Copeland Funeral Service

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Albert Dennis Wood of Dataw Island, SC a much loved and cherished Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather passed away peacefully on October 26, 2018.

Al was born in Susanville, CA on September 30, 1926 and was raised in Berkeley, CA. Anxious to serve his country in WWII, Al moved east to attend The United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point where he graduated in 1947. As a Licensed Professional Mariner, Al spent memorable years with Farrell Lines transporting supplies up and down the coast of East Africa before being called back into service with the US Navy during the Korean War. After nearly ten years at sea, Al was anxious to be home with his growing family and was fortunate to land a position with The New York Telephone Company in what would become the beginning of a long and successful career. Starting as a lineman climbing poles in NY City, Al moved his way through increasing levels of responsibility finishing his career as VP and Country Manager Saudi Arabia for AT&T International in 1983. During this time, Al proudly served in the Naval Reserves for over twenty years ultimately retiring as a Commander. Al also served his beloved Rockville Centre, NY community in a number of capacities: Library Trustee, President of the School Board and then Mayor.

Al was blessed with extraordinary intellect, enabling him to see and evaluate events with great insight, which he gladly shared with others. Al’s motto was High Performance Living. He lived by this every day of his life. Al and his wife, Terry, raised their family in Rockville Centre NY, eventually moving to Grantham NH where they enjoyed hiking, biking and family gatherings. Over thirty years ago, they discovered Fripp Island, SC for the winter months, eventually moving to Dataw Island, SC, as their full time residence.

Al was retired for over 35 years enjoying each day to its fullest. Al traveled extensively with his wife, spent memorable time with his family, and gave back to his SC community. In most recent years, Al was actively involved in many local organizations in the Lowcountry: Second Helpings, Habitat for Humanity, Beaufort Land Trust, St. Francis Center, St. Helena Elementary School, Stand Alone Marines, Docent at Auldbrass, United Way of the Lowcountry, Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation, Thumbs Up, Friends of Hunting Island and taught classes at OLLI. This past year he was awarded Volunteer of the Year by Thumbs Up. Despite all of his accomplishments, Al’s greatest joy was his family, especially time spent with his grandchildren. Al believed that he “lived the greatest life, a life that no one deserves”.

Al was predeceased by his loving wife of over 60 years, Terese Galligan Wood, his parents, Raymond and Anna Wood, and his sister, Jean Wood Wise.

He is survived by his children, Richard Wood and Deborah Garnick, Alison Wood Barton and Dan Barton, his grandchildren: David and Ashleigh Wood, Joanna Wood, Eleanor Wood, Christopher and Priscilla Barton, and Hillary Barton, his brother Hal Wood, brother-in-law James Galligan, nieces and nephews and his most recent joy, 2 great-grandchildren- Hudson Smith Barton and Abigail Walker Wood.

Friends and family are invited to celebrate Al’s life on Saturday November 10th in the Tabby Room at the Dataw Island Club from 2 to 4PM. At Al’s request, his family will spread his ashes on Cramer Pass in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho.

His family thanks The Retreat on Lady’s Island and Friends of Caroline Hospice for their compassionate care.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation, Lowcountry Habitat for Humanity or United Way of the Lowcountry.

Online Condolences

  1. Leslie Levenson says:

    Dear Ali, Dan, Chris, and Hillary
    We are so glad we got to know Al and were able to spend time with him over the years. He was a remarkable man indeed! He was an inspiration for how to live in “retirement”.

    We’re thinking of you and holding you in our arms across the miles.
    With love,
    Leslie and Nate

  2. Lucy Benschop says:

    Al has been my very dear friend for over 50 years — many would say, a most unusual friendship. He wanted to be a legend. Not to be remembered so much for being a good man, but rather for being a man “who made a real difference” in people’s lives. And he did — for many, many people. It’s something he worked very hard at. It’s why he will not be forgotten.

    Hugo and I appreciated his energy and intellect, treasured Al and Terry’s friendship, and were grateful for the many special times we shared together. Al has been a tremendous support for me, especially in these last few years.

    Your Dad/Grandfather was so proud of his family, and rightly so. I not only grieve for you — I very much grieve with you. One thing is for sure, there will never be another AL WOOD! He was a most unusual and special man. We’ll all miss him terribly.

  3. Jeanne Canteen says:

    Al was a friend and mentor for almost 50 years. At NYT, he helped me understand how things worked. His intellect and humor were always highlights of the Verizon dinners. Richard and I enjoyed many Summers at Chautauqua with Al.
    We will hold his memory close and know that you will also.
    Love, Jeanne

  4. Maureen Cronin says:

    My loving thoughts and prayers go out to all of you. I hope that your memories continue to sustain you as you grieve Al’s passing. What a man, what a life.

  5. Chris Steward says:

    Dan, Alison, Chris and Hillary,

    So sorry for your loss. It was always a pleasure to talk with Al; he was a vibrant and interesting man. I had no idea the extent of his charitable work, but I am not surprised, coming from a man of such energy. Our thoughts will be with you this weekend and always.



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