Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rest in Peace -- John Charles "Jack" Wood (1930-2014)

As genealogists, we are often reminded of our own mortality.  Every one of our ancestors died, or will die, as we will also.  We celebrate their lives, their accomplishments, and deeply appreciate their contribution to our gene pool.

Our Seaver family is mourning the passing of John Charles "Jack" Wood (1930-2014).  Jack is one of my first cousins on the Seaver side.  His parents were Walter Hazelhurst Wood (1893-1966) and Evelyn (Seaver) Wood (1903-1978).  Jack's mother was my father's sister.

There were 11 grandchildren from the family of our grandparents, Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) and Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962).  There are only nine of the first cousins left, since Jack's younger brother, Walter Hazelhurst Wood (1936-2010), died four years ago.

Here is a screen shot of the obituary for Jack Wood from the Lehigh Valley Express-Times website.

We last saw Jack and his wife, met his three children and almost all of their children, ten years ago when we attended the 50th wedding anniversary celebration for Jack and Joanne in Easton, Pennsylvania, and then at their home in Alexandria township, New Jersey.  It was a wonderful celebration of their marriage and it was uplifting and heartwarming to see the love between Jack and Joanne, and their children and grandchildren.  

Earlier, in the summer of 1998 (I think!), we had spent several days staying with Jack and Joanne at their home in New Jersey just getting to know each other and talking about our life experiences, walking around the beautiful green yard and grounds, visiting the barn, watching for deer and other wildlife.  We went to Ellis Island one day to see the sights, but the Statue of Liberty was off-limits at the time - we saw it from the boat.  It was a grand visit, the highlight of a vacation that included Washington, D.C., Williamsburg, Virginia, and genealogy stops in York, Pennsylvania and Laurel, Maryland.  

My mother's only memory of Jack Wood was when she answered the door one day in the early 1950s and there was Jack in his Air Force uniform just dropping in.  She called my father, and he came home and they talked for hours about the family.  They hadn't seen each other since at least 1940, when my father left Massachusetts in a hurry to go to California.  

Jack's Wood ancestry is a bit of a mystery on some of the lines.  Here is a pedigree chart that shows his Wood paternal line, and several of his collateral lines, go back to England and Scotland:

I will miss Jack's cheery messages at Christmas, and the occasional visits to his home, but I will cherish the memories and will always remember this wonderful man whose most important quality, I think, was expressed in the obituary - "Jack enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren."

Rest in Peace, Jack - a son, husband, father, grandfather, veteran, engineer, friend, cousin.  A life well lived.  

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copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver


Yvonne Demoskoff said...

My condolences on the passing of your cousin, Randy.

Julie Goucher said...

My condolences Randy to you and your family.

my Heritage Happens said...

So sorry about the loss of your cousin. This was a very nice post about him and your family. Glad you have great memories!

Unknown said...

This is a good post. I read about this in an article how to write a dissertation as John was discovered to have epilepsy and was also believed to have some form of intellectual disability and possibly autism. As his condition deteriorated, he was sent to live at House and was kept away from the public eye