This is a hard one, Sue. First of all, you have no friends now. Anyone who was your peer before is now your subordinate.
Second, your boss is clearly not your friend.
Remember that no one is your friend. It doesn't matter if you get torqued occasionally. They have already offended your sensibilities.
With this in mind, my suggestion is that you practice a response in your head when you get really hot. Find your happy place. My dad's favorite advice was to "Stay Cool." To stay cool, find a programmed response that helps you. I would visualize going fishing, that first cast, when the water is like glass.
I have been in this situation before. You have to be a lot meaner than you are used to being. Remember that everyone has an agenda. They may be interdependent, but since you are new, you don't know.
People might be reacting to the fact that your predecessor died suddenly. That small town thing is unbelievable. Just assume that everything that you say and do will get home before you do! Once Mom said, "Mr. So and So said that I must know that he has skin cancer. But I told him that you don't tell me about your work and that you never have."
You are a convenient target, because you are new and they are under stress. Under stress, they regress to their fight or flight mode, which is not good for teamwork.
The cure is tincture of time, as you have said. During that time, keep up with your work and don't expect much from others in the way of help. That way you will be surprised if you get help. After a couple of months, you will get the schedule and will be off and managing!