1937 - 2021
Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home
3800 N Big Spring St
Midland, TX
Harris Spencer Wood, 83, passed away after a lengthy illness on January 4, 2021. He was born and raised in Big Spring, Texas on April 21, 1937 to George Harden Wood, Jr. and Frances Marion Gray Wood. Harris was the second-born of three siblings: George Harden Wood, III and Lynn Wood Brassell and later in life the family was joined by their sister Sis Bright Burrows, all of whom survive him. At an early age Harris discovered his passion and preternatural talent for the French horn. "The horn" as Harris referred to it was his first and lifelong love. He excelled at it and was named first chair in the Texas UIL orchestra while in high school. His academic and musical achievements secured him a full scholarship to Rice University. After his sophomore year, he played with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra for the summer and then transferred to the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating with honors from UT he joined the US Navy where he reached the rank of Commander before leaving service. While serving as Lt. Gunnery Officer aboard the Destroyer Escort USS John Willis DE1027, Harris crossed the arctic circle. He also met and married Patricia Mary Kivlehan Wood in Newport, Rhode Island. They had two children Harris Spencer Wood, Jr. and Elizabeth Martha Wood King both of whom survive him. Harris was stationed in Ann Arbor, MI and spent one year at the University of Michigan Law School while also teaching English at the University of Michigan. After he was transferred to Washington DC, he transferred to Georgetown University Law School where he graduated near the top of his class having won several American Jurisprudence Awards for contracts and other business law courses. He spent the first part of his career with El Paso Natural Gas Company. Harris later got remarried to Harriet Woodruff Rogers Wood and they were married for eighteen years. Harris continued to excel at the practice of law while still impassioned by his French horn but became aware that he was reliant on alcohol. So, in 1980 he stopped drinking entirely and joined Alcoholics Anonymous. He faithfully attended AA meetings every week for the next forty years until his health no longer allowed it. He was a founder of the Tanglewood chapter of AA in Houston, Texas where he would return every year until he could no longer travel to collect his annual sobriety coin. Of all the many achievements in his life, he was proudest to have sponsored countless people in AA in their quest to overcome alcoholism. Harris literally changed and saved the lives of over 30 people through his tireless outreach as a sponsor. He was beloved by many.

Harris moved to Alexandria, VA in 1991 where he continued his storied legal career until his retirement in 2008. He was a Master Mason and was a member of the Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22, and in 1995 received his 32nd Degree in the Alexandria Valley of the Scottish Rite. He was the president of his building Marina Towers for over ten years, and joined two separate bands, one a brass quintet and the other the Mount Vernon German Band for which he served as conductor and player. His bands frequently played concerts for people in nursing homes or hospitals and he loved his fellow musicians with deep fidelity, and it was very mutual. He also became deeply involved with the Kendall Betts French Horn Camp in northern New Hampshire, where he was a participant and longstanding Board member. Finally, we would be remiss if we did not mention Harris was a lifelong and passionate fan of the Washington Football Team.

In addition to numerous friends and family who love him dearly, Harris is survived by his two children and their spouses Harris Spencer Wood Jr. and Dolores R. Wood, and Elizabeth Martha Wood King and Daniel R. King, grandchildren Zachary Joseph Wood, Daniel Spencer King, Alexandra Marie King, Isabelle Lauren King, Harris Spencer Wood III, and Keira Nicole Wood.

