Leonard Alfred Wood, 82, of rural Savonburg, died Saturday, March 9, 2013 at the Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center in Chanute.
He was born March 11, 1930 in Chanute, and was the only child of Sam Alfred and Dolores Cation Wood. He graduated from Humboldt High School in 1948 and then enlisted in the United States Navy. ¬†After his honorable discharge in 1952, he attended Chanute Junior College.
Leonard was united in marriage to Kathleen C. Copeland on Jan. 23, 1953 in Chanute. He later attended Kansas State Teachers College in Pittsburg and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Education and School Administration in 1956. The couple moved to Topeka and Leonard was hired by USD 501. ¬†In August 1958 he was promoted to principal, starting at Dawson School. He was assigned to Belvoir Elementary in 1961 and was there 11 years.
The whole family accompanied Leonard to Ethiopia, as Topeka had an exchange program established with the American Community School in Addis Ababa. He was a teacher, principal, and superintendent there. The family returned to the Topeka area in June 1976, and Leonard returned to USD 501. Leonard especially enjoyed his assignment at French Middle School, where he finished his education career. ¬†
Since retiring, he and Kathleen have had many adventures, including driving to Alaska twice. They purchased the family farm in Savonburg, which had been homesteaded by Leonard’s great-great-great grandparents. They built a new home on the farm and were very happy to return to the area where both Leonard and Kathleen grew up.
Leonard never stopped teaching. He was a Kansas Safe Hunter instructor while living in Africa, and a gun safety advocate his entire life. He also enjoyed big game hunting in Africa. He was much loved by his family, friends, students, and those with whom he worked.
Survivors include his wife, of the home; three daughters, Marsha Clovis, of Tucson, Ariz, D’Ann Hunt and her husband, Don, of Tucson, Ariz., Rebecca Cox, of Panama City, Fla.; three grandchildren, Anna Clovis Ritchie, and her husband, Sam, of Wichita, Barton Cox of Panama City, Fla., Mackenzie Cox of Panama City, Fla.; three cousins, Warren Wood and his wife, Loretta, of Olathe, Dale Cation and his wife, Elizabeth, of Fort Scott, Dan Cation and his wife, Carol, of Savonburg.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and his son, Scott Alfred Wood.
Memorial service will be 2 p.m. Thursday, March 14 at the Big Creek Chapel in rural Chanute. ¬†Military honors will be given by the Boestler-May Post No. 170, American Legion. Memorials are suggested to the Big Creek Chapel and may be mailed to the Pierce-Carson-Wall Funeral Home, P.O. Box 182, Erie, KS ¬†66773. Online condolences may be left at www.wallfuneralservices.com