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Letter: Remembering William Wood Jr.

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On Nov. 30, Charleston lost a real treasure. William Wood, Jr., passed away at age 92. Known as Red to almost everyone, he was one of the most attractive people you could ever meet and he approached life with great optimism.

He was a World War II veteran, loving husband, devoted father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was one of the original founders of the Sullivan’s Island Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service.

He served on Sullivan’s Island Town Council for five terms, many of them as mayor pro tem. Sullivan’s Island’s residential atmosphere can be credited to Red and his vision. He was a man of great faith and an active member of Stella Maris Catholic Church. He coached youth sports and was a Boy Scout leader. Red was always guiding and leading others as a positive example.

He exemplified what Tom Brokaw named the “Greatest Generation.” Those who were blessed to know him will remember him signaling a thumbs-up, a symbol of his can-do attitude and positive spirit. As he approached 90, he began gaining notoriety by posting “thoughts of the week” on a bench in his yard on Middle Street to inspire others. Some of these quotes were common sense, some were humorous, and some were political. His signs became an island institution, with people driving by just to read them. Here are a few:

“Friendship is not one big thing but a lot of little things.”

“If you want your words to carry weight, you must weigh them carefully.”

“If you’re in the hospital and they give you one of those skimpy gowns, you know the end is near.”

Red’s quotes are being kept and rotated at our office 1407 Stuart Engals Blvd., in Mount Pleasant. We are going to miss Red and his indomitable positive spirit. May we never forget one of his favorite sayings: “Every day’s a holiday, and every meal’s a picnic.”

Paul Heinauer

Stuart Engals Boulevard

Mount Pleasant

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