William B. "Buddy" Wood

11 entries
  • "Tootsie & Family- We are so sorry to hear of Bud's passing-..."
    - Beth Meinert
  • "To the Wood family. During this difficult time only God..."
    - JP
  • "Joel and I worked with Buddy in Houston and are so very..."
    - Betsy Williams
  • "I worked with Bud on a day-to-day basis three times over..."
    - Randolph Mitchell
  • "Sad news. He was an inspiration for those he worked with. ..."
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William Burnett "Buddy" Wood, 75, of Salado, Texas passed away on January 29, 2014 at Scott and White hospital in Temple, Texas, after a determined battle with stomach cancer.

Buddy was born on July 7th, 1938, in Guntersville, Alabama, to Ira Burnett and Ines (Stephens) Wood. He would meet his future wife Barbara Ann "Tootsie" Carruth in kindergarten there. Raised by a strong-willed and loving mother who ran the local railroad depot, he and his older brother Walter V. Wood grew up on the playing fields of Marshall County under the strong and caring influence of two tremendous coaches, Coach Percy Lee and Coach Joe Chorba. A three sport all-state athlete at Marshall County High School, he was recruited by SEC programs in football, baseball, and basketball and went on to letter in football at the University of Alabama. He also played professional baseball in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system, playing first base and outfield for the Dothan Cardinals in the Alabama-Florida League. Having married Tootsie early in 1958, he took on the additional assignment of driving the team bus to make a little extra money for his young family. After his athletic career, he worked for Brown Engineering and Federal Electric at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, later moving to Lompoc, California with Federal Electric to support launch operations at Vandenberg Air Force Base. In 1967 he accepted a job with Univac in Houston supporting NASA at the Johnson Space Center. Early in his career at JSC, he worked on the software telemetry systems used by the Apollo flight control team in Mission Control. He enjoyed coaching youth sports in Clear Lake and was proud to have led the NASA Area Little League All Stars to the Texas state tournament for the first time in 1974. In 1979, he went to work for MITRE and continued his career as a respected systems engineer working on many performance improvements for the Shuttle Mission Simulator and other simulator systems through 1994, when he moved to MITRE's operations at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. He retired in 2001 after spending several rewarding years working at Ft.Hood in Killeen, Texas as MITRE's site leader supporting the Army's Force XXI project. Always interested in technology and the military, fascinated by the Civil War, he was very proud of being able to contribute to the success of the U.S. Space Program and our military forces.

Bud spent his retirement enjoying life in the village of Salado, Texas, where he and his wife enjoyed the company of many dear and unique friends. He also enjoyed helping his sons build a family retreat in the Texas Hill Country on the Frio River near Leakey. A gracious, intelligent, athletic man, tough as nails, respected and loved by many, he was always the rock of his family and will be greatly missed.

Bud is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Barbara Wood; two sons William Burnett Wood II and wife Keely, Frank Thomas Wood and wife Lynn; five grandchildren Kevin William Wood and wife Scarlett (currently expecting Bud's first great grandchild), Christopher Mathew Wood, Kelsey Ann Wood, Hillary Lynn Wood, and Ellen Buquo Wood; one brother Walter V. Wood, wife Ann, and niece Jo Shannon Wood.

No service is planned at this time for Bud. He and his wife will be buried together in their hometown of Guntersville, Alabama, when the time comes. On Saturday, February 15th at 5:00p.m. family and friends will gather at Cathy's Boardwalk Cafe in Salado, Texas to celebrate Bud's life. In memory of Bud, donations can be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, www.jdrf.org.

Published on yourbayareanews.com from Feb. 3 to Feb. 16, 2014