How he lived....
James Allen Wood — more widely known as Jim, Jimmy, JAW, Gramps, Dad, and Pops — was born Jan. 9, 1941, in Hotchkiss to Donald and Margaret Wood of Paonia, where he spent his childhood.
Later in life he would recall the times and town of his youth with fondness, telling his children it was like growing up in the fictional town of Mayberry. In high school he distinguished himself as a trumpet player, athlete and student, laying the groundwork for his acceptance into the Colorado School of Mines.
His college career at Mines began with a clerical error which left him without housing and forced the school to bend the rule prohibiting freshman from living at fraternities. He rarely spoke of the resulting living situation to his children, but would occasionally let slip highly edited stories of "milk punch" and dogs who completed ROTC training. More common were his stories of slide rules and sports teams studying on the bus while travelling to games.Nearly 50 years later he still had at his fingertips the advanced math he learned there on his way to a degree in Geophysical Engineering.
Drafted into the Army, he served in their Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in New Hampshire. While there he met his future wife, Cheryl, at a softball game. They were married July 3, 1966, eventually moving to Houston, Texas, where he would start a career and a family that would grow to include three children. That career eventually took the family to Denver, a trip all five and the family dog made in his 1966 Mustang.
He was extremely dedicated to a work he loved, a past president and 50-year continuous member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. When not coaching little league or attending swim meets, he would often have seismic maps spread across the dining room table at home, explaining to his children how to read the strata of the earth in them and letting them play with the thin colored tapes he used to mark them.
Later in life, Jim and Cheryl moved to Delta to be closer to their grandchildren. Jim took a job at the assessor's office as an appraiser, but his true occupation was that of Gramps to eight grandchildren. He put all his heart and soul into this position and was unparalleled. He never missed a home game, from toddler soccer through high school varsity sports. His grandkids were his world. He was known to the youngest of the Quist grandkids as her royal dance partner, "Prince Eric" and spent many hours at court. Jim was known as a baby whisperer and he was blessed to be able to meet his youngest grandchild, Leona, in February. His spirit lives on in the hearts of those who will never forget their hero.
Jim is survived by his wife Cheryl Wood of Delta; sons Don Wood and wife Melissa of Chicago, Ill., and Tim Wood of Denver; a daughter Tracey Quist and her husband Paul of Delta; eight grandchildren, Caeden, Reilly, Sterlie, Saeda, Cohen, Jesse, Lawse, and Leona; sisters Linda Ewing and husband Bob of Delta, and Alyson Lumry and husband Keith of Meade, Kan.; and a brother Bob Wood of West Jordan, Utah.
The funeral service will be held at Taylor Funeral Home Chapel in Paonia (311 Grand Avenue) on Aug. 3 at 10 a.m., followed by the burial at Bethlehem Cemetery in Paonia and a celebration of life in Paonia's city park.
Memorial donations can be made to: "Jim Wood Memorial Fund" and sent to First Colorado National Bank, 150 Gunnison River Drive, Delta, CO 81416.
Proceeds will go toward the Flight of the Eagle Project through Paonia High School, where a bench will be placed at the new sports complex in his honor.
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