Earl Harry Wood, age 95, passed away peacefully on September 18, 2015, in St. George, Utah. He was born on December 7, 1919, in Garland, Utah, to Wallace Harry and Mabel Hadley Wood.
He was the second of four sons born to this family under very humble circumstances. There were many hard years growing up. However, dad’s work ethic got him through those challenging years of the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s as he worked to help feed his family and then put himself through school. During the war, he worked as a telegrapher for the Southern Pacific Railroad, which he loved.
On April 3, 1941, he married his best friend’s girlfriend, Lorraine B. House, in the Logan Temple. Their first home was an old railroad boxcar situated on a small piece of ground between the railroad track and the Great Salt Lake in a place called Bridge. Their bed was a door supported by two sawhorses with a very thin mattress, but they had good bedding to keep them warm. Often, he could be seen swinging a signal lantern in the middle of the night as the trains came by. Two years later, on April 6, 1943, their first child was born and they were a family.
After the war ended, they bought a dairy farm in Slaterville, Utah, where their family grew to five children. Dad loved farming, but after 11 years his back was bothering him so they moved into Ogden where he began working for the U.S. Postal Service. He was a hard worker and taught his family to work hard and never go into debt.
In 1962, they purchased the Sunset Motel in St. George. Again, dad started working for the post office, where he received an award for superior performance. Between the post office and the motel, they were plenty busy.
Dad loved to perform and had parts in many plays growing up. Later, he would memorize stories and jokes and always had them on hand to share at a ward function, etc. He had many church callings, but his favorite was teaching the Gospel Doctrine class. He loved dancing, either tap or ballroom, and could really put on a show.
After many trips to Yellowstone and Brookings, Oregon, mom passed away following a severe stroke. At the same time, dad had a heart attack and was sent to Salt Lake City for surgery. The recovery took time; however, you can’t keep a good man down and soon he was back to his old self.
He began attending some singles functions where he met Ella Lue Watts, and a beautiful friendship ensued. On April 26, 2003, they were married and have been wonderful companions since, even though illnesses and old age were upon them.
Earl is survived by his sweet wife Ella Lue of St. George, Janet Carter (Lloyd), Gary Earl Wood (Linda), Danny Bruce Wood (Julie), Wendy Barnum (David) and Paula Wood, 16 grandchildren and 34 great grandchildren.
The family would like to especially thank all those who helped care for him at Platinum Care, the wonderful hospice workers and Dr. Kent McDonald.
- Funeral services will be held Saturday, Sept. 26, at 2 p.m. at the Spilsbury Funeral Home at 110 S. Bluff St. in St. George.
- A viewing will be Saturday, 12:30 p.m., prior to services at the funeral home.
- Interment will follow at the St. George Cemetery.
Arrangements have been made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 435-673-2454.