Rev. John Wood

Obituary of Rev. John M. Wood

Rev. John M. Wood The Rev. John M. Wood , 89, former Parochial Vicar at St. John the Baptist Church, Rome, died on Sunday October 29, 2006 at St. Johns Rectory. He was born in Syracuse on November 6, 1916, the son of John Marshall and Ann Wood Wood. A graduate of Cathedral High School in Syracuse, he earned a degree from Niagara University in 1939. He served with the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II, obtaining the rank of Lance Corporal. After the war, he was employed with US Hoffman Company in Syracuse, and then worked as a substitute teacher for the Syracuse School District. Father Wood later earned a Masters of Education degree from Syracuse University in 1955 and worked as an English teacher in Syracuse, having taught at Roosevelt, Clary and Lincoln schools. He later served as vice principal and principal in the Syracuse School District. He retired from his career in education in the late 1970s after 25 years of service. Always a devoutly religious man, soon after his retirement Father Wood was approached by Bishop Thomas J. Costello, who suggested that he consider entering the priesthood. He attended Sacred Heart School of Theology, Hales Corner, Wisconsin, earning a Master of Divinity degree in 1983 at the age of 67. Father Wood was ordained to the priesthood on the 14th of May, 1983, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Syracuse, by the Most Reverend Frank J. Harrison. After serving briefly at Immaculate Conception Church in Fayetteville, Father Wood came to serve St. John the Baptist Church in 1984.His compassion and caring, while visiting the sick and elderly, was greatly appreciated by the members of his parish. Throughout his time at St. John's Church, he was moderator for the Parish Marian Guild, as well as the city wide Nocturnal Adoration Society. Music was a great love of Father Wood's from an early age. He was given a set of drum sticks at age two, and began drumming on the floor as his father played the piano. He received a full set of drums at age five, and soon after had the opportunity to meet and play along with John Philip Sousa when the famous military band leader and composer made an appearance in Syracuse. A photo of young Father Wood sitting on Sousa's knee was published in the Syracuse newspaper, and he was known after that as "Syracuse's Little Drummer Boy." Father Wood also excelled in sports, playing on the baseball and basketball teams in high school. At Niagara University he continued playing basketball along with teammate William A. Valentine, former mayor of Rome. In his later years, Father Wood greatly enjoyed playing golf. Survivors include, nieces, Judith Wood and Maureen Wood; great nieces and a great nephew, Jeane Katherine Humbrecht, Steven Humbrecht, and Erin Wood: and several cousins. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a brother, Robert Wood, who died in 1990. Many thanks to CareGivers and Hospice and all those who made it possible for Father Wood to remain with his Parish family throughout his illness. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Syracuse, with the Most Reverend Bishop Thomas J. Costello as homilist on Friday, at 10:30 a.m. Burial will be in St. Marys Cemetery, Dewitt. Father will lie in state at St. John the Baptist Church, 210 E. Dominick St., Rome, on Thursday from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. until the Votive Mass of Jesus Christ, the Eternal High Priest at 7:00 p.m. with the Rev. John F. Hogan Jr. as the main celebrant and homilist. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. John the Baptist Church Memorial Fund. Arrangements are by the Nicholas J. Bush Funeral Home, Inc., 218 W. Court St., Rome.
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