Kenneth James Wood, age 83, of Marshfield passed away early Friday, March 17th, 2023 to join his Irish ancestors. Memorial services will be held on Friday March 24, 2023 at Hansen Schilling Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 9:00 am - 11:00 with a service at 11:00 am. and a lunch to follow. Please join us to celebrate this intelligent, kind, lifelong educator's life, to share memories and comfort. Committal of remains will take place at a later date.
Ken was born to Richard and Ruth (Fitzpatrick) Wood in Oconto Wisconsin on July 23, 1939. As an only child, Ken attended schools in Oconto and Milwaukee. He graduated from UW-Stevens Point in 1962 and started a teaching career that took him from Rosholt to Hilbert to Appleton. He retired after 32 years of teaching Junior and Senior high school classes in History, English, Geography, and Social Studies, along with other duties and classes, as assigned.
Ken married Nancy Mc Gillivray on June 5, 1965 in Leopolis, WI.. Together they raised three fine sons - Michael, Jason, and Jeremy along with treasured family pets. They later divorced. Ken married Phyllis E, Wolf Drexler on July 21, 1995, in Marshfield, WI. They later divorced. On April 28, 2007, he married Lori Belongia in Marshfield, WI. They were together until his last day.
Ken’s lifelong devotion to history and reading was nurtured at Grandma Gertrude (Blunt) Wood’s knee with stories of pirates, sea captains, soldiers, and Civil War officers. Later, when digging into his family history, he discovered that many of these stories were rooted in his heritage. Grandma Wood taught him to read at a very young age, which was a source of frustration for his early teachers.
Among many of the part-time or summer jobs Ken held were park ranger, summer Congressional intern to Father Cornell in Washington, D.C., soccer coach, hotel night manager, bartender, campground host, and library reference specialist. Ken was a proud member of the ACLU and former president of the Appleton Teachers Union. He was the writer of several history themed series for the Marshfield News Herald. He was generous with his time and talent as a member and officer of several local historical organizations, including the North Wood County Historical Society, the Marshfield Area Genealogy Group, Marshfield Historic Preservation Committee. Ken compiled and authored Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America: Marshfield, a pictorial history of Marshfield, and assisted with genealogy and history workshops. Ken reveled in travel that brought moments of connection with people in distant places. He also really loved sugary coffee beverages, tasting new foods, bowling, photography and spending time with family and friends.
Ken is lovingly survived by his wife Lori Belongia, sons Mike (partner Vicky Schultz), Jason (Ann), and Jeremy. He is further survived by grandchildren Tyler, Maiti, Sam, Ephraim, Nathan, Oliver and Elliott, along with step-daughters Crystal Schneider (and Ken’s “four legged friend” Bandit), Heather (Jason) Dillinger; step-grandchildren Scott Schneider, J Forseth, Jesse and Leo Dillinger and step-great-grandson Gabriel Schneider, and dear family friend Joelle Burt. His quick wit, kindness, intelligence, and inquisitiveness are already missed.
Thanks go to the staff of Marshfield Health Services along with the many other medical professionals, family and friends who treated him with expertise, creativity, and warmth. We are grateful for your care.
Ken always felt an affinity for Mary’s Place Transitional Shelter ( www.marysplacecw.org ) in Marshfield. He would have preferred a gift there instead of flowers.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kenneth James Wood, please visit our floral store.