Ring of Kerry Irish Dancers

preserving the cultural tradition of Irish ceili and set dancing since 1991

Remembering Joseph Donald (Joe) Woods

The pandemic of 2020 has brought everyone many difficult days, but the saddest day came when we received the news of the death of Joe Woods. As a member of the Ring of Kerry Irish Dancers for 15 years, he was loved and admired by all.


With Jean by his side, he danced across the floor with ease, helped with the movement of audio equipment for classes and events, participated in many parades and performances, brought corned beef to the St. Patrick's Day parties, joined a cruise to help celebrate Obie's 70th birthday, attended dance class regularly, went to ceilis far and wide, sang his heart out at sing-alongs, joined in the Relaxing at the Beach weekends, took part in the RKID reunions, toured Ireland with the RKIDs, and helped out in every way he could at every event. He did it all with a gleaming smile that warmed our hearts.


Joe was a gentle man who quietly accomplished many things in his life. He was born in 1936 and grew up in the Bronx, NY with his parents, brother, and sister. He went to night school to earn a degree in Engineering, then went on to Fairleigh Dickinson University where he earned an MBA. He retired from the US Department of Energy in 2006. Joe and Jean lived in Damascus, MD until about a year ago. In addition to Jean, he is survived by his son, Don, and daughter, Stephanie, as well as two grandchildren, Emily and Helen. The family reports that "Joe told some great stories, had a hearty laugh, and loved dancing."

We will miss Joe and his stories, his laugh, and his dancing.


Thoughts about Joe, from an RKIDs member:

I remember that smile

– Tom O.

June 11, 2020