Home      Dad's Eulogy
Eulogy for George Douglas Wood Jr.
Delivered by Son, Alan

George Douglas Wood Jr. Began his earthly journey on August  1st 1919 in Ogden, Utah.

 To Lena Marie and George Douglas Wood Sr. he was 5th in a step family and 1st in the

 new family, they moved to Crystal in Arbon Valley shortly after his birth then circumstances led

 the family to the base of Red Hill just West of the Spud Bowl of Idaho State College, Southern

 Branch, in Pocatello. It was here that he was to spend his formative years. Dad had the run of

 the foothills around Pocatello and beyond. He has recounted to me about being over to his

Aunt Nell’s place on Ross Fork and she walked him to the top of the hill and said, ”now see

 down there? That is where your home is, now scoot on home.”  At an early age dad was hunting

 rabbits or whatever he could to bring home for food. As children we kids never knew what the

 conditions were that dad grew up in, until one Christmas we decided it would be interesting to

 recount our best Christmas remembrances as kids.  We started with dad. His response startled

us all. It was not the “Oh hell” start, rather it was  “we never had Christmas, what we had was

 some donation of clothing and food from the Lions” As children dad shielded us from much of

 what he endured. We heard the stories of hunting and putting meat on the table but likened it

 to our own experiences of extras.

     Dad was swift to accept responsibilities. Grandma’s and Grandpa’s  home that I became

 familiar with,  on 3rd and Sublet is the one dad purchased. The expansion of Idaho State College

 necessitated that move for Grandma and Grandpa. It was here I caught a glimmer of Dad’s

early life. A snack at Grandma’s was bread with butter or jam, not butter, peanut butter and

jam. Most of the things Grandma and Grandpa had were provided by dad.

                  When things were needed he just did it, without fanfare.

     An early tidbit from dad was that he had his pilot’s license before he had a drivers license. He

 would walk to the air field, which at that time was above Campus in the 15th street area. It was

 there he worked for lessons.

     During his early years he and his friends were almost inseperable.

 Dad, Grant Williams, Bud Sereal and Wayne Boschweiler did most everything together. They

build a rough cabin on the back side of Chinks Peak. And of course they traveled all over the

 area. Ross Park had a swimming pool and then with a car they would drive to Lava

Hot Springs. It was there that Dad met mom at her senior sneak day from Ucon High School

probably in May 1940. Dad was going to school at Idaho State College (southern branch)

when he met mom. Dad talked her into spending the night with Leola in Pocatello  to attend a

dance at the 3rd Ward  that night with him. They became a couple and discussed their future.

Dad wanted to enlist in the military, Army Air Corp or Navy and the Navy won out, despite the

 problem of having to wait two years for marriage.  Mother thought of going on a mission

 during that time. As happens that plan was interfered with by a war. Now they only had to wait

 until Dad got his wings. As a young Ensign George and Viola started their togetherness at the

 family homestead on the East River Road. They were married there, in Coltman,

September 22nd 1942. Dad returned to Texas with mother. Then there were a

 number of moves across the country as dad pursued his career. Steve was born in Corpus

Christi, Texas. Then it was home for mom as dad went off to war. While Mom was  home in

Coltman, I was born in Rigby. Then after the war we lived out on the Airbase, now the Pocatello

Airport. Then there was a move to Alabama, where I learned to walk, greatly aided by Grandpa

 Wood. Dad started learning to fly a helicopter for the Korean Conflict in Pensacola,Fl. While

 mom and us kids stayed in California. Sometime during his helicopter flying time he flew

 Humphrey Bogart  from the carrier to shore. Then while flying some of the assistants off the

 carrier he crashed into a garbage truck on the pier. The next accident was while on training in

Washington state. A malfunction sent him into the drink.

All in all dad did not discuss the exploits of the war and time of distress. He had the few benign

stories that he repeated, but slowly over the years he would open up about his friends lost.

Dad graduated from Idaho State College (Southern Branch) with a degree in Education with a

minor in Biological Science. For all who have listened to him talk about trees his ability to recall

the common name as well as the Latin name have continued to amaze and impress me.

 What a remarkable memory dad had.

It was during this time dad purchased the house in Inkom and started to build the main floor on

a basement house. As always with time people go their separate ways. However dad and Grant

remained close. They went fishing and hunting and played until that fateful trip down the

 Middle Fork of the Salmon. A part of dad was lost on that trip, that affected his core being.

Mother would recall how dad told of tying a rope to him and diving in search of Grant. He came

 home and bawled like a baby. In these last few years it was not uncommon to have dad say,

        “I would like to go find Grant’s grave.” We would drive him over to the cemetery and

search out Grant’s grave marker. Dad had many friends that were to come and go over the

years, but none had the impact of Grant.

 We moved to Inkom. Dad would frequently go on training and his return was accompanied by

 him “buzzing” the house in Inkom followed by a frantic effort to get all of us kids in the car and

 out to the airport to pick him up. We would get there just in time for dad to have completed

 his post flight checks then walk out and we would go home.

    We were back in Texas for a short while. We lived in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Then we

 moved to California I do not recall if we went home to Inkom first or not. The first place we

 lived was on“H” Street in Chula Vista, Then we moved up to Quintard St. It was here that I

recall dad hovering in his helicopter trying to get Steve or I to relay a message to mother.

We were always alert to the sound of helo blades. It was during this time dad told the rhyme

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
“Twinkle, Twinkle little star,
how I wonder what you are,
up above the world so high,
like a Helicopter in the sky.”

