Sharon A. Wood, 61
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Sharon A. (Rabkin) Wood, 61, of West Lafayette, passed away on Monday, January 7, 2013, at IU Arnett Hospital in Lafayette. Sharon was surrounded by her immediate family at the time of her death, after having battled leukemia for a few months. Sharon was born in 1951, in Queens, N.Y., to Annette Rabkin and the late Joseph Rabkin. She was married on June 11, 1972, to Allen G. Wood. Sharon moved to West Lafayette in 1984, with Allen, a professor of French literature at Purdue University, and their two children. For the last seventeen years, Sharon had been the Executive Director of the Area IV Agency on Aging and Community Action Programs, serving an eight-county area. At the time of her immediate retirement in October, she received the Distinguished Hoosier Award, granted by the Governor's office and one of the highest awards offered by the State of Indiana to a citizen. It is offered to those who have contributed to and made a difference in the lives of the people of Indiana as well as having brought admiration and respect to the state through their character and accomplishments.
A lifelong worker in the field of social services, Sharon earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa in 1972 in Therapeutic Recreation. Upon her arrival in West Lafayette, Sharon initially worked as a nursing home ombudsman with the Tippecanoe County Council on Aging. She then became the Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of Tippecanoe County and then Associate Executive Director of the Mental Health Association in Indiana, based in Indianapolis. Sharon wanted to return to working in Lafayette and in 1993 accepted the position of Vice-President for Client Services at Family Services, Inc. She remained there until she began work at Area IV.
Sharon was actively involved in many aspects of the community, including the League of Women Voters, Third House, and the board of the YMCA in Flora. Sharon ran for state representative of District 26 in 1992. In 1993, Sharon became president of Temple Israel, and was always an active member in the synagogue's community. Sharon loved gourmet cooking, traveling, music and the arts. She was always interested in helping and working with others, enjoying life to the fullest with family and friends, and leaving this world a better place through acts of service and compassion.
Sharon is preceded in death by her father; Joseph. Sharon is survived by her mother, Annette of Brooklyn, N.Y.; husband, Professor Allen G. Wood; brother, Professor Eric (wife: Elizabeth) Rabkin of Ann Arbor, Mich.; son, Jeffrey (wife: Amber); and grandchildren, Ethan and Molly Wood of Skokie, Ill.; and daughter, Rabbi Elizabeth Wood of Queens, N.Y.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Sharon's honor to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society or the
. Funeral services will be on January 9, at Soller-Baker Funeral Home in Lafayette. The viewing will begin at noon and funeral services will follow at 2 p.m. Interment will be in New York. May her memory, and the light and joy of her life, be a blessing to all who knew her and loved her.
Published in the Journal & Courier from Jan. 8 to Jan. 9, 2013