1945 – 2014 (April 9)
Edson Jerome Wood was born on September 17, 1946, in Ilion, New York, one of three sons of Edson J. Wood and Marion K. Young. He was baptized on September 28, 1946, at the Church of the Annunciation, Ilion, and attended the parish school there from 1951 to 1956, and Saint Joseph's Parish School, Danbury, Connecticut, from 1956 to 1960. He attended Central Catholic High School, Norwalk, Connecticut, for two years, and Ilion High School, Ilion, N.Y., from 1962 to 1964. He was received into the Order as a novice on September 9, 1964, and after a year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, N.Y., he professed first vows on September 10, 1965. He attended Villanova University and obtained a BA in Philosophy in 1969. While in the Collegiate Seminary, he served as Master Organist for the Seminary and University, Director of the Seminary Choir, and Coordinator of the Seminary Dramatics Department. He then was assigned to Augustinian College, Washington, DC, where he studied theology at the Catholic University of America, and received the STB and the STL. He professed solemn vows on September 14, 1968. While in the theologate, he taught theology at Archbishop Carroll High School and Latin at The Connelly School of the Holy Child in Potomac, Maryland. He served as keyboard accompanist at Carroll High School and at the Drama Department of Catholic University, and he assisted in preparing the Carroll High School Marching Band for international competition in Ireland and Rome in 1972 and 1973. He also was instrumental in implementing a pilot program for Grounds and Building Maintenance Operations at Carroll. Edson was ordained to the priesthood on June 24, 1972, at the Church of the Annunciation, Ilion, N.Y., by Bishop Edward Maginn, Auxiliary Bishop of Albany, N.Y.
From 1970 to 1979, Father Wood was assigned to Archbishop Carroll High School, Washington, DC, where he taught theology and was Dean of Students. From 1979 to 1982, he worked as the Assistant to the President at Catholic University of America, Washington, and from 1982 to 1983, he taught Latin at Good Counsel High School, in Wheaton, Md. From 1983 to 1993, he was assigned to Malvern Preparatory School, where he taught theology, was Director of Student Activities and School Chaplain. In 1984, he accepted the position of Chairman of the Steering Committee for the decennial Middle States' evaluation of Malvern Prep, and successfully guided the school through the year of preparation for the committee's visit in 1985. He was also commissioned a Lieutenant in the Chaplain Corps of the United States Navy in 1985, and was honorably discharged in 1991. Beginning in 1993, he served first as Assistant Chaplain and then as Brigade Chaplain at the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
Fr. Wood was known for his ready smile, youthful enthusiasm, keen sense of humor and friendly personality. His entire religious life was spent in either teaching or ministering to the needs of students in high schools and higher educational institutions.
He suffered a stroke on Friday, March 21, 2014, and was taken to Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, N.Y., where he died on Wednesday, April 9, 2014. A wake was held on Monday, April 14 in St. Thomas of Villanova Church on the campus of Villanova University. The funeral Mass, which followed, was celebrated by Prior Provincial Mickey Genovese, O.S.A. The homilist was Fr. James Flynn, O.S.A. Following the funeral Mass at Villanova, Fr. Wood’s body was taken to the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., where a wake was held at Holy Trinity Catholic Chapel on Monday evening and Tuesday morning. Following the wake service on Tuesday, a funeral Mass was celebrated in the Cadet Chapel. Fr. Wood is buried in the Wood family plot at Armory Hill Cemetery, Ilion, N.Y.