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Wilbur Leonard Wood

April 4, 1929 - June 17, 2020


Wilbur Leonard Wood was born April 4, 1929 in Grand Junction, CO, the fourth of six sons to William and Martha Wood. Will grew up on the plains of Colorado with his five brothers, William Jr., Willard, Warren, Wallace, and Wesley. They regularly visited their family homestead in Moab, Utah, one of Will’s favorite places. After graduation from high school, Will enlisted in the Air Force in 1950 during the Korean War. He served in Alaska where he learned to fly and was a geological surveyor. He returned to Colorado after the war, where he graduated from Colorado State and met his wife, Ethel May Jellie, on a blind date with his brother.
 
They married in November 1957. Soon after, they moved to Lander, WY with their daughter, Penelope, where Will was a science and math teacher and where their second daughter, Janice, was born. Later they moved to Ogden, UT where Will worked at Hill Air Force Base as a computer scientist. In 1968, they moved to Salem, OR where he was a science teacher at Chemawa High School until he retired. Will was preceded in death by Ethel, his wife of 41 years, who he forever referred to as “the love of his life.”
 
Will loved the great outdoors, animals of all kinds, and gardening. He spent hours in his backyard vegetable garden, hiking, riding his bike, and helping his daughters and seven grandkids care for their beloved pets. He drove a series of beater cars that Ethel refused to ride in and that were a consistent source of embarrassment for his grandchildren. Will would do anything for his family and was the first to arrive to help, even if it was in a barely-running VW van.
 
Wilbur will be missed and remembered by his brother and sister-in-law Wesley and Donna Wood; his daughters and their husbands, Penny and Ron DeWilde and Jan and Tom Ohnstad; his seven grandchildren and their families, Katie and Rich Horowitz, Mike and Tiffany DeWilde, Emma and Eric Wilder, Jake DeWilde and Kate Brown, Kristin Ohnstad and Chad Murphy, Kyle and Betsy Ohnstad, and Kirk Ohnstad and Natasha Fagan; and his seven great-grandchildren, Ethan, Madeleine, Ronin, Wesley, Madison, Henry, and Willa. We know Will is now on his best hike yet. 
 
Will was a lifetime member of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, where a private memorial service will be held.

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Wilbur holds a special place in my heart and will be greatly missed. We had the pleasure of being neighbors with the DeWildes, life long friends. That is where we met Wilbur. His humor and shared jokes, and conversations about life over a drink (or two) will be missed. I’m sad he is gone but I know he is at peace enjoying his reunion with his wife, family and friends.. ♥ Julie Evans



I am going to miss seeing Will and getting sweet smiles, thoughts, and handshakes as I passed him at his dining table or in the hallway. He was such a joy to know. My sincere condolences to his family. 



Wilbur was a wonderful uncle/! I enjoyed the many times we visited, when my family (his older brother Bill and family) were frequently visiting the "ranch", plus the many family reunions in Grand Junction!  So many heartfelt l memories abt a good man, as well as his family.  I have no doubt that Wilbur has had a great reunion with Ethel, his departed brothers his parents and grandparents, plus multiple great-grandparents and more distant ancestors  that was-and still is-mind-boggling!  
Godspeed to Penny and Ron, Jan and Tom, and their children and grandchildren,
Shelley Wood