Obituary: Woodbury Cole Titcomb, 100

August 20, 1923 – August 23, 2023

Woodbury Cole Titcomb, known to all as “Woodie,” passed away on August 23, 2023, at the age of one hundred years at his home in Holden, MA, from natural causes common to advanced age. He was a resident of Holden from 1978 to 2023 and Naples, FL, from 1994 to 2021.

Woodie was born in Andover, MA, on August 20, 1923, the son of Maurice Adams Titcomb and Mildred (Cole) Titcomb.

A daughter, Jane Titcomb, her children, Olivia and Isabelle; a son, Jay, and his wife, Gloria (Romero) Titcomb, and their children, Michael, Philip, and Anna survive him. Karen Donovan of Wellesley, MA, was his companion in his later years.

After fifty-seven years of marriage, his wife, Florence (Pierce) Titcomb, predeceased him in 2003.

Woodie was raised in Reading, MA, during The Great Depression. He graduated from Reading Memorial High School in 1941.

Admitted to Brown University in Providence, RI, Woodie was the first in his family to go to college, graduating with a major in Mathematics in 1947.

At Brown, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps as a freshman in 1942, receiving his first commission to the USS New Orleans with the Pacific Fleet in February 1945. He was a Fighter Director and Visual Intercept Officer in the Combat Information Center (CIC), using new radar technology to identify and intercept enemy craft.

After Japan surrendered, Woodie returned to Reading, MA, where he married his high school sweetheart, Florence Pierce, in 1946.

He was called to active duty a second time to help deter the southward spread of communism in Asia when North Korea invaded South Korea. Promoted to Lieutenant and CIC Officer, Woodie was commissioned to the USS Macon as it protected the fleet in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Woodie began a banking career in 1952 as a trainee at The First National Bank of Boston. He remained with “The First” for fifteen years, rising to Vice President. He received a certificate of completion and diploma from the American Bankers Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking in 1963.

Seeking executive responsibility, Woodie was hired to be President of First-Manufacturer’s National Bank of Lewiston and Auburn, ME, in 1967. He continued as President and CEO of Northeast Bank of Lewiston and Northeast Bankshares Association of Lewiston until 1975.

Returning to Massachusetts, he was a consultant to Framingham Trust Company from 1976 to 1977.

Woodie was hired as President and CEO of Peoples (Savings) Bank of Worcester, MA, in 1978. Leading Peoples with its dedicated Board of Directors, officers, and staff, proved to be the high point of Woodie’s banking career.

He was appointed as a Member of the Board of Governors Thrift Institutions Advisory Council, Federal Reserve Systems, from 1991 to 1992.

In 1993, Shawmut National Corporation offered to acquire Peoples Bancorp Inc. of Worcester. It was a lucrative and unsolicited offer. A terrific return on investment for Peoples’ shareholders, the bank was sold in 1994.

Woodie was active in the Worcester community. He was President of the Worcester Club from 1990 to 1992. He played golf and tennis at the Worcester Country Club, the Worcester Tennis Club, and the Greendale Branch, Worcester YMCA.

Retiring to Naples, FL, in 1994 at seventy-one, Woodie enjoyed twenty-six winters in Florida, a long and active senior life.

He lived for one hundred years, witnessing stunning developments, surviving two wars, exceeding his career expectations, and living a long life with dignity and distinction. He was one of America’s “Greatest Generation.”

Visiting Hours for Woodie Titcomb will be held at Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main Street in Holden, MA, on Thursday, September 7, 2023 from 4:30-7:00 pm. Mr. Titcomb’s burial will be private.

To share a memory or offer an online condolence, please visit his Tribute Wall on this page.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email