Richard K. (“Dick”) Wood returned to the sea on Nov. 1, 2019, surrounded by his loving wife and three daughters.
Born in Hackensack, N.J., he grew up during the end of World War II on a community farm of five families, including a German family and a Japanese family. This experience helped form the basis of Dick’s great respect for all people and his commitment to ensuring equality for all.
Raised as a Quaker, he attended Oakwood Friends School during his high-school years and was clerk of the NY Yearly Meeting Young Friends. Before completing his college education as a physics major at Earlham College, in Richmond, Ind. (where he was also a member of concert choir), he attended Haverford College, in Haverford, Pa. It was while a student at Earlham that Dick met Elizabeth (“Liz”), his soulmate and wife of 57 years. They were married in Wisconsin in 1962.
Dick earned his master’s degree in English at the University of Wisconsin and was working towards his Ph.D. when he started course work in Computer Science, for which he earned a master’s degree. While Liz was in medical school at the University of Wisconsin, Dick taught English for two years at Milton College.
Dick and Liz moved to Gettysburg, Pa. in 1969, when he accepted the position of Director of Academic Computing at Gettysburg College, where he shared his love of education and computers with many students. He retired as Director Emeritus in 1990. He was involved in many activities in Gettysburg he felt were important for growing the community. He was instrumental in starting AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) and was seen every Saturday setting up fields and refereeing. His love of education led him to seek a position on the local school board, serving as President for many years. He co-chaired the Commission for the 75th Rededication of the Peace Light Memorial. He was involved with the Interfaith Center for Peach and Justice and helped establish Gettysburg Friends Monthly Meeting 50 years ago.
Dick loved to fly and owned a small plane for about 10 years, during which he flew the family on numerous adventures. His next love of adventure was sailing. After retirement, he and Liz traveled extensively on their sailboat—named Kia Orana, a Cook Island Maori greeting meaning “Have a long and healthy life”—sailing in the Chesapeake, the Bahamas, and the eastern Caribbean. They often provided assistance to the islanders with education and medical relief. Global Volunteers was another organization that benefited from their commitment to making the world a better place.
Dick is survived by his wife; daughters Barbara, Deborah and Lisa; son-in-law Steve; grandchildren Rachael and Josh; and nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Adams County Community Foundation (25 S. 4th Street, Gettysburg, PA) or Gettysburg Friends Meeting (P.O. Box 4155, Gettysburg, PA 17325).
A memorial service will be held at a time convenient to the family.