Charles J. “Herbie” Wood, 91, passed away at home Monday afternoon surrounded by his family.
He was born Nov. 27, 1926, in Raven Run to James Wood and Rose Dugan Wood. Herbie was a graduate of the West Mahanoy Township, Class of 1944, and McCann School of Business.
He served in the Marine Corps during World War II in the Pacific Division. Herbie married his high school sweetheart, Virginia Coyle, on July 31, 1954. Herbie was an amazing athlete, coach and humanitarian. After his service as a Marine, he continued his education at McCann School of Business. Before and after his time in the service, he played shortstop and second base for semi-professional baseball teams among the North Atlantic League, Hazleton Mountaineers, Lost Creek Rebels and Mahanoy City Brewers. In the 1960s he also shared his passion for the sport as a coach of the Shenandoah Heights Amvets’ Legion team securing the championship in 1965. Through his late 50s, he continued to display his athletic prowess playing fast pitch softball with Lost Creek, Babe’s and Vic’s. He was fiercely loyal to family and friends, choosing to spend his life in the Coal Region. For 25 years he served as a fireman at Valley Forge and Fort Indiantown Gap. Throughout his life he was also active as a volunteer fireman at the Citizen’s Fire Company of Lost Creek. In his “retirement,” he drove the school bus for Shenandoah Valley School District and Athletics Department, where he continued to influence local athletes. “Pap” was his favorite role, and he was his grandchildren’s biggest fan, always found in the stands or on the course closely watching, “coaching” and cheering. In any sporting event he was knowledgeable and could be found “commenting on the referees” while rooting for the underdog, and supporting local athletes. He was known as a mentor to many who offered a quick smile and a handshake that extended “a little something extra.”
Preceding him in death, in addition to his parents, were two brothers, Joseph and James Wood, and two sisters, Patricia Monaghan and Rosemary Hadesty.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Virginia M. Wood, and his five children, Tim Wood, Deer Lake, Jacki and Butch Keithan, Katy, Texas, Joe and Terri Wood, Ringtown, Betsy and Chris Quinn, Roxborough, and Jim Wood, Wilkes-Barre, and his 13 grandchildren, Colby Keithan, Chas Keithan, Alli Keithan, Megan Wood, Christopher Quinn, Lauren Wood, Michael Quinn, Tim Wood, Caitlin Wood, Ryan Wood, Brigid Wood, Connor Wood and Maggie Quinn; a sister-in-law, Joanne Wood, Havertown; nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.
Funeral services will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday from Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, 132 S. Jardin St., Shenandoah. A Mass of Christian Burial will then be celebrated at 10 a.m. in Divine Mercy Church, 232 W. Cherry St., Shenandoah. Monsignor Edward Coyle will be the principal celebrant and homilist and Monsignor Ronald C. Bocian, pastor, as concelebrant. Interment with military honors will follow in Annunciation BVM Cemetery, Shenandoah Heights. A viewing will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.
To honor him, please pay a kindness forward or contribute to the scholarship fund for a worthy graduate of Shenandoah Valley High School, c/o of M&T Bank, 2 S. Main St., Shenandoah, PA 17976.
Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, Shenandoah, is in charge of the arrangements.