Obituary of John Jefferson Wood
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JOHN JEFFERSON WOOD
Dec. 18, 1936 - November 6, 2011
Jeff Wood passed away on November 6 at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, NC, after a period of rapidly declining health. Born in Junction City, KS, Jeff attended Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Jeff later attended Notre Dame University and graduated from St. Benedict's College (Benedictine College) in Atchison, KS.
Jeff served in the Kansas National Guard and trained at Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri. He later served in an Army reserve unit at Ft. Lewis in Washington. After his service, he worked for Cole Bros. Department Store, followed by a career in retail with The Manhattan Shirt Company, Puritan Sportswear and Robert Bruce Sportswear.
In 1963, Jeff married Tandy Craig and over the years shared with her three children: Allison, Craig and Laurie. They lived in Peoria (IL), Detroit and finally settled in Overland Park, KS. Even though they divorced in 1981, Jeff and Tandy remained dear friends.
In 1982, Jeff met the love of his life, Mary Lauterbach Kopp, and they married on June 11, 1983.
A promotion to Director of Military Sales for Ocean Pacific Sunwear carried Jeff and Mary to Southern California where they found their spiritual home at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Laguna Beach. They worked with the Outreach Ministry to serve the disadvantaged, built homes with Habitat for Humanity and volunteered in many other leadership roles at the church, always serving with open and generous hearts.
In August 2007, Jeff's beloved Mary passed away after a two-year struggle with lung cancer. In May 2011, Jeff moved to North Carolina to be closer to some of his children and grandchildren. They enjoyed baseball games, swim meets and family dinners before Jeff's health began to decline.
Jeff loved playing poker with his buddies, shooting pool, playing golf, red wine, jazz music and laughing. His clever quips and the twinkle in his eye always kept everyone else smiling and laughing as well. He was a kind, sweet, gentle man whose loving presence remains in the hearts of all who knew and loved him.
Jeff is survived by his children: Allison (David Wiener) of Chapel Hill, NC; Craig (Holly) of Chapel Hill; and Laurie (Joe Hart) of Centennial, CO; stepchildren Beth Hutzler and Doug Kopp; 15 grandchildren; brothers David (Maria) and Terry (Joan); sister-in-law Connie (widow of brother Richard); and many cousins, nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends who remember him fondly and miss him dearly.
A Celebration and Thanksgiving of Life service will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, December 17, 2011, at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Laguna Beach. Donations may be made in Jeff's name to St. Mary's Outreach Ministry, 428 Park Avenue, Laguna Beach, CA 92651. The family may be contacted at email@example.com.