There will be a Celebration of Life at the Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home Chapel in Midland, Texas on Saturday January 23, 2021 at 1 p.m. EST followed by interment at the Trinity Memorial Park in Big Spring, Texas. Livestream will be available for the service at www.npwelch.com. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests donations to your local chapters of AA and/or the Kendall Betts French Horn Camp at https://horncamp.org/product/donate/. The family would like to specifically thank Dr. Arshan Beyzaei Arani at the Inova Mount Vernon Hospital who compassionately and thoughtfully cared for Harris in his final days.
Published by The Washington Post from Jan. 8 to Jan. 10, 2021.
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Celebration of Life
Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home
3800 N Big Spring St, Midland, TX
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Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home
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17 Entries
I only today learned of Harris's passing. Our friendship started with our mutual love for music in the early 1970's, and survived for many of the last years on his annual treks back to Houston. I'm so sad to learn of his death, though we had spoken a few times while he was hospitalized, and I recognized that it was a possibility. My belated, but nevertheless heartfelt condolences to all his family, especially his grandchildren whom he loved so dearly. I will miss him, and our almost annual lunches in Houston, long talks, and occasional attempts at making music with his beloved horn and my piano.
Glennie Scott
July 23, 2021
I am a band colleague of Harris' and joined him in the Mt.Vernon Community German Band, the NOVA campus band and Kammermusik in Santa Fe. He was a friendly and gracious and I will miss him.
Adrienne Cannon
January 24, 2021
In Celebration of your life dear Harris Spencer Wood, I want to say Thank you for the gift of your loving friendship, for all the warmth & compassion you given and shown to so many others in your public service to AA, to your dedicated legal work as part of the FERC; to so many community bands and ensembles in DC and Alexandria; and to the Kendall Betts Horn Camp faculty and their participants. You are Missed, but the work you began in horn music education will continue on in spirit of your legacy. Heaven has welcomed our beloved friend and horn player to join the Heavenly Host orchestra in glorious praise to our Heavenly Father above!

Anna B. Lane Dropik
January 22, 2021
I am so glad you mentioned his part in helping many men and women AA to realize that alcoholism is a disease just like Cancer or Diabetes ect. He saved many lives by sharing his stories
God bless Harris's family he has given all of us memories.
Sharon E.
January 15, 2021
Fair winds and following seas shipmate! I played with Harris in the Mount Vernon Bands and in the Medical Musical Group, which he supported for many years. We shared sea stories and had a great time with concert band, brass ensemble, and German band. He was a generous and caring leader.
Earl Hughes
January 15, 2021
Harris was a colleague and caring friend. I am grateful for the years graced by his friendship and the time that we worked together at FERC. My sincere condolences to his family.
Marcia Lurensky
January 14, 2021
Harris was a dear friend and neighbor at Marina Towers. He will always be in our most cherished memories. Our deepest condolences to his family.
Jim and Ellen Edmundson
January 12, 2021
Christopher Nahlik
January 11, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. I enjoyed playing in the community band with Harris
Tyler Brantley
January 9, 2021
Harris was the leader and the pillar of the horn section of the Medical Musical Group, and that's how I met him. I have been a volunteer horn player with MMG for several years, and Harris always welcomed me each time I would come to rehearsals and performances, asking me how was my drive down from Canada. He was everyone's friend and will be sorely missed. Condolences to his family.
Michelle Kotrly
January 9, 2021
Harris was a good friend and I will miss him tremendously. We shared many enjoyable musical performances together in various ensembles over the past 25 years. He always came prepared and strove to make the performances musically exciting for both the performers and the audience. It was truly a honor to have known him.
Noel Uri
January 9, 2021
I met Harris at the Lawyers Group on Monday night
He and I become friends and over the years he sent me several new prospects for the program
He was a good man ! Always reliable,caring and loving
I was very apparent he loved being sober amd his new way of life
We will all miss greatly but never be forgotten
My deepest condolences and prayers are being sent with love Jackson Prentice
Jackson Prentice
January 9, 2021
A fellow horn player, I loved Harris so much. He truly cared about me. And I will be forever grateful for his loving, gentle service to so many others in Alcoholics Anonymous. My heart breaks with those who grieve, especially Harris family and loved ones in Alcoholics Anonymous.
Mary Irwin
January 9, 2021
Harris inspired me to try the Kendall Betts Horn Camp, and I'll never forget that experience. May Harris's memory be a blessing.
Sally Nador
January 8, 2021
Very sad in the loss of my musician friend Harris. Having meet via our volunteering with the Medical Musical Group, we became friends. Harris was a Great Man with never ending qualities. I was so looking forward to seeing him again this year at MMG event(s) but COVID interfered. I will miss him greatly.
Kurt M. Klotz
January 8, 2021
I had the pleasure of Harris's friendship. We met at Lawyers and Harris always greeted me with a hug. I admired his passion of music and his playing French Horn. Harris will be missed. What a gem of a man
Susie Cooper
January 8, 2021
I played Horn with Harris for the Veterans Medical Musical Group for several years in Washington D.C. We had dinner together, laughed together, shared performances together, shared e-mail communications and I became fond of our shared time together, what little there may have been. I am very sorry the world has lost such a great man.
Dennis Jasieniecki
January 8, 2021
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