JOPLIN - Thomas A. Wood, 81, a longtime Joplin resident, died Tuesday, Oct. 19th, 2004, at the Liberty County Nursing Home in Chester, where he had resided since Oct. 11th.
Visitation was Thursday at the Rockman Funeral Chapel in Chester. A funeral service was conducted Friday morning at Bethel Lutheran Church in Joplin by the Rev. Brian Pederson. Interment was in the Joplin Cemetery, where military rites were offered. A luncheon followed at Kjos Hall.
Tom was born on April 28, 1923, at Alma to Jacob and Claire (Wilson) Wood. He received his early schooling at Joplin, then graduated from high school at Charlo.
Tom met and married Fern LaValley on Nov. 20, 1944, at Missoula. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served during the end of World War II.
Following his military service, Tom began working in a local grocery store in Joplin. Shortly afterwards, he started his own trucking business. He managed the local grain elevator for 40 years and retired from that business in 1988. Together with friend Robert Moog, he also owned and operated Hi-Line Implement and a farm that they established in the 1950s, all while managing the elevator. In addition, he was a partner in the local car wash. In his later years, Tom owned and operated Hi-Line Chemical Company in Joplin.
He was a member of the Joplin Commercial Club, a past member of the Joplin School board, and was an overall big supporter of the town and the school district. He also served as past president of the Montana Agri-Business Association.
Tom was a social person who enjoyed visiting with friends. An avid card player, he also enjoyed his roadtrips to Jackpot, Nevada to play blackjack. He also enjoyed bowling. He loved sports in general, attended numerous basketball tournaments over the years, and enjoyed keeping score at the local basketball games for 25 years.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Fern in 1997; brothers, Charles and Lewis; and sisters, Hazel and NanOra.
Survivors include his daughters, Karen (Rudy) Skonord of Kalispell, Nancy (Duane) Alley of Great Falls and Faye (Dave) Dewing of Justin, Texas; sons, Tom Wood Jr. of Joplin, Larry (Joey) Wood of Kalispell and Marty (Tina) Wood of Joplin; brothers, Carl "Bill" Wood of Fort Benton, Forrest "Pork" (Millie) Wood of Boise, Idaho, and Harold "Nick" (Darlene) Wood of Payton, Ariz.; sister, Edna (Bob) Duncan of Lakeside; 12 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and numerous sisters- and brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Arrangements by Rockman Funeral Chapel.