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Sep 29, 2017 2:05 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

John Archibald Wood Of Water Mill Dies September 17

Oct 3, 2017 2:34 PM

John Archibald Wood, MD, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, formerly of Water Mill and Alpine, New Jersey, died on September 17, 2017. He was 95.

Born in Far Rockaway on May 5, 1922, to Archibald and Phebe (Sprague) Wood, he graduated from Far Rockaway High School, then attended Harvard University, class of 1939 (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard Medical School, graduating from the accelerated program in 1943, due to World War II. After his internship at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, the Army assigned him to the respiratory laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. Thus began a lifelong medical interest in pulmonary physiology.

Dr. Wood was honorably discharged from the Army in 1949, having achieved the rank of captain. He returned to Columbia Presbyterian and completed his internal medicine residency in 1952. During his residency, he began many years of research on cardiopulmonary illnesses in Nobel Laureate Dickinson W. Richards’s laboratory, helping to develop the cardiac catheterization technique. He was an attending physician at the Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and the Englewood, New Jersey Hospital, with a private office in Tenafly, and a clinical professor of medicine at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. Well into his career, Dr. Wood wrote “I still haven’t discovered the ideal relationship among the elements of clinical practice, teaching and research, but they do offer a maximum in challenges, frustrations and satisfaction.”

In 1947 Dr. Wood began a family. He married Louise Gaillard and the couple had three children: Amee (1949), Randy (1952) and Chuck (1954); they divorced in 1970. He married Patricia Johnson that year and they had two children, Jonathan (1971) and Meg (1973).

Dr. Wood retired in 1996, after practicing medicine for 50 years. In retirement, he became treasurer of The Alpine Community Church and enjoyed his hobbies of lapidary, history and croquet. Music was a mainstay of his life—he sang in the Choral Society of the Hamptons until age 90. His family grew, and he welcomed 10 grandchildren with pride and joy.

In 1995, for his Harvard Alumni Bulletin, he wrote “I have a profound interest in the development of the human spirit—manifested in my family and profession—in reading forward in molecular biology, and backward into archaeology and mythology, in a love of music and some appreciation of art. I can reach out and touch people in ways that foster better rounded, stronger and deeper relationships, and they, in turn, enrich my life by adding their own unique touches. Family has been the single most important element around which my life has been built. Love is what we live for.”

Memorial donations may be made to Pianofest, Box 639, Hudson, Ohio 44236 or The Hampton Library, Box 3025, Bridgehampton, NY 11932.

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