riscilla “Polly” Jones Woods of Westbrook, Connecticut, died peacefully on Saturday, July 27, with family by her side. Polly was born on Valentine’s Day in 1930 and was the beloved wife of her husband Robert Woods for 70 years. She graduated from New Britain High School in 1947 and attended Wheelock College in Boston. As a swimming instructor she was a pioneer in teaching swimming to those with special needs and also teaching infants to swim. She had a lifetime association with the YMCA and was a Water Safety Instructor and a Master Swimmer. Polly taught a Water Aerobics Class at Essex Meadows and worked extensively with Sarah Inc., which helps families raising children and adult family members with intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities or special healthcare needs. Providing them with coaching, assistance and encouragement, she brought joy and smiles of success to her students in the water, many of whom had difficulties on land. She also was a volunteer at Red Cross Blood Drives. She and Bob were very active members of America’s Boating Club with Polly rising to the rank of District 1 Lieutenant Commander. Polly loved swimming, boating, and the beach and passed that love on to her whole family. Her caring and giving ways will be forever missed.
Polly met the love of her life one summer at Grove Beach Point in Westbrook. That romance, which started as teenagers, lasted over 70 years. She married Bob when he was serving in the Army during the Korean War. They settled in Plainville where the raised their four children together, but still summered at Grove Beach Point or on their boat.
She is survived by her husband Robert Woods of Westbrook, her two sisters Natalie Neri of Niantic and Constance Peck of Madison. Her daughter Dianne Bronkie of East Berlin, her son Gary Woods and his wife Shelley of Deep River, Laura Woods of Westbrook, and Gail Sartori of Burlington, Ct. Polly’s grandchildren who she loved dearly are Jenifer Mongillo and her husband Jeff, Myshel Enman and her husband Garrett, Jaime Petillo and her husband Jeff, Jessica Sartori, Nick Sartori and his wife Jacilyn. The Great Grandchildren who will be missing her are Addison, Rocco, Ryan, Anna, Joseph, Dominic and Calina. And of course, her two beautiful Golden Retrievers Kate and Cooper, who were always by her side.
She is pre-deceased by her sister Barbara Jones Kellam and her loving parents Milton and Edith Jones of New Britain. A special thank you to everyone at The Shoreline of Clinton for the loving and compassionate care they bestowed on Polly.