A decade or so after Bessie’s passing, Chubby married Lucille Cook. “She was always with him,” says granddaughter Patti Woodman D’Alelio. “Once the Essex Lobster House had been sold, and he no longer had his own dock, Gramp moored The Sally at the town marina. In the winter he’d store it on a trailer in his backyard. At the beginning of each new season he’d hitch the trailer to his car and Lucille would climb into the boat with her bonnet tied tightly. Then off they’d go, over the Causeway and to the marina, with Lucille still sitting in The Sally while Gramp launched it in the river. We were never certain whether she actually liked to fish or simply went fishing to go along with Gramp.”
“Lucille took excellent care of him and it’s hard to imagine what the family would have done without her, because he had a series of small strokes in his final years,” says granddaughter Evelyn Woodman McIntyre. “By then he had a hospital bed set up in the living room, where he could watch the traffic in the parking lot. He was so proud of the restaurant’s success and would just beam. Uncle Deck would drop in and Gramp would ask how many gallons of clams had been fried that day. Uncle Deck might say, ‘50 gallons,’ and Gramp would tell him what he must have made. His estimates were always very close … as long as you figured in the prices of 10 years before!”
“At the end of his life Gramp would see things that weren’t there, especially fires,” says grandson Leonard Woodman. “That probably reflected back to his earlier years when he was fire chief. But he could still recall things from way back and I remember listening to some of his stories with Uncle Deck. It’s funny, but as a schoolteacher I used to tell my students how sometimes the things you wish you could do when you’re older, were things you didn’t like to do when you were young. For instance, I wish that phone would ring just one more time at 4:30 in the morning, so that I could pick it up and have Gramp on the other end telling me to get over there.”
Chubby Woodman died on January 20, 1976, and all of Essex mourned.
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