Photography

J. Michael P. Wood

March 3, 1938 ~ February 12, 2022 (age 83) 83 Years Old

Tribute

J. Michael P. Wood, 83, a dedicated businessman, loving husband, proud father and grandfather, and loyal friend, passed away in Fredericksburg, VA, on Saturday, February 12, 2022 after a brief illness.

Though not a native of Virginia, Michael spent more than five decades in Fredericksburg, where he worked at Aero Nautics, Inc., the company he helped found. Most recently, as a licensed commercial real estate agent, he worked with Johnson & Glazebrook as a business broker.

His expertise included the aviation business. As a former pilot, he served as the City of  Fredericksburg’s representative to the Stafford Regional Airport Authority for what was then an unprecedented five terms. His tenure spanned 1990 to 2010, and included the planning and construction of the airport, which opened in December 2001.

Michael was born on March 3, 1938 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, the son of Helen Pickard

Wood, nee Bell, of Halifax, and of Stuart Benjamin Wood of Lima, Peru. He split his time between South America and Canada, where he graduated high school and university. During summers in Nova Scotia as a young boy, he developed a love for sailing. Later when he was in university at McGill in Montreal, he took flying lessons and earned his pilot license. Nothing gave him more joy than traveling, by boat or plane.

He met his wife of 57 years, Suzanne Deirdre Lyman, in Montreal in February 1961. They were married 10 months later in Montreal and honeymooned in Quebec City. The couple soon after moved to Lima, Peru, where they had three children.

In Lima, Michael worked for Panagra Airlines, which later merged with Braniff to become the largest airline serving South America at the time. The family moved to Fredericksburg in 1970, where Michael’s business interests led him to own and run several ventures, including Colonial Yacht Club.

Over the course of his career, Michael earned several business-related distinctions, including Realtor Emeritus, given to those who have been a member of the national, state, and local associations for 40 years or more.

Michael earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from McGill in 1961, where he was involved in numerous student activities and was a prominent member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity. The following year, he completed a postgraduate course in business administration at the London School of Economics and Political Science. In 1987, Michael earned an MBA from Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg.

He enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles, online Scrabble and backgammon, and always had a dog by his side. Just six weeks before his death, he was driving to La Petite Auberge every Saturday for lunch, where he enjoyed seeing other regulars and friends.

Michael was preceded in death by his wife, Suzanne Deirdre Lyman Wood, in 2019. He is survived by his brother, Andrew Wood of Hamburg, Germany; children, Caroline, of Atlanta, GA, Philip of Bellevue, WA, and Sylvia and her husband Patrick Kurp of Houston, TX; four grandchildren, Michael Kurp, David Kurp, Reid Wood, and Samantha Wood; sisters-in-law, Ingrid Wood and Wendy Lyman; nephews; and cousins.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that expressions of sympathy be made through contributions to St. Andrew’s College (SAC) in Aurora, Ontario in Michael’s memory. He was a longtime supporter of SAC, where he graduated high school and developed lifelong friendships, including David Dunlap and Tony Guzman.

Those living in the United States should send the donations to FRISBE, 811 Karl John Avenue North, Tacoma, WA, 98406-1046 with a note that the donation is for St. Andrew’s College. Those living in Canada can send contributions directly to the school at St. Andrew’s College, 15800 Yonge Street, Aurora, ON L4G 3H7 Canada.


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