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Obituary for Eugene "Gene" Sherman Wood
Eugene “Gene” Sherman Wood, born Jan. 26, 1932, passed away peacefully on Feb. 3, 2017.
Gene was born to Letha and Merritt Wood. He leaves behind his wife of 65 years, Shirley, daughter, Christine Wood-Valentini, son-in-law, Don Valentini, son, Ken Wood, daughter-in-law, Carol Wood, granddaughter Misti Contento and her husband Daniel Contento III, grandson, Derek Wood, granddaughters, Elexys Wood and Alyssa Wood, great grandsons, Daniel, IV and Brodi Contento, nephew, Greg Hall, his wife, Patti and their two children, Erin and Cailin.
Gene and Shirley attended high school together in Sweet Home, Ore. Gene left high school during his senior year and moved to Crescent City to work with his dad in his logging business. As fate would have it, Shirley’s family moved to Brookings, Ore., during her senior year where her father, Carrol Hall, went to work driving truck for Gene’s dad, Merritt Wood. Gene and Shirley never lost contact; the two high school sweethearts were married in 1951.
Gene and Shirley settled in Brookings where Gene continued to work for his father in the logging industry. Eventually, Gene, with the desire to be successful and an intense work ethic, went out on his own and began to slowly grow his business adding logging equipment, trucks and employees. During the 70’s the logging industry was peaking and Gene’s business was thriving.
In 1979, Gene made what turned out to be a brilliant business decision: he sold the logging portion of his business but kept key pieces of equipment to establish the E & S Wood Construction Company. This allowed Gene and Shirley the opportunity to fulfill another dream: the purchase of their property on Rainbow Rock Road and construction of their new home. The property was raw land and turned into a labor of love for Gene for many years. He developed all the roads, the home site and later added a shop, barn and arena. The property became known as the WE Ranch and was one of his proudest accomplishments in life. It was the site for his excavation business and it allowed Gene to pursue another of his lifelong passions: his horses and dogs.
Gene and Shirley became involved with the Cutting Horse Association and traveled from Texas to Washington attending cuttings shows and riding competitions. Gene was an accomplished horseman, a cowboy at heart, and filled several display cases with belt buckles and awards from various competitions. Along the way, through business and cutting shows, they developed and enjoyed many lifelong friendships.
Gene was defined by his work ethic, the ability to be a hardnosed businessman, the drive to be successful, the love of his ranch and his horses and, most of all, his dedication to his family. Gene was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. During his later years, nothing made him happier than spending time with his family.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1650 Northwest Naito Parkway, Suite 190, Portland, OR 97209 or to the American Heart Association, PO Box 742030 Los Angeles, CA 90074-2030.
A celebration of Gene’s life will be held at 1:00pm on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at Redwood Memorial Chapel, 1020 Fifield St. in Brookings.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.redwoodmemorial.net. Redwood Memorial Chapel is assisting the family.