Richard Thomas Wood


Richard T. Wood, 90, of Savannah, Georgia, died on September 15, 2022 at the home of his daughter Susan Wood of Atlanta, Georgia.

Born and raised in Altoona, Pennsylvania, to Kenneth V. and Agnes G. Wood, Richard was the last of eight children. In addition to his parents and siblings, he was preceded in death by his wife Elizabeth M. Wood and son Gregory T. Wood. After serving in the Korean War, Richard graduated from the American College at Louvain Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium. Upon arriving in Belgium, he taught himself French and then spent an amazing three years touring Europe on his motorbike. He often spoke about the places he had seen, the unique opportunities that had presented themselves, and the kindness of strangers who helped a young student far from home.

After graduating, Richard returned to Altoona and began his long publishing career. There he met and married his first wife, Elizabeth M. Gedmark. Dick and Beth lived in Pennsylvania and Lexington, Kentucky before settling in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Together they raised two successful children: son Gregory and daughter Susan. Throughout his life, Richard has been an avid traveler, traversing the world from Japan to Egypt and across Europe for work and pleasure. He loved sharing the places he loved most with his family. In addition, Richard was an accomplished photographer, capturing his travels with his Hasselblad camera and then carefully editing, approving prints and choosing frames. At one point there was even a darkroom in the basement where he developed his own negatives.

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Richard loved classical music and opera. He also enjoyed playing a great round of golf with his son Greg and his many friends. Richard also discovered a love of cooking and would often spend Saturday nights trying out recipes from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. After 25 years of service, Richard retired from University Microfilms International (UMI) in Ann Arbor, Michigan as Vice President of Product Development. He was a pioneer in the digital transformation movement, creating technology solutions for storing original paper materials in digital formats for libraries around the world. He also founded and sold a company, Thomas Press, which produced canoe and kayak guides for rivers throughout the United States. After his retirement, Richard moved to Savannah, Georgia, where he enjoyed playing golf, singing in the church choir and supporting church music, programming and spending many hours doing genealogy research.

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It was in Savannah that Richard met and married Bette B. Anderson. Together they embarked on adventures involving Bette’s board work, villa vacations with the whole family, and entertaining a large circle of friends made during their long lives. Richard is survived by his daughter Susan Wood of Atlanta, GA, his wife Bette B. Anderson Wood, and his stepdaughter Sue (Charlie) Strickland of Savannah, GA. He is survived by two beloved step-granddaughters, Ashley (Chris) Freeman and Sara Jane (Ryan) Stroupe, and three step-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Jan Cox Gedmark and more than thirty nieces and nephews.

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A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on October 1, 2022 at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on Skidaway Island, Georgia. Followed by burial in the memorial garden. Followed by a reception in the parish hall.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in memory of Richard can be made to one of the following: St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 3 W. Ridge Road, Savannah, GA 31411, or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Tribute Gift in Memory of Richard T Wood: https://www.michaeljfox.org/donate/make-don



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