in several South Shore businesses over two decades. On retirement, she spent many happy hours in her gardens on Pleasant Street and Wheelwright Farm, learned to play and win at dominoes, and cared for and thoroughly enjoyed her grandchildren. Her quiet courage and resilience in facing her own life challenges, and her deep love, loyalty, open mind, discretion and unfailing moral support of other people in theirs, will be appreciated and remembered forever by friends and family. She profoundly inspired all of them.
She is survived by her daughter Kathryn Beecher Earle (née Pamela Hood) of Cohasset, MA, and her son Captain John Emerson Hood of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, their spouses, Gerald Frederick Earle of Hingham, MA, and Arlene Humphreys Hood of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and two grandchildren, Roger Rushmore Earle II (a.k.a. Robin) and his wife Marguerite Ladd of Underhill, VT, and James Emerson Earle and his fiancée Jaclyn Walkins of Washington, DC. Willoughby is also survived by her mother’s distant cousins, William Highwill Beecher IV of Panama City, FL, Hugh Willoughby of Riverside, RI, and Philip Saunders, Jr. of Weston, MA. Her grandmother Lillia Viann Willoughby Beecher was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Willoughby’s extended family also includes Cherie Hood Shipulski and Martha Penzer and their families. She was predeceased by her ex-husband, Paul Emerson Hood, Jr., of Burlington, VT, and distant cousin Alan Willoughby of East Greenwich, RI.
Memorial service and reception: 1 p.m., Saturday, October 19, 2019 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Cohasset, MA. Should friends desire, donations may be made in her memory to Corporate Accountability at corporateaccountability.org or St. Stephen’s Carillon Fund. Concerts on the refurbished carillon will benefit the entire South Shore.