Westfield—On June 2nd, Mary (Wielgus) Atwood, 91, (1926-2017) died in her sleep at home surrounded by her family. She was the loving wife of Russell A. Atwood, and for over 30 years they together owned and operated as pharmacists Atwood Drug Store on North Elm Street in Westfield. She was the daughter of Ludwig and Sophie (Samborski) Wielgus of Westfield, MA where she was born May 10, 1926 and remained a lifelong resident.
Mary attended Holy Trinity School and graduated from Westfield High School in 1943. In 1949, she graduated from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston, MA. At a time when it was a largely male-dominated profession, she began her career at Dewey Drug Store as a registered pharmacist, and was also registered in Connecticut where she worked at Allan Drug Company in Enfield, CT.
In the late 1950s, she met and married Russell A. Atwood, who then was working as a radio announcer in Springfield, MA, and encouraged him to go to school and become a pharmacist. In 1961, they opened Atwood Drug Store. For over 30 years, they served the surrounding area 365 days a year, open even on holidays for people who needed a prescription filled or a last-minute Christmas gift. She and Russell retired in 1993, but she is still remembered with love by generations of loyal customers, who she served with dedication. She was a no-nonsense businesswoman and could be hard-as-nails when she wasn’t soft as satin (especially when dealing with fast-talking salesmen).
She loved gardening, golf (as a member of Shaker Farms Country Club), and travel (ranging from Brazil, Egypt, Germany, Rome, and the Dominican Republic). As a parishioner of Holy Trinity, she was part of the Rosary Society.
Her husband died in 2016, but she is survived by her son, Russell L. Atwood, a mystery writer, her daughter, Dr. Joan Marie Lariviere, Tom Lariviere, her son-in-law, and grandchildren Donald and Sophia. She will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved her.
There are no calling hours. The funeral mass will be held at Holy Trinity Church, Thursday, June 8th at 10 A.M. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Holy Trinity’s Rosary Society, 335 Elm Street, Westfield, MA or Western Massachusetts Pharmacy Association.fFirtionadams.com
A service summary is not available