In memory of
JOHN G. WOOD - 2019 WINTER HAVEN - John Gregg Wood
JOHN G. WOOD 1924 - 2019 WINTER HAVEN - John Gregg Wood, 95, passed away peacefully at home on May 17, 2019. John was born in Valley City, North Dakota on May 16, 1924. After spending his early childhood on the family farm, his family moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota where he attended public school. After graduating from high school in 1942, John entered the Navy as a cadet aviator. On March 3, 1943, John was commissioned an Ensign and received his Wings of Gold, becoming one of the Navy's youngest naval aviators. Later in 1943, while assigned to the aircraft carrier Intrepid, John was injured in a training accident and was transferred to the US Naval Hospital at Mare Island, California. On November 1, 1947, John was retired from the Navy as a Lieutenant with 2300 hours of flight time. After his naval service, John attended both the University of Minnesota and the University of Florida and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. In 1951, John moved to the Winter Haven area for a job at the Bartow Air Force Base where he was a civilian flight instructor, supervisor and squadron commander in the 3303 Primary Training Squadron Flying Training Air Force. John and his wife, Ella, started their family consisting of four sons, Craig, John Jr., Tom, and Paul. In 1954, John built his first home at 1919 19th Street NW, Winter Haven for his family. He continued to buy lots and build homes in the Jan-Phyl Village, Lake Shipp and Inwood area. In 1959, John left the Air Force Base to become a full time builder and developer. Since that time, John's building and development companies have had a significant impact on the Winter Haven area and, in particular, the growth of Southeast Winter Haven into a quality residential area. His vision, leadership, and commitment are reflected today throughout Southeast Winter Haven in such communities as Garden Grove, Cypresswood Golf and Country Club, Lakewood, Valencia Wood and Woodpointe. John contributed his time and financial resources to making the Winter Haven area a better place. He was a strong supporter of the Boy Scouts of America. As Troop 123 Chairman, he saw all of his sons achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. He was involved in the development of the Flaming Arrow Scout Reservation and contributed the funds, planned and constructed a new dining facility at Flaming Arrow named Wood Hall in 2001. The Boy Scouts awarded him the Silver Beaver, the highest recognition for a volunteer in Scouting. John and his late wife, Ella, were also involved in helping the Girls Club which is now called Girls, Inc. They were instrumental in the planning and construction of several Girls Club facilities. In 2007, John donated the funds, planned, and constructed the Ella Wood Memorial Pavilion at the Girls, Inc. facility in memory of his deceased wife. In 2007, John recognized the importance of the GiveWell Community Foundation by establishing a Facilities Maintenance Fund Endowment for three charities-Meals on Wheels, Girls, Inc., and Boy Scouts of America. John believed that giving back to the community is an important part of establishing a strong community spirit in Winter Haven. John had a life-long love of aviation. He enjoyed sharing his aviation experience and was a leader in organizing reunions of flight instructors and students who were part of Bartow Air Force Base. He helped establish the Bartow Air Force Base historical museum that is located in the municipal terminal building at Bartow Airport. On December 7, 2013, John was awarded the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award by the Federal Aviation Administration. This award is the most prestigious award the FAA issues to pilots. John is survived by his beloved fiancÃ©e, Tammy Barden; sons Craig (Traci) of Mancos, Colorado, John, Jr. (Lea Ann), Tom (Anne), and Paul, all of Winter Haven; grandson Thomas (Corissa) of Atlanta, Georgia; granddaughters Elizabeth Voss (Jeremy), Shannon Gosnell (Robbie), and Samantha Wood, all of Winter Haven, and granddaughters Malloy Lacktman (Nate) and Johanna Wood (Trevor), both of Tampa; 11 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. John was preceded in death by his wife, Ella, his father, Leonard and mother, Susan; his sister, Jean and his brothers, Lynn and Douglas. A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, at 5:30 pm at Heartland Church, 225 Ave B NW, Winter Haven, FL 33881. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Good Shepherd Hospice, 105 Arneson Avenue, Auburndale, FL 33823. Online condolences may be made at https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/winter-haven-fl/john-wood-8717173 .
View Full Obituary ›