Donald Wayne Wood
September 16th, 1927—June 1st, 2023
Don, or Wayne, as he was known to his family, was born on the family farm northeast of Curtis, NE in Frontier County. By all accounts he was a mischievous boy, telling his children with a grin that he and fellow classmates once locked the teacher in the outhouse of the one-room schoolhouse they attended. He rode his favorite horse to and from school every day until he went to high school in Curtis and lived in the dormitory. According to Wayne, there were similar amounts of fun and mischief in those halls as well.
He enlisted in the Navy at the tail end of WWII and served his country for two years, from 1945—47. Upon his return, he enrolled at the University of Nebraska using the GI Bill. Shortly thereafter he began dating Mary Ann Vreeland and they married on August 5th, 1951. Wayne and Mary Ann both graduated in 1952, Wayne with a degree in accounting and in due course, he obtained his Certificate of Accountancy (CPA).
The couple moved to Schenectady, New York, where Wayne began his career with General Electric. They had two sons in New York, Douglas and Delbert. They moved across the country a few years later to San Jose, CA and there had two daughters, Susan and Barbara. In 1967 their last child, Jane, was born in Sioux City, IA and the family then moved to St. Joseph, MO, where Wayne spent the majority of his career as a CPA. Wayne operated Donald W. Wood & Associates, a CPA firm in St. Joe until he retired in 1994.
Wayne enjoyed many things in life, but particularly singing to his dogs totally off-key and making them howl, the game of golf, and anything Nebraska (Go Big Red!) Wayne delighted in giving his animals and people that he cared about nicknames. Every time a new grandchild was born his family would wait to learn what Grandpa would call them. He loved retirement and spent countless days hitting golf balls on the range with his dachshund, Izzy, (known to him as Harvey Wallbanger and finally as Harvard) sitting in the front seat of his golf cart.
Wayne and Mary Ann were grateful to celebrate 70 years of marriage in 2021, as both were still in very good health. Wayne was preceded in death by this parents, Donald Allen Wood and Violetta Esther (Petersen) Wood. He was also preceded in death by his beloved son, Del. He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann, and four children: Doug (Gail Henry), Sue, Barb (Howard Grace), Jane (Wayne McGaugh), 14 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.
A family celebration of Wayne’s life will take place on June 20th at 2:00 p.m. at Johnson County Funeral Chapel and Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the KC Pet Project, a no-kill animal shelter: https://kcpetproject.org/