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Richard Clement Wood of Memphis, former Professor of English at Rhodes College, died at St. Francis Hospital Bartlett on Tuesday, March 4, 2014. Mr. Wood was the son of the late Frank Taylor Wood and the late Ramona Johnson Wood, and husband of Virginia Peoples Wood, who died in 1966 and Beth Walton Wood, who died in 1998. He leaves a son, Matt Wood of Nashville, a daughter and son-in-law, Suzannah and Stephen Lang of Memphis, a grandson, William Lang of Knoxville, and two granddaughters, Virginia and Laura Lang of Memphis. Mr. Wood was born in Rockford, Illinois, on April 16, 1925. He grew up in and around Memphis, and was a 1943 graduate of Central High School. He served his country in World War II in the Army Air Corps, stationed in Italy and North Africa as an airplane mechanic. After completing his brave service, he received his BA at Southwestern at Memphis (Rhodes College), graduating in 1948 where he was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity and was inducted in the honor society Phi Beta Kappa. He studied at Columbia University in New York, where he earned his MA in English and continued his graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Mr. Wood’s long teaching career began at Lepanto High School in Lepanto, AR, continued at The University of Mississippi and at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. He taught English at his alma mater, Rhodes College from 1967 until his retirement in 1988. After retirement, Mr. Wood became deeply and happily involved in a wide variety of things he loved. He volunteered at Youth Villages, reading to kids, served as a hospice volunteer, taught a writing class for senior citizens at McWhirter Senior Center, where he was also active in the chorus and the Spanish class. For many years he was literary editor and columnist for the Magnolia Gazette in Magnolia, MS, writing regular book and film reviews. He was a member of All Saints Episcopal Church. He travelled widely, across the country and the world until his health began to limit his mobility. Mr. Wood was the Editor of Collector’s Quest: The Correspondence of Henry Miller and J. Rives Childs, published in 1968 and was the author of Keeper of the Dream, published in 2010, a collection of his poetry. Mr. Wood loved beautiful words and well-crafted writing. He shared that love passionately with his many students. He loved to laugh at a good joke and a funny movie. He loved a good long hike in the woods and an ice cold 40. He will be missed. The family will receive friends 5-7 p.m., Sunday, March 9 and memorial services will be held at 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 10 at Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery. The family requests any donations be sent to Rhodes College or the . Memorial Park Funeral Home, "Behind the stone wall", 901-767-8930. Condolences may be offered at
Published in The Commercial Appeal on Mar. 6, 2014
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