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Leland V. Wood

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BENNINGTON -- Mr. Leland V. Wood, 81, a resident of Grandview Street, died Monday morning, March 20, 2006, at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.

Mr. Wood was born in Speaker Township, Mich., on March 22, 1924, the son of the late J. Vere and Fern (Garrett) Wood. He grew up in Michigan, graduating from Creston High School in Grand Rapids in 1943.

Following high school, he immediately entered the U.S. Army during World War II. He trained as a machine gunner and was part of Merrill’s Marauders. He was injured while fighting in Burma, receiving the Purple Heart. He also received the Bronze Star, Distinguished Unit Badge and the World War II Victory Medal.

He was honorably discharged in 1946 and returned to Michigan, where he attended the General Motors Institute in Flint. For many years he worked for the Chrysler Corp. in Detroit. He had worked in the experimental design lab on the development and construction of the gas turbine engine. He traveled extensively with the car to dealerships and car shows throughout the East Coast. When that project was completed he became a technical service instructor for Chrysler, covering the state of Pennsylvania. He retired from Chrysler in 1978. He and his wife Frances moved to Bennington in 1979, where they made their home on Grandview Street.

Mr. Wood was a member of the Second Congregational Church, a life member of Masonic Lodge No. 393, past president of The Bennington Club and a life member of the National Rifle Association. He had a passion for cars and enjoyed talking about them, as well as teaching and learning about them. A great family man, he loved his family and his home.

He leaves his wife Frances (Graham) Wood of Bennington, whom he married on Aug. 6, 1949, at Peck Methodist Church; his son and daughter-in-law, David L. and Nancy Wood of Rockville, Md.; two daughters, Mary Lou Miller and her fiancé, Robert Fast, of Uniontown, Pa., and Linda E. Wood of Bennington. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his stepfather, Cornelius Scherpenisse.

A celebration of the life of Lee Wood will be held on Thursday, March 23, at 2 p.m. at the Second Congregational Church with the Rev. Mary Lee-Clark officiating.

Burial will take place in the Wood family lot in Elk Township Cemetery in Peck, Mich. There are no calling hours.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Bennington Rescue Squad, Visiting Nurses Association, Second Congregational Church or the Peck Methodist Church in care of the Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home, 213 West Main St., Bennington, VT 05201.

To send condolences to the family of Leland V. Wood, visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.
Published in Bennington Banner on Feb. 22, 2006
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