As dad returned from each deployment it meant trinkets for us kids. Bamboo fishing poles,

silk jackets, battery powered boats, all flashy  things from overseas.

    Then it was back to Inkom. Dad first taught school. When he stuck up for a fellow teacher,

 who with proper provoking struck a student, they fell afoul of the District rules. Dad was

 convinced the student was wrong and the teacher was right, so he aliened himself on the side

 of the right. They were informed that they would not be needed the next year, so he left and

 started his next career, that of selling insurance.  This was a cloud with a silver lining, dad was

guaranteed more to start selling than he was making after 5 years teaching. It was here that he

 coined his phrase “don’t wonder, just ask.”

     With teaching he left a very lasting impression on many who would later comment
“George taught me how to drive."
He was not teaching school when I turned 14 but
  “George taught me how to drive.”

     Dad had a very strong sense of what was right and what was wrong. I recall at home up Mink

 CR. Dad had borrowed a uniform to attend some official function. On the front of the jacket

were a slew of ribbons and I recall him pointing to one in the middle and asking mom to

 remove it for him. When she asked why, his response was “I have not earned that award”. To

 which she replied but nobody will know, and he came right back with “ I will know”.

     Dad did not belabor time on life’s inequalities. When his citation for the Distinguished Flying

 Cross was torn up in front of him, he never let that get him down nor did he let that change his

 attitude he continued to do what was right. His joy was very evident though when Sheri was

 able to effect him being awarded that recognition 40 years late.

     In 1959 we moved up Mink Creek Rd. For many years we enjoyed the time “Up the creek”.

     One of the things that seems common among us kids is the drives with dad. We spent a lot

of time in a car sightseeing or traveling from one home to another. From the coast and the

 Redwoods to the back country roads around Idaho or across the United States. The one

exception to his driving to every state  was after his stroke. Don and I were able to accompany

him and mother on the visit to the last State he had yet to visit. We took a cruise ship to

ALASKA. It did not take long for him to work the tables, and soon a common salutation to be

 heard through the halls and tables was “Hi, George”!  Dad left a lasting impression everywhere

he went. He was a talker and he talked to everyone he met. Werner’s comment was if anyone is

 down in the dumps they needed to stop in and see George and he would help.

     There were times we were censored by dad. Teresa recalls having her heart broken but does

 not recall over what. We were disciplined and then it was over. My remembrance was when

 Steve and I broke the window on the back screen door while scuffling. Dad asked me if I

wanted a single swat on the back porch where all of my friends could see or did I want two

inside where it was just him and I? I chose one. Later as I went to go into the bathroom I came

 upon dad washing the tears out of his eyes and I asked mother why was dad crying?
Her response startled me.
“It hurts your dad just as much as it does you, when he has to spank you.”

     All of us children in one way or another were involved with his work. As children Steve and  I

would place pamphlets on the windshields of cars in the parking lot by the office downtown.

 Later when the office was moved to Center Street I would follow Steve’s footsteps and get

licensed and sell insurance with dad. Dad had a strong desire to have one of us follow in his

footsteps and take over the business. It was one of the disappointments he felt from us. Dad

wanted us to be accountable. I remember asking to borrow some money to buy my food for the

 summer when I first worked on a Forest Service Lookout. He said to meet him after school at

the office on Center. I showed up at the appropriate time and he put on his hat and said come

with me. We walked up the street to the Idaho Bank and Trust on the corner of 4th and Center

he took me in and introduced me to a banker and said
“this is my son Alan, he wants to borrow some money”.
Then he turned to me as he left and said
“when you’re done here come on back to the office”.    

Dad and Werner Erickson became partners for their career. Ed Davis and family became our

Deer and Pheasant hunting party, Frank Argenbright became his Sage Hen, Grouse and Chucker

 hunting partner, fishing was with us boys, Reunions were all of the family, as well as

 Thanksgiving, and Christmas visits to Grandma and Grandpa Stucki.


     This sketch also has to contain the word visionary. Dad would look at things and places and

 think I can do something with that.  As a result he became a collector. Then he built or had

 built things he envisioned. Tom and Huck could not hold a candle to dad for getting someone

 else involved in his projects. Many unique things were first just a glimmer in dad’s mind, the

 rest were scattered throughout the house and the studio.       

      Besides a strong family bond Dad evoked a strong bond for our country.

He encouraged us to serve, and of course it was the Navy. Steve and I joined together just after

my 17th birthday. It took dad’s signature for me to join early. I later left the Unit in Pocatello,

 to make room for Syd. But that is another whole series of stories. Many times we received

council both good and harsh from Dad.  “Ask him again; Write your mother, take your hat off in

 the house” and yet he would also praise when he saw you doing something he admired.

     These last few years were especially tough on him. He wanted to walk, drive and most of all

 see and visit with people, however the stroke robbed him of much of his ability and

 confidence. As he made the best of the nursing homes that he was incarcerated in

(at least from his point of view) he left a slew of new friends,
people touched by the infectious enjoyment of life by

     It was a very difficult time to know someone or something and not be able to articulate what

he wanted. As his abilities became restricted so went his desire to remain here. Now that he

 has moved on we are left with a very large void to fill.

 I would like to share with all of you here
that I love my father and mother with all of my heart
 and the opportunity to care for our parents
has been passed on with a very great example to follow.
     Now during our still quiet moments when we draw close to the spirit
we will hear that familiar refrain
“ Hi George”
and know that dad is home
and all is well, all is well.


I had this link sent to me and thought this was a good place for it
 Video clip