2010-12-30 / Obituaries

Harry D. Wood, Jr.

Harry D. Wood Jr., who resided in Mariposa for 10 years, died in Talent, OR on Nov. 7.

He was born in Rockaway, NJ on Oct. 24, 1913, to John Hoagland and Anna Barz. He was adopted by Harry D. Wood and Clara H. (Schulze) Wood and grew up in a loving, extended family. It wasn't until the 1990's that he learned he had been adopted.

He grew up in Montclair, NJ and attended George Inness School and Montclair High School. Because of the Great Depression, he went to work early and graduated from Barringer Evening High in Newark in 1932. He then worked his way through three years of the NYU evening school law program. He changed course as his work in the insurance brokerage business became more interesting and continued in that field until retirement in 1978. His last position on the East Coast was with Rollins, Burdick, Hunter in New York City.

He had married Harriet N. (Nan) Heilig of Upper Montclair in August of 1937 and had three children. They lived mostly in Little Falls and Morristown, NJ until 1953 when they decided to move to California.

Harry (known to many as Woody) found work with Johnson & Higgins, a large insurance brokerage firm. He worked in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and by 1960 had moved to Malibu. The family lived on Galahad Drive overlooking the Pacific where there was enough acreage for Nan's horses. Harry, who had never been a "do-it-yourselfer," helped Nan build a nice, large corral for working the horses.

He retired from Johnson & Higgins in 1978 as senior vice president. He had become well-respected and widely-known as an expert in his field and continued as a consultant for a few years.

In 1984 they moved to Mariposa, where they bought property on Mt. Ophir Road, again with enough room for the horses. Harry was on the grand jury for awhile in the mid/late '80s and on the board of directors for the John C. Fremont Hospital. He also engaged in his favorite leisure-time pursuits, reading, listening to classical music (especially Beethoven) and keeping abreast of current business trends and political machinations. Although originally a staunch Democrat, he became an avid Libertarian.

Because of Nan's deteriorating health, they moved to Talent, OR in 1994 to live with their son, Harry D. Wood III, (aka Woody). Nan died in 1996 and Harry continued living there until his death in Nov. 2010.

Surviving him are his three children: Donica Wood of Chatsworth; Kendra Louks of Medford, OR; and Harry D. Wood, III; and two grandchildren, Devin R. Reyes of Chatsworth, and William H. Louks of Seattle, WA. In addition, he leaves a half-brother, Robert Hoagland of Stewartsville, NJ, and two nieces-by-marriage, Kim Heilig and Karin Wren, also in NJ. He outlived all his friends and most business acquaintances.

He was a loving, kind, loyal and extremely ethical man. His family will miss him, but was unbelievably fortunate to have had him in their lives for so long.

Services have been held and his ashes are interred at Scenic Hills Memorial Park in Ashland, OR.

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