A private memorial tribute was held Thursday morning at the Nixon Library for President Nixon’s executive assistant, Rose Mary Woods, who passed away January 22 at the age of 87.
The service reunited nearly 100 of Rose’s friends from the Nixon Administration, many dating back to RN’s years in Congress, and eleven members of the Woods family who flew in from across the country to be a part of this special remembrance, including Rose’s sister Grace Kuniewicz of Sebring, Ohio.
On the anniversary of RN’s landmark “silent majority” speech that Rose helped the President prepare 36 years earlier, friends and family gathered on a warm and sunny day next to the birthplace of the President she served so loyally to pay tribute to his trusted assistant.
During the service, American flags and a spray of red, white and blue flowers surrounded a large mural of a smiling Rose Mary Woods behind the podium.
Rose was lovingly remembered by Julie Nixon Eisenhower, who gave an emotional tribute to the woman who meant so much to her father and the entire First Family.
Prayers and reflections were offered by Nixon Library executive director, the Rev. John H. Taylor, followed by longtime colleague Marje Acker, who introduced members of the Woods family.
Eulogies were given by several senior White House aides including speech writer Ray Price, communications director Herb Klein, special assistant Bruce Herschensohn and military aide General Don Hughes as well as Rose’s niece, Theresa Ferlotti.
A luncheon followed the service with remarks of fondness and admiration from Edward Nixon and a warm toast by former military aide Colonel Jack Brennan.
The printed program for the service included the following biography:
Rose Mary Woods was born in Sebring, Ohio where she grew up as a member of a closely-knit Irish Catholic family and graduated from McKinley High School with top honors in commercial studies. After a period of time in local area employment she relocated to the nation’s capitol, seeking wider opportunities.
Serving as staff secretary for the Select Committee on Foreign Aid chaired by Congressman Christian Herter of Massachusetts, she first met then-Congressmen Richard Nixon in 1947. His impression of her as a young woman of keen intelligence, warmth and efficiency carried over to the time of his election to the U.S. Senate in 1950, when she was offered and accepted the position on his Senate staff as his private secretary.
The next thirty years were filled with meritorious service to President Nixon, his family and the nation, meaningful family relationships and gracious acts of fellowship which live on in the memories of her countless friends and admirers.