Dr. James M. Wood JR. of Baton Rouge, born July 5, 1927 in Birmingham, Alabama, died Sunday, May 19, 2013 at Carpenter House. He leaves his wife of 60 years, Marian E. Wood, daughter Maura Wood, husband Don Patterson, and grandson Brad Patterson of Baton Rouge, daughter Dr. Heather A. Wood and husband Dr. Rob Coberly of Albuquerque New Mexico, and son Dr. Jeffrey M Wood and partner Sheila Power of Madison Wisconsin. He also leaves brother William A. Wood and wife Vina Wood, niece Valerie Smith, and great-nieces Corrine and Mia Smith. He was preceded in death by his parents James M and Josephine Wood, and his niece Lavinia Wood. Dr. Wood received his PhD in physical chemistry at the University of Wisconsin, and began the romance of his life there when he met and married Marian. During his 38 years as a chemist for Ethyl Corporation (later Albemarle), he worked on projects that received multiple patents and contributed to research that ranged from rocket fuel to batteries for electric cars to computer chips. Jim stood strongly for social justice and civil rights. He never complained about paying taxes, as he believed in his country and its founding principles of equality, freedom, and justice. He also believed in a citizen's responsibility to be involved in creating a better community, attending many public meetings and writing many letters to public officials regarding transportation, drainage, and development. He read and studied constantly, and could always be counted on for an accurate answer to the most obscure questions. He enjoyed many trips, including to the national parks and to see family members. But if you asked him, his favorite pastime and proudest accomplishment was his family. He was a devoted son, and steadfast and loving husband and father. He was proud to educate his children and launch them into satisfying lives and livelihoods. Jim delighted in his only grandson, and contributed countless "Grandpa" hours to Brad's childhood. He was a modest and unassuming man, and those who knew him respected his kindness, generosity, and integrity. In all his actions in the world, he was honest and responsible. He will be profoundly missed, and his family will strive to carry forward his values of fairness, honesty, and loyalty. The family would like to express great gratitude to the staff at Ochsner Hospitals of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Promise Hospital of Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge General for their skilled nursing staff, and St. Joseph Hospice Carpenter House. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2013 at the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, 8470 Goodwood Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70806. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Heifer Project or the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge are greatly appreciated.
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Published in TheAdvocate.com from May 19 to May 26, 2013