Gateway to Service….. Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

The David Wood Endowment Fund

Wood_DDavid L. Wood Jr. was born in Chester, Pennsylvania, on June 23, 1929. He was the first of three children born to David L. and Mary Holland Lewis Wood, growing up with two younger siblings, Mary Ann and Lewis.

Even as a child, David was ambitious and hard working. By the time he was 12 he was working in a grocery store for ten cents an hour. At that age, he also moved lawns at large as five acres—with just a push mower. When he attended Shenandoah Valley Academy he would rise as early as 3 a.m. to work at the dairy before starting classes. He graduated from SVA in 1948.

In the fall of 1948, he started classes at Washington Missionary College, working nights at Washington Sanitarium taking care of an elderly patient in the long-term care unit. It was at the hospital that David met a nurse, Jeanne Burkett (WMC class of ’49), who he would marry in 1950.

David left WMC in 1951 to work in the construction field to support his growing family. The Wood family would soon include four children: David L. III, Barry L., Linda Jeanne, and Ann Wood Gribben. Later the family welcomed seven grandchildren.

He returned to the classroom later to pursue a law degree at the University of Baltimore, graduating in 1974. In his leisure he was an avid outdoorsman enjoying sports, including tennis, fishing, and hunting.

David spent much time learning about and interacting with nature. His passion for the beauty of the natural world and the preservation of the environment has been passed on to his children. David is a very outgoing man who loves people and is always ready to help others.

An accident in 1982 left David a quadriplegic and dependent on a respirator. The fighting spirit that David exhibited so early in his life has been beneficial to his mental health during these years of dependency. David feels that it has only been by God’s grace, a loving family and good nursing care that he has been able to rise above his injuries. Needless to say, he is a great inspiration to all those who know and love him. This endowment has been set up by family as a tribute to David’s perseverance in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds these past 13 years.

In a world of victims David is a survivor and an achiever. He sees life as a chance to accomplish no matter where you are or what your circumstances.


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