Robert Wesley Wood
Robert Wesley Wood, 89, died November 18, 2010 at Foxwood Springs in Raymore, Missouri. He was born July 21, 1921 on a farm south of Freeman, MO to Albert W. and Maude May (Griffith) Wood, being the youngest of four boys. He attended school at Van Meter rural school and high school at Freeman and graduated from Harrisonville High School. Robert attended an aircraft mechanic trade school in Kansas City and then went to San Diego where he was employed by Consolidated Aircraft Co., eventually becoming a flight mechanic.
World War II was starting so he enlisted in the Army Air Corps for pilot training after which he was assigned to become a B-24 pilot serving 35 missions in the European Theatre stationed in Italy. He attained the rank of Captain. He received a Distinguished Flying Cross, an Air Medal with three clusters. After the war he became engaged in farm machinery business in Harrisonville until 1954 when he entered the sales of construction equipment. He first sold for International Harvester and later Caterpillar for Dean Machinery Co. for 18 years while living in Maryville, Missouri.
Over the years Bob was inclined to be an inventor. His first successful project, at the age of 9 or 10, was a goose berry picker which worked quite well; a hydraulic jack used with farm machinery which was granted a patent; and a tractor platform for Minneapolis Moline tractors which resulted in royalty being received from a manufacturer. Bob was mechanically inclined and loved to find out how things worked.
In 1978 Bob went to Wyoming and built houses in the Gillette area for two years. Returning to Missouri again, he sold construction machinery working for a mining company in Olkahoma in the coal mining industry, supervising the maintenance of a large fleet of mining machinery. Later he built houses for awhile and eventually became a Real Estate Appraiser.
On Apriol 23, 1948 Robert married Betty Jane James at Harrisonville and they became the parents of four children; Robert W. II, Randol W., Richard W., and Malissa Jane. Betty and Bob traveled quite a lot including several trips to Mexico. Betty’s travel destinations far exceeded theirs together.
Over the years Bob served on several boards including the airport board at Maryville where he kick started a fund drive to expand the airport runways. He served on the board of trustees of the Methodist Church at Maryville and Aldersgate Church at Lee’s Summit, He was on the Boy Scout Troop committee at Maryville for several years and was a member of the tribe of Mic-o-say. He was on the board of the Foxwood Springs Residents Association, serving as president for a few years.
Bob outlived most of his childhood friends and close friends. Howver, he never really met a stranger and could talk to about anyone about anything, a trait inherited by all of his children and most of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Bob loved challenges and worked sort of like the marines, “the difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer.” One of his prized possessions was a plaque given to him by a colleague that stated, “He who says something cannot be done should not get in the way of man doing it.”
Bob was preceded in death by Betty, his wife of 59 1/2 years, a grandson Richard Spencer Wood, his daughter-in-law, Linda Wood and his three brothers. He is survived by his four children, eleven grand children, seven great-grandchildren and one or two friends. (This obituary was written by Bob prior to his passing.)
A memorial service will be held at 1 pm, Monday, November 22, 2010 at the Foxwood Springs Chapel, 1500 Foxwood Drive, Raymore, Missouri. A reception will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Kansas City Hospice House, 12000 Wornall Rd., KC, MO, 64145 so others may share in the loving care and professional services provided by the KC Hospice House staff.