Russell Olney Wood U.S. Veteran

January 16, 1936 - December 19, 2012

Russell Olney Wood, 76, of Jefferson City, formerly of Sedalia, died Wednesday, December 19, 2012, at his home. He was born January 16, 1936, in Rocky Mount, Missouri, the son of Russell U. and Binford Louise (McComas) Wood. He grew up in Rocky Mount and Eldon, Missouri and graduated in 1953, from Eldon High School, where he was president of his graduating class. He was married in 1959, to Neva Marie Pearon who survives at the home. He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1958, and was accepted to Officer Training School in 1967. He graduated as The First Honor graduate of OTS in 1970, achieving the highest course grade among the 700 graduates. He honorably served his country as a missiles officer until his retirement with the rank of Major in 1984. His numerous military awards include the Joint Service Commendation Medal for outstanding achievement as Top Secret Control Officer, Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, Nebraska, and The Meritorious Service Medal while serving as Deputy Commander for Operations of the 351st Strategic Missile Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. Following his military career he pursued his longtime interest in Psychology, earning Outstanding Graduate Student honors from Central Missouri State University in 1987, and received his license to practice psychology in 1990, after achieving the highest state score on the qualifying examination. He served as a psychologist at the Higginsville Habilitation Center and Fulton State Hospital, and for a number of years with Harlan and Associates in private practice in Sedalia, Missouri. He was an avid runner; he enjoyed hiking and exercising as long as he was able. He greatly enjoyed spending time with his family. He leaves three sons, Russell Anthony Kempen and wife Kish of Pacific, Mo., Timothy C. Wood and wife, Robin, of Jefferson City, Mo. and Theodore B. Wood and wife, Kate, of Jefferson City; a daughter, Cynthia Pollock and husband, Pete, of Redondo Beach, Calif.; a brother, Charles David Wood and wife, Marilyn, of Walnut Creek, Calif.; seven grandchildren, Nathan, Nicholas and Noah Wood; Sierra and Jasmine Pollock; and Maya and Norah Wood; two sisters-in-law, Donna Hildebrand and husband Charles of Jefferson City, Mo., Virginia Pearon of Lohman, Mo.; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by one sister, Ruby Catron; a nephew, Lane Catron; a sister-in-law, Nina Kueffer; and brothers-in-law, Harold Kueffer and Clyde Pearon. A visitation will be held on Saturday, December 22, 2012, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Houser-Millard Funeral Home in Jefferson City. Interment with full military honors will be at 1:00 p.m. Monday, December 24, 2012, in the Missouri Veterans Cemetery at Higginsville, Mo. The family suggests memorials to the Pettis County Red Cross, Sedalia, Mo. Arrangements are under the direction of HOUSER-MILLARD Funeral Directors, 2613 W. Main St., Jefferson City, Missouri, 65109, (573) 636-3838. Condolences may be left for the family online at

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