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Military Graveside Service
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Missouri Veterans Cemetery
Higginsville, MO
11 a.m.
Robert A. "Bob" Wood

Robert A. "Bob" Wood passed away June 10, 2017, while under the care of Crossroads Hospice at Ashton Court Care and Rehab Centre in Liberty, Missouri.

Bob was born February 15, 1934, in Kansas City, Missouri, to Edgar and Eloise Wood. His parents divorced shortly after his birth and he was raised by his mother in Kansas City, with the exception of about a year when he was five, when he was sent to live with a childless couple on a small farm southwest of Carthage, Missouri. The following year an accident severed a couple of his fingers and he returned to Kansas City to again live with his mother.

Later, Bob's mother married Leroy Warnica and his brother RoyLee followed by sister Vicki joined the family, which lived during most of his growing-up years at 3917 Michigan Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri. Bob loved sports and played them all over the neighborhood and on the Michigan Avenue Baptist Church teams.

After graduating from Paseo High School in 1953, Bob enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, since he thought that was the best of the branches of service. From July, 1953, through October, 1953, he spent his basic training at Camp Pendleton, San Diego, California. He was trained to be a radio operator.

This was during the latter part of the Korean War and they were loaded into troop carriers headed for Korea. Along the way they participated in training activities on the infamous island of Iwo Jima, which made quite an impression on Bob since his youngest uncle had been wounded there during World War II.

The active fighting in Korea ended during this time, so he and his fellow Marines were redirected to South Camp Fuji, Honshu, Japan, where he served from January, 1954, to July, 1954. He was then sent to Camp Gifu, Japan, where he remained until he was transferred to the base at 29 Palms, California, where he remained until his discharge in July, 1956. He was recommended for reenlistment but chose to return to civilian life. His rank at the time of his discharge was Sergeant and he was always proud of being a Marine.

During his time in the Marine Corps, he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal; Korean Service Medal; United Nations Service Medal; the Good Conduct Medal, as well as a Sharp Shooter Medal.

In the meantime, Bob's mother, Eloise, had become friends with Betty Sutton, a younger sister of one of her friends. She thought Bob and Betty would have fun together because neither smoked or drank and they both liked movies. The day Bob got back to Kansas City following his discharge from the Marines, Eloise got them together and they started dating.

September 8, 1957, Bob and Betty were married at the R.L.D.S. Church in Butler and started their married life living in a two-room second-floor apartment in Kansas City. Bob became a student at Kansas City Community College while Betty worked as a clerk in the office of a warehouse company. In January, 1959, their first child, Robin was born and Bob became a salesman for the Gas Service Company. By this time they had moved to the third floor of the converted house and had three rooms, plus a private bath. Thirteen months later their second daughter, Wendy, was born and they started thinking of the need for more space. In the fall of 1960 they used the G.I. Bill to buy a newly constructed house at 445 Wilshire Boulevard in Wilshire Estates in Liberty, Missouri. This house had three bedrooms, one bath, a full basement and attached garage in a neighborhood of young families with lots of playmates for the Wood children. May, 1962, their son Charles (Chuck) was born and Bob and Betty kept busy raising three young children. That same year they bought a piano and music became an important facet of their lives. Betty had been a music major in her two years at Graceland College and Bob had a nice tenor voice, so the family spent a lot of time around the piano. During this time the family was active in activities of the R.L.D.S. Church.

In the fall of 1965 Betty once again became a student at the new University of Missouri-Kansas City with the intention of becoming an elementary teacher. Bob started working part-time for Pinkerton Guard Service in addition to his regular day job and additional parental responsibilities until Betty became an elementary teacher in the Liberty School District the fall of 1967. With their higher income, they bought a larger, nicer house at 908 Dorton Lane in Liberty and started living the American dream.

Within a few years Bob was selling for Kansas City Life Insurance Company and winning trips for both himself and Betty to Los Vegas and Bermuda. One of the people he met while doing this was an educated immigrant from China, who was saving to bring his family to this country. Frank Feng lived in their basement and added an international flavor to the life of the Wood family, particularly when Frank's friends who spoke no English interacted with the family.

During this period of time, Bob became an active participant in the Liberty Civic Theatre, acting in and directing various theatrical shows. He got the children and Betty involved in some of these productions as well.

In 1972 the Wood family moved to Sibley, Missouri when Bob invested in Kansas City Star newspaper routes. The entire family found themselves rolling and throwing newspapers for a few years.

In 1976 they moved to 1818 York in Independence, Missouri, and Bob worked for a couple of years supervising the warehouse at Wild Woody's Bargain Barn for his father. Then he moved into selling furniture for retail stores, finally selling quality furniture for Cousins Furniture in Lenexa, where he worked until he retired in the spring of 1995.

During these years, sporting activities were important to Bob. He coached Little League Baseball, played basketball whenever he could find the opportunity, and owned Kansas City Chiefs season tickets for a number of years. In fact, the Wood children still talk about having to wait to open their Christmas presents until their parents arrived home from a Chiefs game on Christmas Day in what became the longest NFL game on record.

The Wood family took a number of road trips while the children were growing up, and Bob's driving is still legendary.

In 1977 Bob and Betty took on the privilege of raising their first grandchild, Heather Byrom, and a number of years later added another grandchild, Amber Stevens, to their household.

At the time of his death, Bob was father to Robin Byrom, Wendy Caraher (Ray) and Charles Wood (RubyRenee). His grandchildren are Heather Byrom, Amber Hibdon (Terrence), John Byrom and Kelsey Duncomb (Shawn). His great-grandchildren are Emma, Dallin, Milo and Eden Hibdon, Braxton Byrom, and Kandice, Khloe, Karen and Ryder Duncomb. He is also survived by sisters Vicki Nigh (Jack) and Georgia Engelking (Kyle).

A military graveside service will take place at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Higginsville, Mo., 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, June 14, 2017. A reception will follow at the family home. No flowers, please. Memorials may be made in his honor to either Honor Flights for Veterans, Central Missouri Honor Flight, 1400 Forum Blvd., Ste. 1-C, Box 334, Columbia, MO. 65203 or Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Gift Processing Admin, 18251 Quantico Gateway Drive, Triangle, VA. 22172




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