Toby Matthew Woods, 18


Toby Matthew Woods, age 18, died on February 21, 2024 in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Toby Matthew Woods

Toby was born in Stamford, Connecticut on May 10, 2005 to Peter and Kristina Woods. He spent his entire childhood in New Canaan, Connecticut with his parents and his older brother Nicholas. 

He was full of joys and loves and deep passions – for classical music, cello, piano, travel, learning, hiking, cooking, Legos, puzzles, business, sushi and urban design. He loved roller coasters, the higher and faster the better. He loved explaining complicated things and he was so amazingly good at it. And it’s hard to convey how much music meant to him, how much it touched his soul – playing it, listening to it, sharing it. 

He had a wonderful set of friends – his tight-knit academic group of kids from the high school, his deep connections with his fellow musicians from his orchestra and chamber music groups, and many other individuals that he had incredible one-on-one relationships with even though they weren’t a part of any particular group together. And he shared so many interests and passions with his big brother Nicholas. 

He had started his time at Williams College with the energy and enthusiasm that he brought to everything he did, diving into challenging courses in economics, opera, advanced math and philosophy. He had gone hiking and skiing in the beautiful mountains near Williamstown. He adored the artwork at the Clark Museum. He was involved in multiple music groups including the semi-professional Berkshire Symphony. He always had an eye to the future and so had competed to earn a place in the student-run consulting group. When we visited him on campus this fall, it was so lovely when we’d hear friendly voices calling out “Hey Toby.” 

He loved traveling to England to visit extended family. Some of his favorite things were picking out London Underground routes with Nicholas, exploring different London neighborhoods, drinking flat white coffees, eating loads of English candy, and going to as many classical music concerts as he could fit in to the trip. 

He always looked forward to our family hiking trips in Switzerland and the feeling of being absorbed in the beauty of the mountains. And he was fascinated by other cities in Europe where he’d seen all of the different ways urban environments can be built, with more space for pedestrians and bicycles and trains, and he dreamed of someday helping to make changes to all of those things here at home. 

He is survived by his parents, Peter and Kristina Woods, his brother Nicholas, his grandmother (“Nana”) Elaine Wojcik Lynnworth, his aunts and uncles: Joe and Jane Wojcik, Jackie and Roo Gold, and Richard and Kate Woods. He is also survived by the cousins he loved so much: Alex and Ashley Wojcik and Ellie, Fred and Louisa Gold. He is predeceased by his grandfather (“Papa”) Frank Wojcik and his grandparents Shirley and John Woods (“Granny and Grandpa”). 

In lieu of flowers, please send any memories you might have of Toby to his family. Any donations can be made to the Toby Woods Memorial Fund c/o New Canaan Community Foundation, 111 Cherry St, New Canaan, CT 06840 or online at This fund will be used to support music, education and mental health. 

A celebration of his life will take place on Sunday, March 10th at 2pm at the First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan. All are welcome.

16 thoughts on “Toby Matthew Woods, 18

  1. This is a beautiful testimonial to your son’s life. He sounds like he was a talented, creative, and passionate person. May his memory be a blessing.

  2. What a beautiful tribute to your precious Toby. Sending so many hugs to the Woods family during this incredibly difficult time.

  3. What a beautiful tribute to a precious young man. My family’s thought and love go out to the Woods family after this devastating loss.

  4. Kristina and Peter
    Thank you for generously sharing your loving memories of Toby. What a loss to your family, his friends and the broader community here in New Canaan and wherever he shared his caring curiosity. It is clear, we all lost a wonderful young man.

  5. What a beautiful tribute to a remarkable young man. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends, community, and Williams. Waveny LifeCare Network.

  6. This is heartbreaking. Toby was a remarkable young man. Brilliant (valedictorian of last year’s senior class) and such a kind person. His loss is felt by many. ❤️

  7. Sending all of my love to the Woods Family. Toby was a remarkably talented musician and a gifted student. His commencement speech and cello performances with the NCHS orchestra left a deep impression on me and my family. This immeasurable loss is truly heartbreaking.

  8. Toby was a student in my economics class at Williams College. He was a gifted and cheerful addition to the class and is so, so sincerely and sorely missed. I send all my love to his family and friends.

  9. I’m so glad to learn about Toby’s interests and likes outside my classroom at Williams. He stood out in so many ways, and I will never forget his smile or presence. I wish I had the opportunity to know him outside the College, but know that he was truly loved by friends and instructors.

