Charles Russell M. Wood was born in Douglas County, Missouri, on November 10, 1934, just a stone’s throw from where he lived his final days. Seventy-six years ago he entered this world the son of a farmer and a teacher, C. N. “Jack” and Eva Bea (Lindesmith) Wood, who have preceded him in passing. He, too, was a farmer and a teacher and a great advocate of family and doing the “common sense” thing.
Russell is survived by his wife of 55 years, Joanne (Del Carlo) Wood, and three daughters and sons-in-law, Ruscell and Dave Pavlin of Springfield, Missouri, Leslie and Michael Swanson of The Colony, Texas, and Shelley and Mark Adams of Cabool, Missouri.
He also leaves a brother, Johnny Wood, and two sisters, Joyce Jones and Janice Lowe, all of Cabool, as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. His pride and joy were his six grandkids, including Janelle Barr Bassett and husband Colin of St. Louis, Missouri, Casey Barr, Kyle Pavlin and Erin Pavlin of Springfield, and Eric Swanson and Sarah Swanson of Texas.
Russell took on many endeavors during his life. After graduation from Fresno State University in California in 1956, he started in the shoe store business. He worked at this for many years in California and Oklahoma with his best friend, Floyd Cardin. In 1966 he reunited his family in Missouri and began farming and teaching school, starting at a one-room schoolhouse. He later taught English, speech, debate, and journalism at Cabool High School until 1978. He was a favorite teacher and mentor to many there and one to whom much credit was given for helping to shape young, often undisciplined, lives. He had a way of teaching that was sometimes unconventional, but effective.
Russell and his wife purchased The Cabool Enterprise and he published and wrote editorials for this weekly paper for years. He had a dry wit and honesty that made his writing and company very enjoyable. He invested a lot of energy promoting the commerce of his home community, also acquiring a radio station and movie theater there. Many successful Farm Fests were presided over by him. He was also a 30-year member of Alcoholics Anonymous and his resulting sobriety for that long was a source of pride and encouragement for many.
In later years, he used his public speaking and leadership skills to chair the Ozarks Property Rights Congress. He was passionate about landowners’ rights, speaking on the radio, at conferences and to Congressmen about protecting them. This led to a bill being passed in Missouri to protect property owners from governmental agency intervention. He stood up for what he believed was logical and right and he made a difference. He leaves a legacy of integrity and adherence to “common sense” for all to follow.
Online condolences may be left at www.craighurttfuneralhome.com.
Funeral services were held on Monday, May 23, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. in First Baptist Church of Cabool with Rev. Keith Reese and David Carroll officiating. Dala Whittaker and Johnny Wood served as singers with Bunny Allen serving as musician. Song selections were “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” “When You’re Smiling,” “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” and “Amazing Grace.” Pallbearers were Buck Wade, Gary Maggard, Chet Douglass, Tom Whittaker, Bob Parker and Jerry England. Honorary pallbearers were Wayne Hart and Ray Curio. Burial was in Mt. Ararat Cemetery under the direction of Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home, Mtn. Grove, Missouri.