Samuel D. (Sam) Wood, age 92, passed away Sunday, December 30 at the Arbors in Quincy, Illinois.
Sam was born November 13, 1926 in Slater, Missouri to Samuel and Margaret (nee Ballantine) Wood. His family moved to Taylorville in 1937, where his father found work at the C&IM Railroad and where Sam made many lifelong friends. He graduated from Taylorville High School in 1944 and immediately joined the US Navy. He served in the Pacific as a radio operator and gunner. Following discharge, he returned to Taylorville where he met and married the love of his life, Betty Wilcox in 1954 and joined the large Wilcox clan. Theirs was an enduring marriage of 64 years, an inspiration to all. Together, they raised three children, Jane, Jim and Janet.
Sam began his career with CIPS in 1956 as a meter reader and rose through the company, with positions in Charleston and Watseka before finally retiring as Area Superintendent in Mattoon, Illinois in 1989. He and Betty resided in Mattoon for 41 years until health issues moved them to Quincy.
To say Sam was an avid fisherman is an understatement. He spent much of his retirement on his boat on Lake Shelbyville and then shared his catch with his many friends. Every year included a trip to Canada; a journey he started making in 1947 and continued until he was 88. Sam's quick wit and irreverent humor will be missed. Sam was crazy about his wife, and he loved and was proud of his kids and grandkids.
He was preceded in death by two men he considered his brothers, Dale Jacobs (Springfield) and Bud Bower (Charleston). He is survived by wife Betty; children Jane (David) Fleming, Jim (Angela) Wood, and Janet (Bob) Kohlbecker. He leaves nine grandchildren who adored him and eight great grandchildren.
Graveside services will be held January 12 at 1:00 at Oak Hill Cemetery in Taylorville. A luncheon will follow at the VFW. Donations can be made to the Mattoon Salvation Army.