  10. My heavy heart goes out to the Woods family and to all of Toby’s friends. I was so impressed by Toby from the time that I met him on the squash courts back in his Saxe days. Toby’s commencement address was a guiding light for the entire 2023 class as they started off into the world. He was surely a brilliant and beautiful person who brightened our community. Sending love to all who loved him.

  11. I had the great pleasure of working with Toby during his time as an intern with the Town of New Canaan. He and his fellow interns helped me in a project disposing of and replacing expired personal protective equipment (PPE) for first responders and residents. During the COVID pandemic we along with every other municipality struggled the first many months to find any PPE to protect our medical responders, residents and employees. I think we can all remember the days of using cotton masks and bandanas – while medically rated N95 masks, surgical masks, gowns and face shields became the equivalent to gold – but even more unobtainable.

    The first step was to dispose of expired equipment. Toby and team helped me with the laborious task of inventorying, then carrying down a spiral staircase and to the transfer station dozens of boxes of equipment bound for disposal. In refreshing our town stockpile, we wanted to apply a pragmatic analysis in determining what we should have in stock going forward. What would we need as a town in order to navigate another pandemic, or new variant of COVID – for 3 months without outside supply – for our first responders as well as our residents in mass distribution? The perfect project for Toby Woods and his incredible intellect and capability.

    Toby and I got along famously as we both enjoy our spreadsheets and data – and he offered to lead the project of combing through the inventory tracking spreadsheets that Police, Fire, Health and EMS as well as Emergency Management kept during the pandemic. Toby brought capability, discipline and a yearning to learn more about the first responder world in leading this project.

    In short order he met with me showing he and the teams results, and we discovered through data some surprises about just how many gowns and surgical gloves we used during differing phases of the pandemic. We were able to source the required equipment as a team at no cost to residents through the State of CT stockpiles.

    Toby was an absolute joy to work with, whether it was us covered in dust and sweat carrying box after box to be disposed of, or the insights he was able to provide via technical analysis, project leadership and a can-do attitude. We shared many laughs together during this project, and he will always have a lasting impact on me and our team.

    The residents of New Canaan can know they are safer and we as a Town are better prepared thanks to Toby Woods – and I will forever be grateful to have spent time with him serving our community.

    Russell Kimes, III
    Emergency Management Director

  12. I am the first cousin of Toby’s “Nana”, but we call each other “Sister”. Nana exuded pure joy from her pride and love of all four grandchildren. I kind of lived vicariously through Toby’s Nana because I never had children. All I know of Toby comes through my “sister’s” eyes. I could tell how happy she was just to have a simple talk on the couch with him or a live computer chat. I could tell there was something very joyous and intriguing about these talks so I had planned to meet Toby “someday”. I never knew someday would never come. Now I find myself reading about him as I located his college newspaper online and read this paper’s detailed obituary (above). I savored every comment about him. In my ignorance I did not know where his college was located. I’m a retiree in Alaska who has gone back to work full time teaching. I want to tell my colleagues all about Toby. Should I tell them he was a freshman at the most highly-rated college in the US? Should I tell them he could have been a musically gifted economics professor some day or that I couldn’t help myself being a little jealous of his trips to New York City, his highly educated parents, his familiarity with Europe, how he hit the ground running at college? Actually, I would like them to know I’ve been told he was gently empathic to others, cared about issues like making America more pedestrian friendly, had a knack for explaining complex ideas to people like me who needed simplification. Thinking of meeting him intimidated me because of his great academic success. Only now I know with all his many serious talents, he remained humble.
    It is my great loss that I’ll never meet him on this Earth. This haunts me. May the kindness, humility, successful problem-solving, and good will to others that I’ve read about somehow remain on this Earth.

  13. Oh Kristina, Peter and Nicholas, my heart breaks to hear this tragic news. I was blessed to know Toby as a child when our boys were growing up together in New Canaan. Sending love and light to all of you and a promise to keep Toby’s beloved memory alive. Lean in to the friends and family who love you all so much.

  14. Pity, I didn’t know Toby at all except now through many of these write ups. Why was he snatched away from this world? Mysterious are the ways of this universe. No matter how hard one protests, we mere mortals are helpless. What choice do we have but to submit to the will of the Almighty. My heart deeply mourns the loss of young Toby and prays for love and peace for the whole family.

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