James Stollenwerk WOOD

WOOD, James Stollenwerk, 86, passed away on May 3, 2013. Born in Jackson ville, FL on May 14, 1926 to Josephine Hughes and Isadore R. Wood, a second generation Jewish immigrant from Germany. He spent his entire childhood in Jacksonville graduating from Andrew Jackson HS where he was an all-state basketball star, won the state tournament as a sophomore and an honor student. He was the youngest of 7 children all of whom preceded him in death; Michael J. Wood, William I. Wood, Henry Wood, Adeline Wood Jocus, Bernard B. Wood and David R. Wood. His siblings were all successful in their endeavors including Michael who was the founder of Shands Hospital in Gainesville and William who worked in the MIT think tank for over 20 years. Jim was also preceded in death by his first wife, Wilma Jean Tate, of Trenton, Florida. They have three children still living, Stephanie Wood Rosenberg in Ponte Vedra, Michael James Wood and James S. Wood, Jr. both in Tampa. He has three grandchildren, Alexis, Cassie and Jamie Rosenberg. Shirley Gorgei Wood, his current wife, has been a God send thru this difficult time. Jim served honorably in the U.S. Navy during the end of World War 2 and all his brother were overseas veterans serving throughout the European and Pacific theaters. His mother made a special request to the Navy to keep Jim stateside and received a personal letter from President Franklin Roosevelt and a personal commendation for having all six sons serve this great country; all highly decorated and members of the "Greatest Generation". Jim never thought he would attend college because the great depression wiped out his family's resources and was so fortunate to take advantage of the GI Bill, like so many others, and attended the University of Florida. He graduated with a BA, earning Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honors. He was also selected for a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford but was unable to attend because he was already married and had one daughter. He had a very successful business career and became President, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Superior Fertilizer & Chemical Company, the sixth largest employer in Hillsborough County and the largest independently owned agricultural supplier in the state. He was selected by the Governor to be Chairman of the Tampa Port Authority and was the key to making the Port what it is today. He and Howard Franklin obtained several hundred million dollars to re-dredge the ships channel from beyond the Skyway to the turning basis and kept all the key railroads based in Tampa. That was the foundation for all that the Port is today. Jim was selected for the following professional affiliations; YPO, WBC, National Agricultural Chemical Association, Florida State Horticultural Society and served on the BOD of the Florida Agricultural Research Institute for over 20years, being elected president 4 times. He was one of the founders of Nitram, Inc. an ammonium nitrate plant providing the fertilizer industry with a basic plant food source in Florida which benefited the fertilizer manufactures in the state along with the citrus, cattle and vegetable growers throughout Florida. Jim definitely felt strongly about giving back to the community and in doing so, he was an active member of Rotary International, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, University of Tampa-Board of Fellows and the Tampa General Hospital Foundation; he donated the first two neonatal intensive care units when that ward opened. He served on the Committee Of 100 for over ten years and received Special Commendations from the Committee of 100, Chambers President Award, Propeller Club and Tampa Port Authority. This is a list if the Boards on which he served; Tampa Philharmonic, Tampa General Hospital, United Way, Tampa Marine Institute, Anclote Manor, National Plant Food, Boys Club and Merchants Association of Tampa. So how could he find the time to be a tennis champion as well; if you knew him all you had to do was ask and he was more than happy to tell you all about it. He was the #1 ranked double player in Florida many times in both the 35 & 45 age divisions, qualified and played at Forrest Hills two years in the senior US Open doubles with his partner Tom Faulkenberg; a former Wimbledon doubles champion. Jim's social, tennis and golf club memberships included The University Club, Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, Tampa Yacht and Country Club, Palma Ciea Golf & Country Club, Avila Golf & Country Club, Treasure Island Yacht & Tennis Club, Rio Mar Yacht & Tennis Club in Vero Beach, The Tampa Club, Tenni Condo and Feather Sound Golf & Country Club. He was definitely a social person, always happy to share his opinion ( mostly on an unsolicited basis ) and consistently demonstrative in all that he did. Sometimes he was quick tempered but had a heart of gold underneath. A truly great father, he believed in the Lord and is a better place now. He touched many lives providing guidance, support and motivation to all he encountered and knew. He will be sorely missed by Shirley, his children and grand kids along with many others who knew him well. We love you dad. A casual celebration of his life will be held at his son Jimmy's home on Saturday, May 18 from 4:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. for family and close friends; 3008 West Aquilla Street, Tampa, 33629. In lieu of flowers, please honor his memory with donations to Life Path Hospice, 3010 W. Azeele Street, Tampa, FL 33609.

Published in TBO.com on May 12, 2013