Asheville - Richard A. Wood, Jr., 73, former city mayor and civic leader died Monday, May 30, 2011 at Givens Estates Health Care Center following a lengthy illness. Born in Knoxville, TN in 1937, he was son of the late Richard A. Wood, Sr. and Dorothy Ethel Jones. He was a lifelong member of Central United Methodist Church.
Mr. Wood moved to Asheville from Knoxville, Tenn. in 1943. He was a 1955 graduate of Lee Edwards High School, received a BA in History from Duke University in 1959, where he was an Angier B. Duke Scholar, and LI.B from Duke University School of Law in 1962, where he served as Editor-In-Chief of Law Review.
He practiced law from 1962-1965 in Charlotte, NC before returning to Asheville and joining the law firm of Parker, McGuire & Bailey. He served as Mayor of Asheville from 1971-1975. He served on the Board of Trustees and was a former chairman of Asheville-Buncombe Technical College, Western Carolina University, Asheville Water Authority and Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, where he also was past president and Legal Counsel. He served as President, chairperson and board member of Givens Estates, Inc., was past chairman and board member of First Union National Bank of NC (Asheville) and later Wachovia Bank, board member for AB Technical College Foundation and Duke University Estate Planning Council.
In 1972 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by Asheville Jaycees as Outstanding Young Man in Buncombe County and "Big A" award from Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce for efforts as Chairman of the Mayor's Civic Center Committee formed to support passage of $3 million dollar supplemental bond issue for completion of the Asheville Civic Center. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce for service as Mayor in 1975. The new Givens Estates Assisted Living Facility was named for Wood in 1999.
Prior to retiring he was the Managing Partner with the firm McGuire, Wood & Bissette, P.A., Attorneys in Asheville.
His survivors include his daughters, Barbara W. DeBerry and her husband, David Tadley of Durham, NC and Allison W. Greiner and her husband, Robert D. of Greensboro, NC; sister, Diane W. Trainor of Asheville; five grandchildren, Eleanor Virginia DeBerry and Kathryn Olivia DeBerry both of Durham and Owen Wood Greiner, Matthew Davis Greiner and Mackenzie Crawford Greiner all of Greensboro, NC; two nieces, Elizabeth Hill Hernandez of Houston, TX and Catherine Hill Brockwell of Asheville and his loving friend and companion of many years, Harriette Winner.
Private interment will be held at Lewis Memorial Park. A memorial service will be held 11:00 AM, Saturday, June 4, 2011 at Central United Methodist Church, 27 Church Street, Asheville with Dr. Robert Blackburn, Jr. and Mr. Kenneth Partin officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Givens Estates United Methodist Retirement Community, 100 Wesley Dr., Asheville, NC 28803, Central United Methodist Church, 27 Church Street, Asheville, NC 28801 or Community Foundation of WNC, PO Box 1888, Asheville, NC 28802.
Morris Funeral Home, 304 Merrimon Avenue is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent through the website www.morrisfamilyfuneralhome.com