John Thomas Woods

CAPE ELIZABETH – It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that Diane Goodwin Woods, wife, and children, Maxwell, Jackson, Camden and Kaitlyn, say goodbye to John Thomas Woods, 57, of Cape Elizabeth. John passed on March 6, 2021, and we take comfort in the knowledge that he is smiling down on us from heaven. John was a proud, loving father, husband, son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, friend … loyal and unconditionally there to support all of those lucky enough to be included in this inner circle.

John made a conscious choice to be joyful, peaceful and humorous, and not to focus on what he couldn’t control, what he didn’t have, or how unfair and cruel life can be. He inspired this in so many, and truly lived it … enjoying every moment. John’s sense of humor has always left everyone laughing and smiling. He brought levity and perspective as well as just making everything more fun. John was a role model who showed us every day how to live with an enlightened open heart, humbleness, gratitude, faith and humor.

John was born in Melrose, Mass., in 1963 on New Year’s Eve, son of John Michael Woods and Eileen Julia Cullinane Woods of Somerville, Mass. He was a 1982 graduate of Pope John XXIII High School in Everett, Mass., where he played football and chased the girls endlessly. John then went to work for the Sheraton, Boston and onto the Ritz-Carlton Hotels where he traveled and opened new properties. The experience and lessons learned at the Ritz were a positive impact throughout John’s life, and lessons he passed onto many others. In 1987 John returned to the Boston area and started working full time at Boston College while getting his college education. There, in 1987, he met Diane Goodwin who he would later marry. He graduated Boston College in 1992, and then worked in various sales and marketing positions at The Ritz-Carlton, Cendant Corp., and Red Ventures. In 2008, John decided to dedicate his time to his two great loves: his family and his charity work. John was the “fun dad” who had crazy and amazing ideas that provided the most wonderful home life possible for his family. We are so thankful for the memories, love and guidance he poured into his children. And he dedicated himself full time to furthering the work against childhood hunger in Maine, first as Chair of Share Our Strength for Maine, and then in 2014 as co-founder of Full Plates Full Potential. John was always fully invested in everything he did, and his energy and optimism always drew in whoever was in his reach.

Mr. John Woods was the brightest of the bright lights. His personality filled every room he entered and won people’s hearts with his easy going, disarming nature and sense of humor. One of his many gifts was making everyone around him feel comfortable, and welcome. He taught all of us so much about how to approach adversity with grace, looking for the intrinsic good in others and how to prioritize the things in life that truly matter … family, friends, and helping others.

John was dogged in his quest to identify his calling; to identify what God had intended as his greater purpose. He sought opportunities to leverage his gifts, skills and faith in service of others; to make a lasting impact, to find a better way … to lift people up. Full Plates Full Potential is the culmination of many things that made John who he was, and one that will have lasting impact on the lives of thousands of children who are being fed, and will have a chance of living a healthier, more fulfilled lives. However, Full Plates is just, but one example … John really put the “human” in human being. He was so interested in each person and their story. He was an innovator and a problem solver; bringing people together and questioning the status-quo. He was always looking for the “opportunity” within the problem. Then he would flip the problem on its head and offer fresh solutions and a positive outlook.

Through this journey John and his family have felt huge love from friends and family, and we want to thank everyone who made our load a little lighter and brought joy into a difficult time. To honor John, we would like to do two things. First: If you have a funny or great story, or a word/ phrase that you think best exemplifies John please share it here in text, picture or video ( We will be putting together a book/CD of thoughts, photos and memories for his children. Second: Once the world reopens after COVID we will have a true Irish celebration of life for John. At this to-be-announced event, we will eat, drink, and laugh with an open mic and lots of stories to share to celebrate this amazing individual.

Services will be family only. Arrangements entrusted to Hobbs Funeral Home, South Portland.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to to honor John’s legacy

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